Saxum Vineyards

Justin Smith, Photo by Lawrence K. Ho for LATimes

Country of Origin: USA
Location: Paso Robles
People: Justin Smith, Owner & Winemaker
Viticulture: Practicing Organic


Saxum Vineyards is focused on producing Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre based blends from the Templeton Gap of Paso Robles, California. They let the rocky calcareous soils, steep hillsides, and cooling ocean breezes speak through the wines by keeping yields extremely low, picking fruit at the peak of ripeness, and using a minimalist approach in the cellar. Production is kept at 3000-4000 cases a year divided between seven different cuvees, Broken Stones, James Berry Vineyard, Bone Rock, Booker Vineyards, Paderewski Vineyard, Heart Stone Vineyard and Terry Hoage Vineyard. The James Berry Estate Vineyard, is where the Rocket Block, Bone Rock, Broken Stones come from along with the cuvee. The Heart Stone Vineyard is a separate vineyard within the estate.

Saxum's vineyards are all farmed to strict standards. They respect the land and farm it sustainably and therefore no chemical fertilizers or pesticides are used. Everything is done by hand and yields are kept naturally low from the rocky soils and extensive thinning. Because the vine's roots penetrate deep through the fissures in the rock irrigation is rarely needed.

"Proprietor Justin Smith continues to fashion some of the most distinctive and impressive efforts coming out of California today and despite an ever increasing level of notoriety and well deserved praise, he remains incredibly humble and down to earth. While the cooler nature of the 2010 and 2011 vintages show in the wine, there’s been a trend here to pull back slightly on the ripeness and oak regime, with an increasing reliance on concrete, whole cluster and larger format barrels. These cooler vintages have also favored the Syrah heavy blends in the lineup, with the Broken Stones, Booker and Bone Rock showing an added dimension. Nevertheless, you can’t go wrong here and this is one mailing list you do not want to miss!" - The Wine Advocate 8/2013

Social Media
Saxum Facebook