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Edible LA Robert Hall

News & Press

Sep 6, 2021

Meet the Maker: Robert Hall Winery - edibleLA

With some of the biggest tem­per­a­ture shifts between day and night, Paso Rob­les is heav­en for wine. Hot days ripen the grapes, but then cool nights put the brakes on, help­ing to main­tain acid­i­ty, slow­ing and length­en­ing the process for max­i­mum com­plex­i­ty and aro­mat­ics. There’s diver­si­ty in the soil, from silts to silt loams to clay to lime­stone, as well as a range of micro-cli­mates and good pro­duc­ing wells. The 173 acres of Robert Hall Win­ery are smack in the mid­dle of all this boun­ty. They also source grapes from all 11 Paso Rob­les AVAs. All this accounts for the bold­ness of their wines, along with the inge­nu­ity of the wine­mak­ers themselves.

The win­ery was found­ed in 1999 by Robert Hall, an entre­pre­neur out of Min­neso­ta who fell in love with wines dur­ing a trip to the south of France and want­ed to cre­ate his own win­ery. He chose Paso Rob­les in California’s Cen­tral Coast due to its rich and diverse cli­mate and soils. One of his stip­u­la­tions — unusu­al for the late 90’s — was that his win­ery had to be a place of hos­pi­tal­i­ty and enter­tain­ment, of music, events, and deli­cious food to go with his superla­tive wines. Jeff O’Neill has pur­chased the win­ery since then, but Don Brady is still the found­ing wine­mak­er, just as he was in Robert Hall’s time. The entire place is Cer­ti­fied Cal­i­for­nia Sus­tain­able and, in a bold exper­i­ment, 13 of the acres are now set aside for regen­er­a­tive viti­cul­ture as well.

It’s a gam­ble and an inno­va­tion, the idea that tak­ing out the her­bi­cides will improve the soil and, by exten­sion, the grapes. Now mid-row plant­i­ng pulls car­bon out of the atmos­phere, and six tons of com­post to the acre builds soil struc­ture, microbes and the abil­i­ty to hold mois­ture. Bio drones even release ben­e­fi­cial insects on the vines.

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