Founder Ken Volk’s goal is to experiment with rare grape varieties and make small batches of atypical from the Paso Robles region.
His team, led by Clay Brock, General Manager and director of Winemaking work closely with head Winemaker Chrissy Wittmann to create unheard wine blends from this region. Recent grape varieties used in experimental Wild Horse wines include: Blaufrankisch, Cabernet Franc, Grenache Blan, Malbec, Negrette, Malvasia Bianca, Verdelho and Touriga National.
At a recent lunch, Clay Brock explained that he is an extension of Ken Volk’s vision. His goal is to make exceptional wines while experimenting with different varietals.
The classic wines in the Wild Horse collection include: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Viognier.
Wines from the portfolio are sold in four separate categories: Central Coast, Unbridled, Winery Exclusives and Cheval Sauvage, which means ‘Wild Horse’ in French.
The forty-four acre vineyard is named as a tribute to the wild mustangs that used to roam on the hills above the vineyard.
Rumor has it that the vineyard is named after the Cal Poly mascot—a galloping horse. Both Ken Volk and Clay Brock are Cal Poly Alumni.
Wines are produced are from the estate grapes as well as grapes sourced from over forty different vineyards in the area and up to thirty different varietals. Sixty-five per-cent of vineyards production includes Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir.
Three Wines To Try:
2010 Wild Horse Unbridled Pinot Noir Santa Barbara is a beautifully lush, silky 14.5% alcohol upscale wine that made my lamb belly entrée taste better than it really was. Possibly the mix of raspberries, cherries and cinnamon contributed to the velvety tannins and minerality in this bargain-priced $34 bottle of wine.
2008 Wild Horse Cheval Sauvage is a Pinot Noir at the highest level. The cranberry and strawberry concentration is mind boggling on the palate. Add full-bodied, balance and lushness to the menu and you have a wine that can stand on it’s own without the consumption of food. The aromas of dense red fruit coupled with a richness on the palate, make the long lasting finish memorable. The 2008 Cheval Sauvage should rank in the top tier of west coast wines.