The special terroir we have here at Lock Vineyard produces wines that are often described as silky, lush, elegant, smooth and extremely approachable, even when first released.
Lock Vineyard has become the foundation of our remarkable Écluse Wines. Our quest as a grower began in 1997 when we purchased 30 beautiful acres of gently rolling hillside terrain nestled in the prized hills on the desired Westside of the Paso Robles American Viticulture Area (AVA) with such prestigious neighbors as L'Aventure, Terry Hoage and Austin Hope. Our philosophy from the beginning has been that great fruit makes great wine and we knew the soils of Lock Vineyard had the special terroir necessary to produce fabulous fruit. We were excited at the prospect of planting a vineyard that could take advantage of our special location, microclimate and exposure to the northeast, the southeast and the south. Our vineyard is located in an area with an ideal climate for grape growing with high temperatures during the day and cool temperatures at night which is perfect for our fruit to reach their peak flavors. Since the soils in our vineyard are quite varied, ranging from calcareous limestone on the hill tops to areas with clay and loam near the bottoms of the gentle hills, we were able to take advantage of the subtleties of the soils by choosing the optimum varietals to plant. Thus Lock Vineyard came to life in 1998 with the planting of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Zinfandel. In later years we decided to add blending varietals to the vineyard by planting very small blocks (1/2 acre to 1 acre) of Mourvedre, Grenache, Petit Verdot, Petite Sirah, Tannat and Malbec to increase our blending options.
Our first harvest was in 2000 and the grapes from Lock Vineyard became some of the most desired fruit on the Westside. Our winery customers looked to Lock Vineyard for our high quality fruit and specific terroir driven extraordinary grapes. Through the years we have sourced our fruit to some of the most prestigious wineries in Paso Robles including Chateau Margene, RN Estate and Linne Calodo and continue to do so today. Starting out as growers gave us special insight that truly remarkable wine definitely begins in the vineyard. After Steve won several Awards and Medals for our amateur wines, and accolades from friends and family, we decided to "take the plunge." In 2001, we produced a limited bottling of our very own Ecluse Syrah and Ecluse Cabernet Sauvignon to "test the waters." It seemed a natural progression for Steve to go from grower to winemaker. Knowing that the best wines begin in the vineyard, Steve spends a great deal of time there every year.
During the course of a full growing season we are able to pay individual attention to the nearly 25,000 vines that make up Lock Vineyard. The vines are pampered and then stressed when necessary to produce the highest quality of fruit possible given the nature of the terrain and microclimate. We use sustained viticulture practices which involve water conservation with the use of our Elutriate Water System that captures all the water that is used in the winery into a holding tank that produces "compost tea" that is used to irrigate the vines. We also use natural predators for pest control and plant cover crops in the vine aisles to promote the development of friendly insects to minimize the use of any herbicides and pesticides.
Over the course of several years, Steve has had the opportunity to interact with winemakers such as Matt Trevisan (Linne Calodo Cellars), Mike Mooney (Chateau Margene) and Scott Hawley (Torrin). Thus, when the decision was made to expand the Lock Vineyard operation to include winemaking, the knowledge had been laid and friends became consultants.