LEVO wine is located in Tin City, Paso Robles, California. Brett Urness is the winemaker and proprietor there having started the winery in 2011. Although he was not there when we tasted through the wines and recorded the podcast, Direct to Consumer Manager, and very pregnant Lizz Sevin assisted us! (She delivered a baby boy in October, about a week after we were there. Mom and baby are doing well!)
The LEVO building is a very artsy, light and airy industrial building with corrugated steel siding. There is a patio off to the side with a garage-door type window opening.
The Levo name comes from the word Levō – verb – To Raise, Lift, Elevate, Rise
Bret has no wine degree or family history of vineyard managers or winemakers. In fact, he played football in college. He mentions not being able to get accepted into any California Universities that offered enology and/or viticulture degrees so he decided to create his own path.
The vineyard itself is a “small but mighty” 17 acres nestled within 100 acres of oak forest in the Willow Creek District of Paso Robles, California. The Willow Creek district has huge diurnal temperature swings (the daily variations in temperature) – high highs, and low lows and is within close proximity to the Pacific Ocean. Rhone varietals do very well here in this district.
Says winemaker Brett “I concentrate on buying the best fruit possible, mainly focusing on Ballard Canyon & surrounding Rhone vineyards of the Santa Ynez Valley, Edna Valley, and West Side Paso Robles.” He makes wine for people who are “young-in-spirit” (That’s us!) Their production (grenache, syrah, petite sirah and rhone whites) is pretty small (2000-2500 cases) and so most of what they produce goes to their wine club members. For the most part, his production is a one-man show.
Their bottles have a different shape than most other wine bottles which adds to their uniqueness. Bret designed the wine labels himself taking inspiration from the airplane graveyard in Tuscon, Arizona also known as “The Boneyard” or officially the 309th AMARG Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group. He took photos at The Boneyard and then used his artistic license to edit and create his labels, another unique touch.
The Wines we tasted
They were all great!
- 2022 Levo Vineyards Please Fasten Your Seatbelt Rosé ($39 at the winery)
88% Grenache, 8% Mourvedre, 2% Syrah, 2% Clairette Blanche
It was aged in 67% concrete and 33% stainless steel.
- 2022 Levo Vineyards Please Fasten Your Seatbelt White Blend ($54 at the winery)
76% Grenache Blanc, 15% Roussanne, 9% Petit Manseng
It was aged in 62% concrete and 38% new french oak demi muid for 6 months.
- 2021 Levo Vineyards Please Fasten Your Seatbelt Grenache ($65 at the winery)
I’ve been favoring grenaches lately so I was excited to be able to taste this one. It did not disappoint
76% Grenache, 13% Mourvèdre, 11% Syrah which was aged in 12% New French Oak Demi-Muid and Puncheon for 16 months.
Brett recommends decanting this wine for 2 hours before serving.
- 2021 Levo Vineyards Please Fasten Your Seatbelt Syrah ($65 at the winery)
It was aged in 73% New French oak barriques (barriques are typically 225 liters in volume) for 17 months. Alcohol – 14.3%
Decant this one for 2 hours as well.
We loved the levo wines and all their uniqueness as well as the art at the tasting room! If you’re planning a trip to Paso Robles, you’ll definitely want to include a stop here! You may also want to schedule an appointment before your visit so you don’t miss out! For more about visiting Levo, go here.
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