The special terroir we have here at Lock Vineyard produces wines that are often described as silky, elegant, smooth and extremely approachable, even when first released. Our very own Lock Vineyard has become the foundation of our remarkable Écluse Wines. With 24 acres planted to 10 varietals, the special terroir we have here at Lock Vineyard produces wines that are often described as silky, elegant, smooth and extremely approachable, even when first released.
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 incredible 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. Lock Vineyard came to life in 1998 with the planting of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Zinfandel. In later years we decided to add varietals to the vineyard by planting very small blocks (1/2 acre to 1 acre) of Mourvèdre, Grenache, Petit Verdot, Petite Sirah, Tannat and Malbec to increase our blending options.
Our first harvest was in 2000 and Lock Vineyard fruit 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 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. Starting out as growers gave us special insight that truly remarkable wine begins in the vineyard. After Steve won several awards and medals for our amateur wines, as well as accolades from friends and family, we decided to "take the plunge." In 2001, we produced a limited bottling of our very own Écluse Syrah and Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon to "test the waters" so to speak. It seemed a natural progression for Steve to go from grower to winemaker and knowing that the best wines begin in the vineyard, he 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 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 goes back into the vineyard to irrigate the vines. We also use natural predators for pest control and plant cover crops in the rows to promote the development of friendly insects to minimize the use of any herbicides and pesticides.