I consider Ranchero Cellars my reward for over a decade of winemaking for every kind of wine company – from the venerable and classic houses of Napa Valley to the enthusiastic Paso Robles upstart. It’s a slightly quirky vision that keeps my passion for wine alive, working with interesting varietals and using both time-tested and cutting-edge techniques. I can do whatever I want however I want, at times drawing on my Davis education, and sometimes taking wild leaps of enological faith. Winemaking is fun again, like it’s supposed to be.
Recently, I’ve made myself known here in Paso Robles for making a particularly elegant style of Rhone wines, especially whites. I relish the challenge of applying a little bit of restraint to the opulent and sometimes obnoxious wines that the Paso Robles terroir seems to produce. But I also love working outside the boundaries of elegance and refinement (enter Carignan…) in order to make some truly unique and remarkable wines. In other words, I like to play.
The Ranchero name honors the spur-wearing vaqueros of the old west, as well as the cowboy kitsch culture of 1950s America. My wine style aims to evoke the pastoral history of early California: old vines and dusty fields, shady oaks and goats and chickens, rusty tractors and wooden fences… because these things are timelessly authentic… and I really like them.
Amy Jean Butler