An evening with Cris Cherry of Villa Creek
A benchmark winemaker in West Paso Robles, Cris Cherry captains a beautiful vineyard and produces “straight-up and just stunning wine,” as Jeb Dunnuck so eloquently put it when giving 97 points to the 2017 Villa Creek This Way That Way. Villa Creek presents wines of fruit, minerality, earth and soul handcrafted on Cris and JoAnn Cherry’s organic and biodynamic West Paso Robles estate. Cris and JoAnn originally moved to Paso Robles in 1996 to open a restaurant called Villa Creek in downtown Paso Robles. They grew fond of the grapes and style of Paso Robles winemaking, and eventually started to produce their own wines for their restaurant. Taste through a wonderful selection of Villa Creek’s wine with Cris himself. Hear the charismatic stories, learn about the philosophy, and taste some great juice accompanied by fantastic bites by Chef Amy.
“One of our great pleasures is preserving a moment in time in a bottle and enjoying it for years to come”.
In 2003, they purchased a 60-acre property in the hills of Peachy Canyon and built their winery, making about 3,000 cases a year from such iconic properties as the James Berry Vineyard. Beginning in 2012, the Cherrys started planting Rhone varieties on their property, called the Maha Estate, as well. Today they focus solely on winemaking, with most of their wines being dominated by Grenache and Syrah. Villa Creek wines capture the vintage of the best biodynamic and organically farmed vineyard sites on the west side of Paso Robles and the Central Coast of California. Their wines are made with grapes grown on their home estate, MAHA, and with grapes from vineyards that meet our growing criteria of being certified organic and/or biodynamic or practicing organic farming methods. Currently our vineyard sources are MAHA, James Berry, Luna Matta and Slide Hill.
“Most of our Villa Creek wines are dominated by Grenache and Syrah. We began working with Grenache in 2002. Grenache brings vibrance, round red fruits and an amazingly complex mouthfeel. Syrah brings an entirely different component; dark and brooding, delicious and meaty. Our west Paso Robles limestone imparts freshness and vitality to Syrah taking it to another dimension of complexity and cellar worthiness. Each vineyard’s microclimate adds it own nuances that we do our best to capture. Our Villa Creek red wines also include Mourvèdre, Carignan and Petit Sirah as blending components and occasionally as special release single varieties. We work with Roussanne, Clairette, Fiano and Grenache Blanc in our white wine program, both as blends and single varieties. While our Villa Creek wines represent a few different places, MAHA represents one; the place that we raised our kids, built our winery and planted our vineyard. When we first laid eyes on this estate in 2003, we knew it was destined for greatness. Our best barrels from MAHA Estate grapes are reserved for the MAHA branded wines. Grenache, Syrah, Petit Syrah, Mourvèdre and Carignan grow on the MAHA.
“Come for the wine, stay for the winemaker, leave with a bottle!”
2018 Fiano (Certified Organic)
100% Fiano / $55 Retail
2018 Garnacha (Certified Organic)
100% Grenache / $75 Retail
2017 This Way That Way
50% Grenache / $50 Mourvèdre / $85 Retail
2018 High Road, James Berry Vineyard
60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 20% Mourvèdre / $85 Retail
…and a special MAHA wine
Parmesan-Panko Zucchini Rounds with Mint and Ginger-citrus Aioli
Tarragon-Fava Bean Compote with Fresh Truffled Ricotta on Crostini
Extra Crispy New Potatoes with Smokey Romesco, Bacon Crumble
Pizza Meatballs with Tomato-confit marinara, Oregano drizzle, Scamorza
About the Winery…
The idea of making wine seemed like an unreachable dream when we moved to Paso Robles in 1996. We were brimming with passion about wine and the industry, and arrived with a cellar of inspirational wines from around the globe. We began with our Villa Creek label in 2001, and came to better understand the environment, the process and how the two communicate. Now, with greater knowledge, a clear vision and a deep respect for nature and its influence on making the finest wine, MAHA Estate has gracefully fallen into place.
This is an outdoor event to provide a safe curated experience. All guests will attend together, but have their own designated space at the venue with ample room for physical distancing, and Chef Amy Baer Robinson will provide paired appetizers to enjoy alongside the wines. We ask that all guests respect the personal space of others!