1987 was an important year for a winemaker named Tobin (Toby) James. Six tons of grapes that a winery could not process needed “a home.” Tobin, an assistant winemaker at the time, asked the owner of the winery if he could have the grapes and make the wine for himself. The owner replied, "Sure kid, knock yourself out." A year and a half later, gold medals began pouring in for Toby's first Zinfandel, the 1987 "Blue Moon." After making his wines at another local winery for a few years, and tasting and selling them out of a wine shop in town, Toby scraped together a down payment on a historic piece of land out on Hwy 46. He built Tobin James Cellars on the site of a stagecoach stop, opening the small winery and tasting room in 1994. Toby fashioned it as an old West saloon, because that’s where he felt at home. Nothing has really changed much; wine lovers are still treated like they are coming home when they step up to the grand 1860’s Brunswick mahogany bar. Lance and Claire Silver met Toby in 1995 during their exploration trip to Paso Robles. Even though there were only 18 or so wineries, they just knew that Paso was a special place for making wines. Toby, Lance and Claire decided to become equal business partners, and for almost 25 years it has been a fantastic relationship with each partner contributing to making greater and greater wines. Only the top low yield vineyards, picked at optimal ripeness create their wines of opulence, grace, and distinction.
We purchase almost exclusively Westside grapes from the finest vineyards in Paso Robles.
First Date Planted: 1985
Last Date Planted: 1985
Irrigated/Dry Farmed: Some vineyards dry farmed. others deficit irrigated
Harvest Method: Hand
Press & Accolades
Jan 2020 | 2015 TOBIN JAMES Fat Boy Zinfandel awarded #4 California Zinfandel
Jan 2018 | 2013 TOBIN JAMES Fat Boy Zinfandel Awarded #1 California Zinfandel
Jul 2014 | 2014 San Luis Obispo County Wine Industry Persons of the Year, Tobin James, Lance Silver, Claire Silver-Tobin James Cellars
2013 FATBOY Zinfandel, 2018 Vivino Wine Styles Awards, Dec 2017, #1 California Zinfandel (https://www.vivino.com/awards/wine_style_awards_2018_californian_zinfandel)
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