PAUL LATO

Santa Maria, California

 
 

history and origins

Polish by birth, Paul spent many years as a sommelier in Canada’s top restaurants. Tasting the finest wines, with humility and passion, led him to a simple, unifying conclusion; “all the greatest wines possess authenticity, harmony, and elegance”. Swapping his life in Canada to become a winemaker in 2002, spurred on by the support of Jim Clendenen at Au Bon Climat and the limitless possibilities to make wines of power, beauty and elegance in Santa Barbara County. Paul took a giant leap of faith, selling everything he had, to buy 6 barrels and fruit from top vineyards and make a new life for his young family.


philosophy and methods

In order to make wines of the highest calibre, Paul carefully selects unique vineyards, down to the individual blocks and rows, that are cared for by talented vineyard managers committed to excellence. During the growing season, yields are restricted to achieve maximum concentration of flavour. Harvest is based on physiological ripeness, cellar work on minimal intervention, cleanliness and purity of intention. With a strong belief that true artisanal winemaking is based on intuition, sensitivity and passion. Keeping the lots small allows for gentle handling throughout the winemaking process.


intention and Production

Spurred on by the great wine makers of Henry Jayer and in particular, a 1990 vintage of Comte de Vogue Les Amoureuses, “one of the greatest epiphanies of my young sommelier years”, Paul set his sights on making some of the finest possible expressions of California wine. The Santa Barbara appellations of Santa Maria and Sta. Rita Hills have such a unique geography and geology. They give Paul a chance to experiment with many different cool-climate terroirs with unique aspects. “California pinots provide superb value and consistency year after year”. Constantly pushing the boundaries, working with vineyards from sta rita hills right up the central coast, from Sauvignon Blanc and Malvasia Bianca to Syrah, Grenache and his ‘holy grape’, Pinot Noir. Not afraid of using new oak, his wines show the beauty and grace of each site, clone and micro climate, capable of long ageing to open up their subtle lines, charm and fullness of character.