Open Daily: Apr-Oct 10-5; Nov-Mar 10-4 (Groups of 6 or more reservations required)
$10/pp waived with 1 bottle purchase
Dec 24:10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Dec 31:10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Come enjoy 35 years experience producing dry-farmed, ultra-premium red wine. Total production limited to less than 2,000 cases. Our wild yeast fermentation style yields unfined and unfiltered wine of immense character and boldness. We invite you to taste our hand-crafted Estate Super-Tuscan blend, Tempranillo, Barbera, Estate Sangiovese, and world-famous “FIGHTER PILOT RED” Zinfandel. Open Everyday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and groups of 6 or more reservations required. 1850 Templeton Road, Templeton, CA 93465. 805.434.5477. www.bellalunawine.com
It’s not unusual to find dry-farmed wines in the Paso Robles area, but it is a bit unusual to discover dry-farmed Sangiovese, the varietal at the heart of Bella Luna Winery’s flagship wine – their Super Tuscan Estate Riserva and Bellicaia.
For Bella Luna owners Sherman Smoot and Kevin Healey, this is certainly no gimmick. Kevin has spent his entire adult life in local vineyards and is one of the best dry farmer in the country. Both men believe that dry farming develops a greater complexity in the wines, with more concentrated flavors and colors, the Bella Luna “Estate Riserva” seems to be proving them right.
The vineyard is just over four acres and contains only 1880 head-pruned vines, but despite its small acreage, the Bella Luna vineyard offers a wide palette of growing conditions. There are four very distinct soil types in the vineyard – clay loam, sandy loam, loam, and an alluvial rocky patch that they fondly call “the rock pile”. The vines are planted at medium density, about 12′ x 7′ apart, because we don’t want them competing with each other for nutrients and water. Because of the lean soils and the dry-farmed method, the vines get enough stress to concentrate the flavors and colors.
The “Fighter Pilot Red”, is 100% organic dry-farmed Zinfandel sourced from Bailey Family Vineyards. Our game is quality, not quantity. We want to keep the project manageable, and focus on producing our ultra-premium Super Tuscan blend “Bellicaia”.
Kevin and Sherman are longtime, childhood friends. They grew up in the Templeton area, attending the same schools and playing on the same baseball and football teams. Both also served in Vietnam, though at different times. Kevin was part of the ground forces, while Sherman flew F-4s from aircraft carriers – hence the “Fighter Pilot Red” label and is now retired after 28 years flying B-777 for Continental Airlines.