Sustainability, organic farming, and Earth-friendly practices have become marketing buzz words, but in Paso they actually have critical meaning. Attendees will hear from a diverse group of wine and vineyard personalities and take a deep dive into Paso Wine. They’ll discuss vineyard and farming practices that help make better wines, what brands are doing in the winery to lower their carbon footprint, and how wineries are building brands that last several generations.
Keith is VinePair’s Tastings Director. He is a wine lover and self taught wine geek who has owned a wine retail shop as well as a wine bar and restaurant for over a decade. Keith’s goal is to educate wine enthusiasts on how to enjoy and live wine without pretense. He loves teaching, and explores past the myths of wine so that people can walk away with confidence in their own wine knowledge. Listen to his podcast “Wine 101” for all things wine!
Growing up in Seattle’s wine business inspired Molly to study Wine & Viticulture in California; see what all the hype was about and soak up the sun. Her need to understand how to grow a grapevine and make wine led her to become an integral part of the vineyard team at JUSTIN. It only took one quarter of viticulture classes and she was hooked on farming. In 2009, after graduating from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with her Bachelor of Science degree in Viticulture, Molly and her husband chose to stay on the Central Coast and join the growing wine industry. Twelve years and two boys later, they are proud to call Paso Robles home. Molly has successfully built her career in wine while driving the development of JUSTIN’s vineyard management program. When she first joined the team in 2011, her role was specialized in research trials and certifying JUSTIN’s vineyards as sustainable. Ten years later, she is honored to be JUSTIN’s Director of Grower Relations, overseeing all grape sourcing for JUSTIN and the company’s other brands: Landmark Vineyards & JNSQ. Volunteering her time as the Chairwoman of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance and sitting on other industry boards and committees, she values the ability to give back, speak to her experiences and welcome others to join this special, growing industry.
Born in the village of El Durazno in Durango, Mexico, Aron moved to Paso Robles in 1992 at age 14. As an early teen Aron worked in vineyards by “slightly” exaggerating his age. By 1998, after working at Tablas Creek and Glenrose Vineyards, he took over management of the Rosette Vineyard (now Derby). Aron worked alongside John Alban for 6 years at Rosette before becoming manager at Denner Vineyards in 2004. Aron has developed the estate into a prized site for premium Rhone and Bordeaux varieties. He and his wife Yaraceth enjoy life in Paso Robles with their children Aron Jr., and Jared, and Alissa.
Niels and Bimmer Udsen have structured Castoro Cellars to reflect their values and have developed an approachable and environmentally conscious brand. Niels’ father was a native of Denmark who immigrated to America in the late 1940s. A farmer turned successful businessman, he taught Niels about both the agricultural and business worlds. The two made many trips from their home in Ventura, California, to Denmark where Niels and Bimmer first met at the ages of 9 and 7, respectively. Niels’ interest in the wine industry sparked during a senior marketing project while studying Agricultural Business Management at Cal Poly for a local winery. Niels and Bimmer were married in 1981 and Niels began working in the wine cellar of Estrella River Winery. In 1983, Niels and Bimmer decided to launch their own brand. Castoro Cellars was established with a laid-back, warm and welcoming style. Showcasing their sense of humor, the winery was named for the Italian translation of Niels’ long-time nickname, “Beaver,” thus prompting the motto ‘Dam Fine Wine’.
Fourth generation winemaker Anthony Riboli received his M.S. in Viticulture from the University of California, Davis. During the 1997 harvest, he apprenticed under Michael Weis at Groth Vineyards & Winery in Napa Valley. Since then, he has led winemaking, viticulture and production for the Riboli California wine portfolio at the company. Anthony’s foremost goal has been improving the quality of wines through a meticulous focus in the vineyards as well as in winemaking at the sustainable, state-of-the-art facility in Paso Robles. One of Anthony’s greatest pleasures is working alongside his family.