Winemaker Travis Hutchinson

Travis Hutchinson is the winemaker at Whalebone Winery, along with the helpful consulting from Jeremy Leffert.

Travis moved to California in the late 90's from Texas. In 2006 he and our daughter Amanda met and a few years later Travis came on board the Whalebone team and started shadowing our winemaker at the time, as well as helping out Bob with a lot of the vineyard maintenace. Through the years Travis has learned a lot on the job and has taken all the different winemaking styles (old school/new school) he was taught over the years by his fellow winemakers,  to create something very special here at Whalebone.  We are very excited to have him taking the reins and be able to showcase all his knowledge and talent he has for winemaking.

 

Cabernet Sauvignon

Planted exclusively with Estrella Clone 8, Whalebone Vineyard’s south facing limestone slopes support vines bearing small clusters of tiny berries full of rich flavors and tannins. Our vineyard is comprised of four distinct blocks planted in soils with variations of depths as well as shale and limestone rock intrusions that ultimately shape the character of the wines yielded from them. Our estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignons are some of the last grapes harvested in the entire Paso Robles region, normally ripening during the last weeks of October.

Hand picking at full maturity, which generally completes after short, cooler fall days ensue, assures us of balanced wines fully expressive of our unique terroir. We typically bring our fruit in at 24.5 brix, which keeps the alcohols well in check, and retain ample acidity to assure that the varietal flavors remain lively and vibrant.

Fermentation is done in small vats utilizing a combination of both open-top fermenters manually punched down, and traditional, pumped-over tanks. Each method can add complexity of tannins and/or fruit intensity, depending upon a variety of factors, and the ultimate goal is to fully extract what each lot of fruit has to offer.

Separately fermented and aged, each lot of wine is barreled in top quality French and American oak for 20 months. We carefully select the finest barrels of each lot for our vintage Cabernet Sauvignon bottling, with the remainder blended into a major component of BobWine. Bottled unfined and unfiltered, Whalebone vintage Cabernet Sauvignon offers richly classic Bordeaux flavors in a uniquely Paso Robles style.

Bob Wine

A truly special blend that has captured a wide following of wine lovers, BobWine has become our own “cult classic”. By carefully selecting the softer, more approachable lots of our estate-grown Cabernet for the base wine of this blend, our goal is to craft a solid, fruit-forward claret-style red that ideally expresses the inherent flavors of Paso Robles winemaking. Built around Cabernet Sauvignon, we utilize various top-quality supporting varietals to bring out the bold fruit character, and lush flavor potential in this wine.

Meant for short-term aging and relatively early consumption, BobWine aims to please those seeking a wine with moderate complexity of tannins, and generous fruit character. Using winemaking techniques that bring forward the supple fruit notes, and soften any aggressive tannin influence, we are able to create a synergy of blended varietals that focus upon the great ripeness and solid flavors found in our region’s reds.

Using time-honored techniques for fermentation and barrel aging, we’ve managed to consistently offer this blend from year-to-year in an evolving flavor profile that accents those supporting varietals that perform particularly well in a given vintage. The result is a wine that showcases the best flavors possible each harvest, without any constraints upon the components in the blend. This creates an exciting new buzz as each successive version of BobWine is released, and provides our consumers with an attractive, individualized wine each and every year.

Zinfandel

Widely known as California’s original red wine grape, Zinfandel has been heralded as a truly unique varietal in terms of its exotic, spiced flavor profile and bright fruitiness. As a long-time local favorite, with vineyard planting dating to the mid-1800’s on Paso Robles’ Westside, we have adopted this variety as a welcome addition to our Whalebone red wine portfolio.

Well acclimated to the hilly terrain and rocky soils of our area, Zinfandel develops wild flavor notes of spicebox and bramble-berry that are immensely attractive for early consumption. With our region’s cool nights prolonging the ripening period for this grape, we are able to bring in fruit with balanced acidity and ripe, vibrant flavors. Noted for a hint of rustic character, this wonderful variety is perfectly suited to Whalebone’s casual, country styling.

With an aim to preserve the vitality of fruit-driven flavors and aromatics in this wine, we age our Zinfandel for 18-20 months in mostly American oak, giving this distinctive wine a soft, caramelized note of complexity, and building the resulting wine to a long, round and spicy finish.

Boneyard - Rhone Blend

Our debut vintage, the 2008 Whalebone Boneyard is a fascinating red blend all grown in hillside shale and limestone on Paso Robles’ cooler Westside.  Aged 4 years in barrel, this opaque wine displays deep color to the rim of the glass, an indication of exceptional ripeness.  Opening with aromas of toffee, kiwi and pipe tobacco, the concentration of this wine becomes immediately apparent.  Nectar-like in its viscous fruit richness, this mouth-filling blend exudes flavors of boysenberry, blueberry compote and Red Vines licorice. we know you’ll find 2008 Boneyard to be one of your favorite wines ever

Rancho Deluxe - Boudreaux/Rhone Blend

Introduced to the Whalebone wine lineup in 2015 the Rancho Deluxe is a large varietal blend that displays the beauty of two seperate regions. By blending both the Rhone and Boudreaux varietals together, Rancho Deluxe is able to hold both the dark fruit flavors with subtle hints of mineral notes, as well as bright berry aromas and  delicate tastes of cinnamon and oak. With Paso Robles forever growing and blends becoming more popular than ever, the Rancho Deluxe is a absolute beautiful representation of what magic flavors Paso and us at Whalebone have to offer.