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The AronHill Vineyard Team

 


JUDY ARON Proprietor 

Fearless Leader, Horse Enthusiast, Winegrower

AronHill Vineyards was born in 1996, when Judy joined the proverbial “boy’s club” of Paso Robles winegrowers at a time when the region was only beginning to make a name for itself. She never looked back. Her experience as a horse breeder had forged a hands-on work ethic that drove her to learn the wine business literally from the ground up. Along the way, she became an early proponent of “dry farming”—a challenging yet rewarding method of winegrowing that conserves water and allows for a pure expression of place. She is also renowned for cultivating a spirit of warm hospitality at the tasting room, where she can often be found pouring wine for guests. “You never know what passion you might discover, and where it will take you. For me, winegrowing began as an unexpected journey. It evolved organically, and has become a way of life. I find true thrill in the process, and in sharing the fruits of our labors with others.”

LUPE LOPEZ Vineyard Foreman & Cellar Master

AronHill Original, Talented Horseman, Vine Whisperer

Lupe started out as a horseman and caretaker here on the property. One afternoon, Judy approached him in the stable and said, “Lupe, I think we’re gonna learn how to grow grapes.” He grinned back, and said, “Okay with me.” Together, they planted the hillside to vines, and with his characteristic attention to detail, Lupe quickly mastered the art of vineyard management. He didn’t stop there. When we started making wines under the AronHill label, Lupe again rose to the occasion and became the winery’s cellar master. “Lupe is incredible, invaluable and a linchpin to our success,” Judy says. “He watches over our grapes like a Mother Hen. I simply couldn’t do it without him.”

 

LISA ORTMAN Marketing  

Industry Veteran, Educator, Energizer

Lisa fell in love with the Central Coast while attending Cal Poly, and ultimately made it her home after stints in San Francisco and Italy. After spending 12 years in the local wine industry, she branched out into education and recently graduated from the University of San Francisco with a masters degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She currently works with English language learners in San Luis Obispo County, while also flexing her wine industry experience here at AronHill in matters of marketing, social media and strategic planning. She enjoys hiking, camping and playing soccer with her three sons. “I love working here because I respect Judy and Kathryn’s tenacity, graciousness and laughter,” she says. “The wine experience doesn’t need to be pretentious. This is a place that feels like home.” Says Judy of Lisa, “She has amazing organizational skills, and she’s great at ‘herding ducks’ and keeping everyone on track. She means business, but always does it with humor.

RICHARD SAURET Vineyard Manager

Paso Legend, Master Winegrower, Dry Farming Guru

Richard is a winegrowing legend on the Central Coast, and has been with AronHill Vineyards since day one. Raised in Paso Robles, he picked his first grapes at the age of seven. At the age of 17, he convinced his father to replace the family’s almond trees with Zinfandel vines. The Sauret Vineyard has since become one of the region’s landmark vineyards, producing numerous renowned wines, including one that ranked 30th in the Wine Spectator’s Top 100. He was named “Grower of The Year” by his peers in 2007. Richard’s wisdom has been crucial in steering our commitment to dry farming and our passion for allowing the land to express its true nature. “I respect him so much for his kindness and willingness to share his vast knowledge,” Judy says. “But most of all I cherish his friendship and his open heart. That’s what’s most important to me.”

 

MIKEL OLSTEN Winemaker

Veteran Winemaker, Grandfather, Adrenaline Junkie

Mikel has been with AronHill Vineyards since day one, and has been making wine locally for more than 30 years. It all began with a failed attempt to make homemade wine. Rather than being deterred, he was hooked. With a degree in biology and a minor in chemistry from Cal Poly, Mikel had the chops to go with his curiosity. He quickly worked his way up in the industry and established himself as a talented winemaker. His winemaking philosophy ultimately proved to be a perfect fit for AronHill: “I like to let the grapes speak for themselves. I guide the wine, but try not to manipulate it. It’s all about capturing a natural expression of the vineyard and vintage.” When he’s not in the cellar, Mikel enjoys playing with his grandson, as well skiing, motorcycle riding and mountain biking. Says Judy of Mikel, “He is so patient and grounded, and he is a great teammate. His ‘less is more’ approach allows the fruit to speak for itself, which perfectly mirrors my vision for AronHill.”

 

 

HAYLEE KOBY Wine Club Manager

Artist, Dog Lover, Winery Cheerleader

Haylee is a seven-year veteran of the wine industry, and her career in wine has spanned production, events and marketing. In addition to helming our wine club, she is a graphic designer who helps develop imagery for our web site and other marketing pieces. Away from the winery, she enjoys renovating her quaint beach house with her husband Dan, and walking their big “dog-child” Bozley. She also enjoys painting and practicing yoga. “What is most attractive about Aron Hill to me is that when you visit, you feel like you are meeting up with old friends,” Haylee says. “There is something so comforting about a place that makes you feel at home.” Says Judy of Haylee, “She is a cheerleader. She is a ‘get the job done’ kind of gal, and she revs our team up.”

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AronHill Vineyards

3745 West Highway 46
Templeton, CA 93465
(805) 434-3333
info@aronhillvineyards.com
https://www.AronHillVineyards.com

Tasting Room & Bistro Open:
Friday - Wednesday (Closed Thursday)

Tasting Room Hours: 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Bistro Hours: 11:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

AronHill Vineyards Map