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This profile was last updated on 10/27/15  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.


Phone: (805) ***-****  HQ Phone
Epoch Wines
7505 York Mountain Road
Templeton , California 93465
United States

Company Description: Epoch, which was founded in 2004, has quickly developed a big reputation for small production, hand crafted, artisanal wines with abundant personalities. We make...   more

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations

  • Founder
170 Total References
Web References
Epoch Wines - Team - Production Team, 27 Oct 2015 [cached]
Justin Smith
After looking for the perfect terroir and settling on West Paso, we needed someone to help guide us in the next phase toward our dream of producing ultra-premium wines. We were huge fans of Saxum wines, so I cold-called the owner/winemaker, Justin Smith. Liz and I met Justin over coffee where we talked about our love of West Paso and great wine, and we agreed to team up to look for the right land, pick the right varietals, rootstocks, etc.
Justin is a Paso hometown hero, and he is involved in all things Epoch: farming, blending, picking, our long term vision, etc. For more on Justin and his history, please read my blog on this website called, "A New York State of Wine", about Justin receiving Wine Spectator's 2010 award for the #1 wine in the world for his '07 Saxum, James Berry Vineyard wine.
Mailing Lists: Excellent California Wine Without The Wait | Zinfandel Chronicles, 27 Aug 2012 [cached]
For me personally, I love Rhone blends - maybe even more so than single varietals - so I don't mind buying both Saxum and Epoch, even though one could argue that there are some similarities in style between the two since Justin Smith is Epoch's consulting winemaker (I believe that was the basis of your question?).
Don, who serves as assistant winemaker ..., 17 Dec 2015 [cached]
Don, who serves as assistant winemaker at Saxum, grew up on his uncle's Highway 46 West property in Paso and was boyhood friends with Saxum winemaker Justin Smith. Now, he splits his time between his duties there, his label Turtle Rock, sister label Westberg (named after his good old Uncle Tom), and his family.
Paso Robles - April 29, 2010, 29 April 2010 [cached]
Justin Smith helped plan further plantings over the next couple of years.
The first vintage of Terry Hoage wines, in '02, was made by Justin Smith, and Justin served as a consultant in '03.
As we tasted through the reds, it was interesting to compare how the wines share some basic similarity to those of Terry's mentor Justin Smith, but also how Terry has diverged from that model to carve out his own distinct style.
Little needs to be said these days about Saxum and owner/winemaker Justin Smith.
Happy to report that success hasn't changed Justin though - he's still the same hardworking, crazy, passionate, slightly goofy guy he's been since I've known him, always a pleasure to visit.
Justin launched Saxum in the early '00s after splitting with Matt Trevisan and the Linne Calodo label they'd started a few years before.
In 2003, Justin completed the current Saxum winery, overlooking James Berry Vineyard.
Justin and his wife Heather run the winery from their house adjacent to the production facility.
As we waited a short time for Justin, who was finishing up with another group of visitors, we admired the stunning Bone Rock portion of the vineyard, right next to the winery and house. This area is planted along a series of curving terraces cascading down the steep hillside. The chalky, almost-white limestone soil was easy to see along the terraces. While the vines in the rest of the vineyard are trellised, the Bone Rock vines are trained on vertical cordons due to the difficulty of trellising along the tight curves.
After a few minutes, Justin came over and welcomed us to the winery. We didn't spend a lot of time chit-chatting with him - just about all of our group that day has known him for some time, and he was on a tight schedule, squeezing us in between meeting with a group of distributors and attending to some family duties with the kids. But we had no complaints as he handed each of us a wine glass and we started right in with some tasting, first of a few current releases, and then moving on to some barrel samples from the '09 vintage. Justin did take the time to show us a special 3-liter bottle of the Saxum '07 "Bone Rock" that he was donating for the HdR auction that Saturday.
As we tasted, Justin told us a little about his winemaking. All the wines start out with native yeast fermentation, though Justin may inoculate some lots if they have trouble getting started. Different wines will get differing percentages of whole-cluster fermentation, and he noted that he'll sometimes destem fruit and add back the stems into the fermentation vessel too. Justin mentioned that recent "Bone Rock" bottlings have included around 60-70% whole cluster, and receive extended barrel aging. Older "Bone Rock" wines tended to include much less whole cluster, around 10-15%. He told us that even with high percentages of whole cluster / stem inclusion, the pH of the wines is seldom a problem.
Justin uses a variety of fermenters, mostly three, four, and five tons in size.
Justin Smith, the young ..., 20 April 2014 [cached]
Justin Smith, the young owner of Saxum Vineyards, clearly helped put Paso Robles on the map when he was awarded the number one wine in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2010.
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