Fiorella (Fio) & Colby DeRodeff
Their appreciation for wine began in different parts of the world. Colby grew up going camping in the Rubicon trail with his family, many of which had an affinity for good wine. His Grandfather would often let him be the Sommelier, opening the bottle and serving the adults. Fio grew up in Peru, where her great-grandfather was one of the first to produce wine and pisco in the 1920s. The family business was passed down to later generations, allowing her to enjoy grape stomping and playing around pisco filled amphoras during childhood.
Fate and an Irish pub brought them together right before Fio was on her way to study international business at Cal Poly SLO. Colby would often visit her, and during that time, their love for the Central Coast and the Paso Robles wine country grew.
Fast forward to their lives in the Bay Area. Colby was busy building cybersecurity startups that helped shape his career, and Fio worked in support of the NASA wind tunnels at Moffett Field. Although both careers flourished in the years they spent there, the lifestyle (and the commute traffic!) just wasn't something they wanted to do forever. They knew that something better, and more rewarding was in store for them in Paso Robles, so they took a leap of faith and moved down the coast.
2018 - 2019
Not looking to plant a vineyard, hapstance led us to purchase a 33-acre property nestled in the west side Paso Robles rolling hills. We spent the next couple of years cleaning up the property and making it our own. It didn’t take much to realize that we were in the perfect location for planting grapes. From the rich soils and the calcareous rocks to the sloping south facing hills, it was meant to be.
Early on, we found that the Paso Robles wine industry is a tight knit community that readily offers support to one another. Through tastings at local wineries, we encountered numerous individuals who generously shared valuable industry insights and their connections, which led us to meet our Vineyard manager, Aron Nevarez.
Planted the initial 3 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot grapes on the property. This made “covid” years anything but boring for us, our young vineyard kept us on our toes the entire time. Colby embraced a "learn by doing" approach in the vineyard as he and his dad even designed an automated irrigation system literally from the ground up, thus the water tech designation was born.
Our small ‘hobby’ vineyard dream shifted as we expanded and grafted an additional 16 acres of grapes. This accelerated timeline was unplanned due to potential water restrictions, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise because it allowed us to expand our horizons and grow Rhone varietals as well as add Malbec and Merlot to our bordeaux offerings.
With vines in the ground, the natural next step was to use what our land would produce. And so, we began a custom crush with @Alta Colina winery, to gain experience in the winemaking process and start making some vino!!
We had our very first estate harvest, and harvested grapes from all 19 acres of the vineyard. Despite the challenging growing year marked by heat waves, we enjoyed every minute of it. We then worked closely with our winemaker Molly to produce high-quality wines using the grapes grown on our estate.
We also found the future home of our production facility and tasting room. We were drawn to this property on Adelaida Rd. because of its location, stunning views most importantly that it is bound together with unique rock formations, thus the perfect place for rockbound cellars.
We will be bottling our very first wine from the 2021 vintage that has been aging in oak barrels. This wine will be available for purchase in the Fall. We look forward to sharing our wines with the world and continuing to grow and innovate in the vineyard and the cellar