ALMA SOL WINERY

Hand Crafted, Limited Production, Bordeaux Wines

Alma Sol is a family-owned and operated, micro-boutique winery, sourcing premium fruit from unique, quality vineyard sites in California, with a special interest and focus on the beautiful Paso Robles appellation. From the very beginning, our mission has been to craft exceptional Bordeaux wines, both single varietals and special blends. We hand-pick the grapes in small lots, respect the fruit, guide its natural potential, and simply focus on hands-on, artisanal winemaking. Alma Sol Winery tasting room is in Thousand Oaks, CA. 

Facts about Wine and Arsenic

We realize that there has been much press since last Thursday around a CBS news story about the claim of arsenic found in wine.  Alma Sol and the collective wine industry take safety as priority number one.  As members of the Wine Institute of America we have posted the fact sheet created around these claims. 

Wine Institute Fact Sheet on Arsenic

Mar 20, 2015

FACT SHEET

Wine Institute is the association of 1,000 California wineries. In recent days, unfounded litigation has raised questions about the safety of California wine. We want to assure you that the health and safety of consumers is of the greatest importance to our wineries and that the wine produced by our members is perfectly safe.

  • The lawsuit claims that certain wines contain unsafe levels of arsenic based on the limit set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for drinking water – 10 parts per billion (ppb). However there is no scientific basis for applying the EPA drinking water standard to wine.
  • The U.S. government has not published a limit for arsenic in wine but several countries including Canada, the EU, and Japan have set limits ranging from 100ppb up to 1000ppb – 10 to 100 times the level the EPA determined to be safe for drinking water.
  • When the U.S. government considers limits for arsenic in food and beverages, they take into account how much of that food or beverage an average person may consume in a day and the age of people who likely consume that food/beverage. Daily intake levels for water are significantly higher than for wine.
  • The risks from potential exposure to arsenic in wine are lower than the risks the EPA considers safe for drinking water. For perspective, eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day is the recommended daily amount, whereas one to two 5-ounce glasses of wine a day is defined as moderate wine consumption according to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines.
  • Arsenic is prevalent in the natural environment in air, soil and water and food. As an agricultural product, wines from throughout the world contain trace amounts of arsenic as do juices, vegetables, grains and other alcohol beverages and this is nothing new.
  • The U.S. government, both TTB and FDA as part of its Total Diet Study, regularly tests wines for harmful compounds including arsenic as does Canada and the European Union to ensure that wine is safe to consume.

Contact: Communications@wineinstitute.org

2015 Awards

It is March so that means award season is here!  We have been receiving some really nice awards for our new and upcoming wine releases. Awards thus far include: 

2013 Sagrada (Syrah)
- 90 Points/Gold - 2015 Monterey Wine Competition 

2012 Almazan Dessert Wine
- Best Fortified Wine - 2015 Toast of the Coast
- Silver - 2015 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

2012 Cuatro Caminos 
- 88 Points - 2015 Monterey Wine Competition

2012 Zinfandel
- 87 Points - 2015 Monterey Wine Competition

Stay tuned for more! We are just getting started. If you are interested in any of these wines, they can be purchased at our online store. 

2014 harvest, a winemakers thoughts …

2014 marks our sixth harvest, and yet 2009, our inaugural harvest, seems like just yesterday, when we were learning how to get things off the ground. In many ways, though, 2014 reminded Lisa and me of that first year in 2009. It was hot, very hot, straight through the year. Like 2009, we were rushing to get fruit off the vines. Unlike 2009, drought had struck California and the vines were ready to hand over the fruit far earlier than we had ever seen in the history of the family vineyard.  In a typical year, I would be writing this message from Paso Robles and would be just starting to harvest Eastside Bordeaux vineyards.  As it stands, all of our fruit was in before the third week of September and as of Oct 3, all of our wines were pressed and in barrel.  Although drought is not a positive thing, the quality of the fruit was spectacular. The clusters were smaller, the grapes were smaller, but across the board the concentration and colors were there and the flavors were terrific. 

