Vineyard

The property that would eventually become St. Peter of Alcantara Vineyard, Guyomar’s estate vineyard, is located in the western part of Paso Robles AVA, known as the Templeton Gap. St. Peter of Alcantara benefits from ocean influence; the afternoon winds that cool the region during the growing season, as well as the increased rainfall that benefits the westside of Paso Robles.

Richard Sauret, a grape grower since 1952 and one of Paso Robles’ most esteemed growers and vineyard managers, had first surveyed the property that would become St. Peter of Alcantara Vineyard in the 1950s. It was decided at that point that the property was too hilly and steep for planting; harvesting the fruit would simply be too difficult. Years later, when Ishka Stanislaus met Richard at a party, Ishka convinced him to come back out to the property and to assess whether modern grape growing techniques might make the planting feasible.

Richard was sold this time. He felt the soil characterized by rocky shale and climate was ideal for ultra-premium quality grapes, and he was impressed by Ishka's determination to work with the steep terrain. Since the beginning, Ishka has been a faithful disciple of the Richard Sauret school of grape growing.

In 1998, with Richard’s guidance, the Stanislaus’ planted 16 acres of head-trained, own-rooted Zinfandel. In 2005 they added 5 acres of Rockpile (Clone) Petite Sirah, one of the oldest Petite Sirah clones, and a great blending varietal for Zinfandel.  Believers in diversification, and in preparation for Guyomar's complex blends, in 2006, they planted 3 acres of Grenache and 8 acres of Syrah. These are up and coming varieties that grow particularly well in Paso Robles’ westside. The Syrah and Grenache are both head-trained, which is unusual – traditionally these varieties are trellised as they are vigorous and hard to control. By virtue of dry farming, the Stanislaus’ are able to moderate their vigor.

The St. Peter of Alcantara Vineyard is farmed, in fact, on Richard’s philosophy that dry farming is king; that one should grow quality fruit with the least amount of water input as possible, to produce fruit with great character and depth. Because of its unique growing conditions along with meticulous vineyard practices, St. Peter of Alcantara Vineyard is blessed to have never required irrigation.