Contact: Judy Vargus
11300 Cienega Road Hollister CA 90523
Josh made Calera's first wine in 1975, 1000 cases of zinfandel, produced from purchased grapes. In 1977 Josh purchased property on which to build the winery. He chose a 100 acre site on Cienega Road halfway between the vineyard and the town of Hollister. On the Cienega Road property. a multi-level rock crushing facility had been built into the steep hillside in the 1950s. The facility was abandoned before it was ever used for crushing rock, but 20 years later the walls and terraces, with some substantial seismic retro-fitting, (the San Andreas fault lies just 100 yards away) became the heart of Calera's gravity-flow winery. The multi-layered hillside construction has allowed for the gentlest possible handling of the Calera wines. Wines move through the winemaking process by the mere force of gravity, rather than by the use of pumps. Thus began a 25-year-and-counting construction project. In 2002, the winery is state-of-the-art, with barrel cellars built into the hillside, a top-of-the-line German grape press, and an Italian bottling line.