Speaking of fruit, this year marked the return of our using Still Waters Vineyard, located in Creston – a small city within the Paso Robles AVA. Still Waters supplied us with the Cabernet Sauvignon that made up our inaugural Encantada Cabernet Sauvignon blend.  We also purchased some of their Merlot fruit. Based on what we have seen and tasted thus far, it will be remarkable and a great blender into our Bordeaux program. It has been a long time coming but 2014 marked our first time working with Cabernet Franc. We were lucky enough to get amazing fruit from Brady vineyard, located on the East side of Paso Robles. The Brady vineyard has a distinct and intense concentration of flavors. We are very excited to see what we can build with this fruit and are hopeful that we can deliver a sumptuous Cabernet Franc that leaves you wanting more. As always, we harvested several tons of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Cuevas Estate Vineyard. The fruit this year was full of ripe blueberry and plum jam. Flavors were just exploding, so we expect a very fruit forward, intense Estate Cabernet.

All in all, we are thrilled about the quality of the 2014 vintage thus far. Although it will still be a few years before this wine sees the light of day we wanted to share with you what you can expect. Hopefully you are as excited as we are! 

Welcome to the new Almasolwinery.com website

We would like to welcome you to our new website. This site has been in development longer than we really care to mention but time passes quickly when you are having fun.  In just the few short years since we have been open for business we have gone through two other versions of our website. This version marks the first major facelift, providing better navigability, sharing features, and an integrated storefront. This site was also created using Responsive Design, so it will reformat itself for optimal viewing based on the device you are using. Cool stuff! We hope that you find this site both aesthetically pleasing and easy to use. We look forward to your feedback and hope to see you soon at the tasting room.  Salud!  - John & Lisa Shaw, Proprietors 

2013 Harvest Underway

The 2013 harvest is officially underway! The Cuevas Cabernet Sauvignon was the first red varietal to be harvested yesterday morning. It was a picture perfect Saturday morning, with a cool cloud cover and low temperatures. Five hours after starting, the grapes were cold soaking in bins. Pictures of the day can be found on our photo gallery

Awards!

We have been very fortunate over the last few months to have received several awards for our wines. Just today we were awarded our first Gold medal for our new 2010 Cuatro Caminos blend. Here are some of the recent awards: 

90 Pts - Wine Enthusiast, March 2013 - Alma Sol 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Gold Medal - 2013 Monterey Wine Competition - Alma Sol 2010 Cuatro Caminos Proprietary Red Wine

Silver Medal - 2013 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competion - Alma Sol 2010 Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon

Silver Medal - 2013 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competion - Alma Sol 2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Silver Medal - 2012 Monterey, LA Wine, and Mid State Wine Competition - Alma Sol 2009 "Encantada" Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon

88 Pts (Cellar Selection) - Wine Enthusiast, June 2013 - Alma Sol 2010 Paso Robles Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

88 Pts - Wine Enthusiast, June 2013 - Alma Sol 2011 Santa Maria Chardonnay

86 Pts - Wine Enthusiast, June 2013 - Alma Sol 2010 Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon

 

Contact us for more details or go to our sales page to purchase online. Salud!

- John and Lisa Shaw

2013 Update

Harvest is now long past us and we are starting to think about bottling our 2011 wines. This weekend we are getting our wonderful, new 2011 Chardonnay ready for sale by putting the final touches on the bottles - the labels. We are also running through all of our 2011 barrels in order to select the blends for the 2011 bottlings. After a long morning of tasting through the barrels and blending samples together, we are very pleased to annouce that we will be offering three different Bordeaux bottlings in 2011 - a Cuevas Vineyard Cabernet, a Reserve Paso Robles Cabernet (100% Halter Ranch fruit), and a Paso Robles Merlot. If all goes as planned, these wines should be bottled by May and will then see some extended bottle time in order to let them settle down so that when you are ready to buy them they are ready to drink. Stay tuned for updates on these wines as well as our 2012 vintage updates.  Salud!

Post Harvest Wrap-Up

 

Harvest 2012 has officially ended for Alma Sol. All the wines are in and most of them are already barreled down and ready to make their long journey into fine wines. We have our last lot of fruit from Halter Ranch inching through fermentation still but expect that it will be done, pressed, and put to barrel in the next few weeks. Harvest went really well and the quality of the fruit, hence the 2012 wines, looks to be absolutely spectacular. 

