2875 Oakdale Road Paso Robles, CA 93446 (805) 237-1600

Hunt Cellars

Musically Inspired Hand Crafted, Small Lot Wines

Hunt Cellars

Musically Inspired Hand Crafted, Small Lot Wines

Press

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Food and Beverage Magazine California Wines of the Year 2015

Five Hunt wines were awarded Wines of the Year in 2015. Read More....

California Cabernet Sauvignons of the Year:

Cab-O

2011 Grand Reserve CabOvation – Paso Robles

California “Other” Red Bordeaux of the Year:

Red velvet

Hunt Cellars 2011 “Grand Reserve” Red Velvet Blend – Paso Robles

California Zinfandel of the Year

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Hunt Cellars 2011 “Outlaw Ridge” Zinfandel Reserve – Paso Robles

California “Other” Red Wine of the Year

Maestro

Hunt Cellars 2011 Maestro

California Port/Dessert Wine of the Year:

2000 Tawny Zinfandel Port

Hunt Cellars 2000 “Zinful Delight” (15 Year) Tawny Zinfandel Port – Paso Robles –

 

 

Video Featuring Owner David Hunt

David Hunt introduces the winners in the Best of California Wines, 2015 edition.

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Wines of the Week: California Rhone – Our Favorite Bottles

Food and Beverage Magazine selected Hunt Cellars Best Viognier and Best Sirah. Read More.....
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Hunt Cellars Vs. Cult Wines - November 1, 2013 Tasting

  • 2010 Viognier Casa Dumetz – 4    vs.   2010 Hunt Cellars Viognier “Twilight Time” – 7
  • 2009 Pinot Noir La Fenetre – 2    vs.   2009 Hunt Cellars Pinot Noir “Imagine” – 10 2009 Pinot Noir Williams Selyem – 0
  • 2007 Merlot “Hourglass” – 8         vs.         2007 Hunt Cellars Merlot “Unforgettable” – 4
  • 2005 Harlan “Estate” – 5          vs.         2005 Hunt Cellars Cabernet “Cask 21” – 7
  • 2007 Bond Vecina – 5          vs.        2007 Hunt Cellars Cabernet CabOvation” – 7
  • 2007 Joseph Phelps Insignia – 3         vs.         2007 Hunt Cellars “Red Velvet” – 9
  • 2007 Zinfandel Seghesio – 0     vs.   2007 Hunt Cellars Zinfandel “ZinOvation” – 12
 

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CABs of Distinction celebrates Northern SLO County’s wine varieties

"CABs of Distinction, one of the newest local wine events, has rapidly taken the title as the most prestigious Paso Robles celebration. The Paso Robles CAB Collective (PRCC), a group of vintners who produce outstanding cabernet sauvignons and Bordeaux blends, organized their inaugural CABs of Distinction event in as little as three months last year. Yet they received widespread support from the enthusiastic wine industry and consumers. Clearly, it was a long-needed tribute in celebration of some of the finest wine varieties grown in Northern SLO County." - New Times
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Wines of the Week: Top Cabernets from the Paso Robles C.A.B. Collective

"Paso Robles is slowly gaining recognition as a premier growing region and the wineries of the C.A.B Collective (the acronym standing for Cabernet And other Bordeaux) are out to showcase the quality of the area’s Bordeaux varieties. After the success of their inaugural CABs of Distinction event and the increased exposure and credibility from Paso Robles being named Wine Region of the Year by *Wine Enthusiast Magazine*, the C.A.B Collective is very excited for their CABs of Distinction event taking place on April 25th & 26th. Here’s a preview of some of the delicious Cabernets you’ll be able to sample at the event (Check out the Merlots, Malbecs, and Bordeaux-style blends , too)" - Food & Beverage World Magazine
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Declare Your Independence with Ernest Hancock - Radio Interview

David Hunt, despite being blind, is a Successful Winemaker, