Old World Roots, New World Wines
If you haven’t already noticed, Opolo features a little “Balkan” flair as evidenced in our bold wines, welcoming hospitality and flavorful cuisine.
Indeed, winery owners Rick Quinn and David Nichols choose to emphasize the hearty, festive spirit of the Balkans as a nod to Rick’s family heritage and deep roots in that region.
“I grew up in an Italian, Serbian and Croatian neighborhood in Duluth, Minnesota where English was not my first language,” Rick says. “Just about everyone loved making ‘backyard’ wine, and our families would order grapes that were delivered from California in a boxcar. By the time we got the fruit, it was already fermenting!”
After moving to California as an adult, Rick continued his love of wine and winemaking as a hobby, eventually buying a Westside Paso Robles vineyard property so that he could source all of the grape varieties he loved.
A Taste of Balkan Spirit
Rick later partnered with his friend and neighbor David Nichols, and they acquired more Westside and Eastside vineyard acreage. They conducted their first commercial crush under the Opolo label in 1999.
“Back then, when hardly any wineries were offering food, we started with free samples of our Cevapcici made using the Old World family recipes,” Rick says. Our daily bistro menu today features Balkan-inspired Charcuterie plates. That vibe has also expanded into full-blown heritage-themed parties at the winery complete with dishes like whole barbecued lamb and Balkan-style orchestras, ethnic dancers in authentic native costumes and more.
If you’re an Opolo Wine Club member seeking even more cultural immersion, there’s also a chance to sign on to Rick’s annual Adriatic tour. The next excursion is the “Adriatic Coast” event happening June 14 through June 28 in 2023. Rick will escort 45 fellow wine lovers as they imbibe in the history, culture and flavors of Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia.
Our winery continues to evolve, producing Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Sangiovese, Chardonnay and other wines, not to mention our storied Zinfandels. Meanwhile, our genuine passion for wine and life, borne of our Balkan roots, remains very much alive.
OPOLO CAB SHINES AT SUNSET WINE COMPETITION
We are excited to share that the Opolo 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon earned top honors in its class at the 7th Annual Sunset Magazine International Wine Competition held in Sonoma County.
More than 35 judges composed of a prestigious mix of winemakers, journalists and wine trade professionals awarded our 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon with 98 points and a Double Gold medal for the “Best of Class” distinction in the category of “Cabernet Sauvignon $20 to $40.” Judges described the wine as having “deep, complex and integrated tannins.”
“Cabernet Sauvignon has long been a part of our portfolio, and it is now coming on strong for us as recognition for Paso Cabs continues to grow,” says Opolo co-owner David Nichols.
Adds co-owner Rick Quinn, “We have some new vineyards coming on line that will continue to take our Cabernet program to the next level.”
The Winning Wine
Opolo’s 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of fruit from select vineyards located in three distinct AVAs of Paso Robles, enabling winemakers James Schreiner and Chris Rougeot to create a wine of natural depth and complexity.
The blend includes fruit from our Quinn West estate vineyard in the Willow Creek District, a coveted calcareous-rich terroir in the westside coastal mountains. A selection also comes from a site in the El Pomar District, which benefits from cooling marine breezes that flow inland through the Templeton Gap. Finally, a small contribution of fruit from our estate vineyard in the warmer Estrella District layers in a touch of ripe, fruity dimension.
The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon opens with aromas of black cherry, blackberry foam and smoke. A deep, sleek texture reveals black fruit flavors with hints of black olive, toasted marshmallow, caramel cream and roast coffee. Notes of toasted nuttiness and slight tar join lush tannins on a full, juicy finish.
Visit the Opolo estate to experience our Cabernets, Zinfandels and other artisan Paso Robles wines amid a sanctuary setting—and come hungry to enjoy some of our many food offerings.