Stephen Ross Wine Cellars

San Luis Obispo Small Production Urban Winery

"Bitten by the Winemaker bug"

Stephen Dooley

Stephen Ross Wine Cellars hosted a “Tapas at Two”, held in the barrel room of their Edna Valley winery.  Winemaker Stephen Ross Dooley spoke about his renowned small production wines, from their Stone Corral estate vineyard and a handful of other high quality vineyards in the region.  Ross was bitten with the winemaking bug as a teen in Minnesota, and pursued his passion, through UC Davis’s Enology school to a decade of winemaking in Napa Valley.  Founding his own label in 1994, Ross has continued to explore winemaking possibilities from the different vineyards in the Edna Valley AVA.  A stunning 2014 Jespersen Ranch Albariño greeted wine lovers, with it’s juicy acidity, low alcohol, and bright fruit flavors, it was perfect with the grilled shrimp.  The tasting included a study in their flagship wine, the Stephen Ross Stone Corral Vineyard Pinot Noir, the 2011, 2013, and 2015 vintages.  It was fascinating how each wine was slightly different, reflecting growing conditions and time in the bottle.  Overall, the Stone Corral Pinot Noirs are dense and concentrated, with rich dark fruit flavors and spice, balanced by acidity and polished tannins, a truly beautiful wine in all years.