The entire history of Paso Robles can be found within the vines and wines of Poalillo Vineyards. And if you are a Zinfandel lover, then the history will truly resonate with you. Charlie Poalillo began making wine as an amateur in Los Angeles in 1963 while also moonlighting as a famous Hollywood photographer – actually the official photographer of the Academy Awards. In 1973, so captivated by the spirit of the vine, he purchased a small property loaded with old Zinfandel vines off of Willow Creek Road on Paso Robles’s West Side, moved his family north, and started making wine as a professional.
After growing award-winning Zinfandel grapes for other Paso Robles and Central Coast producers for two decades, Charlie launched the Poalillo Vineyards label commercially in 1992, with a focus on estate-grown Zinfandel as well as Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Viognier and other assorted varietals. In 2010, Charlie retired from the business and handed over the Poalillo reins to his winemaker son-in-law Dave Garretson and his daughter Susan, who purchased new vineyards and relocated the winery to Vineyard Drive on Paso Robles’s West Side. Charlie, though, still has a hand in every vintage produced and Poalillo still specializes in rich, powerful, full-bodied Zinfandels grown from those original vines on Willow Creek Road in the heart of the Templeton Gap.