I had the privilege of meeting Victor Abascal the owner and winemaker at a tasting a Khoury’s in Las Vegas. His story is an entertaining one. His background was as a sound engineer until he became obsessed with wine. He and his wife Jennifer own and run Vines on the Marycrest in Paso Robles, California with Jenni managing the farm during the week while he continues working as a technical engineer. On the weekends though, you can expect to see him at the winery.
After meeting him at Khoury’s I was intrigued and researched the winery. I came across a wonderful article written by a friend of his talking about his journey in the wine industry. It’s worth a read http://erikaschickel.com/Articles/Article004_Dinosaur.html
To synopsize…He got hooked on wine reading a Wine Spectator..then had to learn more. While running in the neighborhood he grew up in he realized this land that he climbed fences and rode his bike on as a kid, was perfect for growing grapes. So he planted some! The property was actually owned by the Catholic church and the nuns freaked out thinking someone was growing pot! Turns out they knew his parents and allowed him to let the vines go dormant over the winter so he could relocate them. He found another property, continued with his journey and eventually purchased land in Paso Robles. The name “Vines on the Marycrest” comes from his first vineyard. That property the nuns kicked him out of was Marycrest Manor in Culver City.
It was not too long ago that they were doing tastings out of their home. Now they have a stunning tasting room with a patio for enjoying the great outdoors and perfect for live music.
They were having live music on this night at their new tasting room. We watched Victor move about quickly working with the band on the patio, setting up mics then coming through the tasting room inside and adjusting speaker levels. The man was in his element, good music, sound gear and his own wines…he was clearly enjoying himself. In the meantime, Jenni was managing the bar and took very good care of us. We enjoyed the music as it filtered in from outside and tasted through their wines, many of which are named after music they find inspiring.
Enjoying conversation with either Jenni or Victor while having a glass of their wine is really a joy. Don’t miss a stop at this beautiful tasting room, and remember to tell them we say hello!