Hill Top Winery History
Family owned and operated since 2006. The winery was started with the intentions of enjoying the country life after a career of creating successful businesses and building throughout California. Their son was about to start high school and showed a growing interest in viticulture as a potential major in college. With a desire to improve on the property by planting a crop to help offset the maintenance costs, and give their son a real life learning opportunity, they decided to plant grape vines. This began the journey into the art of wine making.
In 2009 the owners established Hill Top Winery. The winery operation was approached with great attention to detail. This attention to detail is present in all aspects of the wineries cellar management, vine cultivation and can be experienced in the quality of the wine. Hill Top Winery, its growing portfolio of viticulture related services and wine offerings continue to strategically grow the Southern California wine industry, with a focus on Valley Center.
- We have 10 varietals growing on the property: Reds – Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel, Primitivo, Tempranillo, Grenache. Whites – Pinot Gris, Viognier, & Muscat Canelli. Additionally we source Sangiovese, Mouvedre & Chardonnay from a local family vineyard in Rincon.
- From our North Vineyard we have produced just under 1,000 cases a year. With our harvest of 7 new varietals in 2016 we are up to around 4,000 cases a year.
- Harvest is usually from August-October depending on how hot the summer is – whites come first.
- Barrel Story: All our barrels come from a 5th generation cooper (barrel maker) in France. They own their own forests and just like CA have different regions with different rainfall. The barrels we use the most are a House Blend which blends all three regions of oak giving the wine their color variation.
- All our grapes are picked by hand. We start at about 4am and pick until it starts to warm up…10-11am.
- The ranch boasts many varietals of trees as well including: orange, lemon, lime, tangerine, tangelo, grapefruit, jack fruit, figs, passion fruit, macadamia nuts, mulberries, pomegranates, apples, and persimmon.