EPOCH ESTATE WINES
Epoch Estate Wines
Bill & Liz Armstrong
About The Estate:
Epoch Estate Wines (pron. 'Epic') is a shining example of why Paso Robles is arguably the most exciting wine regions in the World right now, combining a fascinating history with incredible vineyards and innovative winemaking.
Geologists Bill and Liz Armstrong share a similar spirit, one that is dedicated to the purity of science and endless exploration. Bill is a self-diagnosed “cork dork” who is a huge believer in the fun and “truth” that is wine. One day Bill woke up and realised he wanted to be more than just a wine lover; he wanted to also be a wine producer, and thus set about on a deliberate (and quite fun) search for the perfect plot of land. Land that would produce wine he and Liz would love to make, drink, and share with family and friends.
While studying oenology in his spare time, Bill’s palate quickly took a liking to wines from the Rhone region in France, particularly the Southern Rhone. These wines reflected their unique sense of place, and had a fun/happy factor that was totally up Bill’s alley. So with a specific wine style in mind and a Geology degree in his back pocket, Bill embarked on a quest for the ultimate American terroir that would produce world-class wine.
In 2004, this mission led Bill and Liz to a small pocket of land on California’s Central Coast between Paso Robles and the Pacific Ocean. The unique soils, weather, hilliness, and extreme temperature swings found at Paderewski Vineyard were exactly what they were searching for.
What they were not expecting was how much the Paso culture totally jived with their personalities; the entrepreneurial, collaborative spirit along with the rodeo, All-American vibe had Bill and Liz feeling at home from day one. With the later purchases of Catapult and York Mountain, Bill and Liz’s Epoch journey expanded, and they look forward to many years of crafting delicious wines, making people happy, preserving Epoch’s rich history, and most importantly, having a blast while doing it!
After an extensive international search, owners/vintners, Bill and Liz Armstrong, found their dream partner in Jordan Fiorentini. The Epoch winemaking mission and unique vineyards stole Jordan’s heart, and before she knew it, she had packed up her family and moved from Sonoma to the quaint Central Coast town of Paso Robles.
Passionate, dedicated, and not afraid to push the envelope Winemaker, Jordan Fiorentini, brings an enthusiastic and experienced spirit to Epoch Estate Wines. Her palate is the kind wine lovers dream of and one that speaks to Jordan through shapes; having an awesome artistic side, Jordan now draws her Tasting Notes in addition to writing about each wine. Jordan oversees all the wine and vine decisions along with the day-to-day needs of the winery. With her dedicated staff of four, she works hard to ensure every bottle of Epoch wine is always at its best.
Besides being incredibly talented, Jordan also happens to be seriously smart, with an engineering undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and a masters degree in viticulture from UC Davis. Jordan earned her spurs working at her family’s winery in Georgia (yes, they really do make wine in Georgia), Araujo Estate in Napa Valley, Antinori Winery in Italy (where she met her husband), and most recently as head winemaker at Chalk Hill in Sonoma.
Travel just west of Paso Robles, and you will find Paderewski Vineyard: 67 acres of undulating, steep, limestone rich hillsides within 570 rural, spring-fed acres. In the early 1900’s, this vineyard was cherished and farmed by world-renowned pianist, Polish diplomat, and vintner, Ignacy Jan Paderewski. Fast forward a century, and this property stood forgotten and fallow. In 2004, Bill and Liz became the stewards of this amazing piece of property. With a specific vision and mission to bring this historic vineyard back to life, the Epoch story began.
Home to intense earth that bears little resemblance to typical California soils, this vineyard is filled with lean, rocky, and calcareous soil profiles. After carefully pairing the hillsides with their respective wine grape variety, the vineyard is planted with Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Petite Sirah, Tempranillo, Zinfandel, Grenache Blanc, and Picpoul Blanc. These vines are mostly grafted onto Phylloxera resistant Native American rootstock with the exception of a few blocks of Syrah and Grenache vines planted on their own rootstock.
Creating a patchwork of vines, the vineyard’s clone selections were carefully chosen to create the perfect match between soil and vine. In addition, the vineyard blocks were meticulously laid out based on their unique exposures, soil attributes, and mesoclimates. Today, you are able to taste the synergy created by the methodical planting decisions made in 2004, as each block is happily producing fruit specific to their exact location.
Just like the soils, the climate here is intense. The Paso Robles wine region benefits from the largest diurnal temperature swing of any region in California. Daily, temperatures can vary as much as 50 degrees Fahrenheit, creating the ideal environment for achieving that perfect acidity in ripening wine grapes. At Paderewski Vineyard, each warm afternoon is greeted with cool breezes from the Pacific Ocean sweeping east through the Templeton Gap, allowing the vines to take full advantage of Paso’s unique temperatures.
It is obvious why Ignacy Jan Paderewski sought out this exact location to plant his roots – both personally and for his vines. The breathtaking views, the soil composition, the climate, and the community are unlike any other wine region in the world. Epoch is beyond humbled to call this property their own and will continue to honour Paderewski’s legacy by cherishing these 570 acres and carrying out the shared vision for this land.
Born in 1890, Ignacy Jan Paderewski was considered one of the greatest pianist of his time. Not content with just being an incredible musician, Paderewski was fluent in seven languages and in 1919 became the first Prime Minister of newly independent Poland
Winemaker Jordan Fiorentini spent time making wine at some of the most prestigious Estate in the World, including Napa's Araujo Estate and Antinori in Tuscany
Built in 1882, the York Mountain Winery has been lovingly restored using the original redwood beams and bricks fired on the property in 1906.
Epoch's famed Paderewski Vineyard in the north of Willow Creek District