KENNETH VOLK VINEYARDS
Kenneth Volk is something of a renegade. He rose to fame as the driving force behind Wild Horse Winery in Templeton, which eventually grew to become one of the largest tasting rooms in the area. In 20 years, production exploded from 600 cases to over 150,000 cases of wine annually. He then sold his successful winery and moved to Santa Maria and opened Kenneth Volk Wines, a much smaller scaled operation, where he went back to the basics of hand crafting wine. The success of that tasting room then spawned the opening of another facility in Paso Robles, not far from where he began it all in Templeton with Wild Horse in the early 1980s. One thing is for sure: where ever Ken goes and makes wine, people always follow. “My goal is to create multifaceted wines,” he says. “Instead of farming everything alike, I combine many of the best practices, materials and vines available.” And this philosophy has given him a very loyal following.
The Paso Robles wine scene is growing by leaps and bounds and the new Kenneth Volk tasting room is on Highway 46 West, fast becoming a well regarded wine road. The small, intimate tasting room and its wood bar make it ideal for focusing on the varied wines in front of you, as this is an unpretentious space, lacking much ornamentation. “The tasting room opened May 21, 2010 immediately adjacent to the Lone Madrone Winery and Fat Cat Farms,” says tasting room manager Azurae Shults. “This beautiful property is a park-like setting complete with gardens, picnic areas, baby animals, a plant nursery, vineyards and two of Paso Robles’ top tasting rooms,” she adds. It’s a short drive from Highway 101 to arrive at the KVV tasting room and once there, you’ll be glad you made it.
The wines of course are why you are here and the standard offerings are poured: Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir, but also poured are the heirloom varieties like Negrette, Malvasia Bianca and Verdelho, as well as Cabernet Franc and Tempranillo, among others. There are a few gift items for sale as well.
Upcoming events for Ken and his wines include Savor the Central Coast in September and the Paso Robles Harvest Festival Weekend in mid-October. Frankly, any chance to sample Ken’s wines is worth the trip. The $10 tasting fee gives you six tastes of Ken’s wines and chances are you will want to sample more. The Kenneth Volk Paso Robles Tasting Room is located at 2485 Highway 46 West. Contact them at (805) 237-7896 or at www.VolkWines.com.