We are starting to think about post harvest now, including events, wine sales, and the holidays. We have just signed up to pour at the Ventura Winter Wine Festival and will be booking some additional pouring events locally in the coming weeks. Please watch our events page for updates and stay tuned for our newsletter which will provide a full update on harvest as well as a few specials. 

A few of you may have been lucky enough to try some pre-releases of our 2010 wines recently. We think that the 2010 bottlings came out pretty amazing and look forward to them getting a little bit more bottle time before we bring them back out. In the meantime, our 2009 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon is tasting pretty good. It finally has seen enough bottle aging to pull out and enjoy. We only have 20 cases of this very exciting wine left so don't wait too long - we might just drink it all before you get any! 

Busy Time

If you have "liked" us on our Facebook page you will know that it has been a busy time for Alma Sol. Harvest has officially started and we have been making trips back and forth between SoCal and Napa and Paso Robles. The Harvest is looking pretty good thus far but we still have a long way to go. Please stay tuned for more info, check our photos page, and visit us at Facebook for continued details.

Napa Cabernet Bottling

The date has been set! We will be bottling our 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon this Wednesday.  The mobile bottler will be coming in and working with us to get the one single barrel of Cabernet into the approximately 276 bottles.  We are very happy with flavors and structure of the Cabernet. This vintage should really be a crowd pleaser. To make this even more special, we have put together some really nice packaging for this vintage. Besides for great wine, we have ordered a larger, more robust bottle, special corks that are longer and include the vintage and AVA designate, and a modified label that has embossing and a spot varnish. You may also catch that we have increased the size of our Alma Sol logo on the front label. So, keep you eye out for more information on the actual bottling and the release information.

Welcome to the new ALMA SOL website

We would like to welcome you to the all new Alma Sol website. Although the site design may look identical, we have rebuilt the site so that we can bring you more information, provide you with checkout and purchase options, allow you to comment on our posts, share our posts on popular social networking sites, and interact with us more.

Of note on the new website:

  • Our new EVENTS PAGE
  • Ability to PURCHASE WINE seemlessly via Paypal
  • An integrated BLOG for insights and updates from Lisa and John
  • Social commenting and sharing on the Homepage and News page
  • RSS feeds so that you can follow all of our updates
  • The new right column that provides twitter, facebook and other links
  • Site search
  • and much, much more!

We are interested in your feedback on the new site so please feel free to email us or leave comments on the site.

Salud,

John and Lisa Shaw

March 4, 2012

We will be pouring at the 5th Annual Ventura County Wine Trail Celebration June 21st at the Heritage Square, Oxnard.  More than 20 local wineries will be pouring at the event along with food catered in from local restaurants. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased online today at Eventbright. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Ventura County FOOD SHARE. We hope see you there!



October 31, 2011

We are proud to announce that Alma Sol is now a member of the Ventura County Wine Trail. The VCWT has 21 winery members, located between Ojai and Malibu. The VCWT offers tasting events through year and has two annual events of its own. We look forward to pouring at some of these events in the future and sharing with you more about the wine trail. Please visit their website for more information on our local area wineries, hotels, restaurants, and more.



October 30, 2011

It's official, we can finally say that the 2012 Alma Sol harvest has begun. Oddly enough, we can also say that it is about to end seeing as the weather is turning quickly and winter will be here by the end of the week.  We will be sharing more about the harvest with you in the coming days but we wanted to give you a quick update. Please check out our Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Picassa, and official website for videos, photos, updates, and more.



October 16, 2011

We are proud to announce that our wines are now available for purchase through VinoShipper. What this means is that if you live outside of CA and in a state that is covered by VinoShipper, you can order our wines for delivery to your home. The states that we can now ship to are: AK, CA, FL, ID, LA, MO, NE, NV, NH, ND, OH, OR, VA, DC, WV, WY. Please visit our homepage at Vinoshipper for more information. 

Copyright  2015 Alma Sol Winery