Located in the beautiful Paso Robles wine county, we are a premier grower and producer of Chardonnay,Viognier, Zinfandel, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese wines.
Eric Ogorsolka, the winemaker and owner of Zenaida Cellars has been growing and making wine since 1994. In 1988 the Ogorsolka family purchased the west Paso Robles property and began planting the estate vineyard. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, Eric began working the vineyard and making small lots of experimental wines. In 1998 Eric began work on the winery and soon launched the Zenaida Cellars label.
THE VINEYARD & WINERY
The home vineyard is located in the Templeton Gap area, west of Paso Robles, at the base of the Santa Lucia Coastal Range. The 95 acre property consists of 65 acres of rolling vineyard, with the remaining areas being primarily oak woodland and open space. the winery occupies the original homestead of the property, dating back over 100 years. Utilizing the same low impact philosophy in the vineyard and the winery, Eric maintains that great wines are made in the vineyard.
Our philosophy on winemaking is straightforward and simple. People have been making and drinking wine since the Neolithic period (8500-4000 B.C.), that's a pretty good stretch of time. During that time, basic winemaking really hasn't changed that much.
In our opinion, it is a simple process, based on knowledge of your specific location. A friend expressed it this way to us once: Every year is a learning process, if you are lucky, you will get to make wine once every year. If you start early, you may get to make wine only 30 to 40 times in your whole life!
Given so few chances to make magic, pursuit of knowledge is key. We are never satisfied with "good enough", there is always room for improvement. In our little "sphere of activity", aka Zenaida Cellars, we believe
That you must know the vineyard; this is where great wines begin.
It's crucial to understand your soils and how each varietal interacts with it to express its true character.
Lastly, try your best not to get in the way and screw it up!
Our wines grow in a lean soil layered with calcareous shale, limestone, clay and sand. The varied soils are the key to complexity in the wine. The vines are trained in a vertical postioning trellis, allowing for adequate sun and air flow. This method emphasizes the leaf surface area allowing for good sugar production, and even ripening of the fruit. Low impact and sustainable agricultural practices entail cover-cropping with perennial grasses and recycling grape pommace into mulch. This high quality mulch proliferates the soil organisms, which in turn help the plants to uptake nutrients, discounting the need for harsh chemical fertilizers.
Our wines are made using only the highest quality fruit from our estate vineyard. The vines are meticulously preened and thinned to ensure even ripeness throughout. At harvest, the fruit is hand picked and brought into the winery in the cool of the morning. We process the fruit without the use of pumps or augers, thus eliminating excess handling. The grapes are de-stemmed, not crushed, and then fall directly into small fermenting bins below. The bins are then wheeled into the winery to settle and begin fermentation. The fermenting must is mixed twice daily to ensure superior color, structure, and balance of the finished wine.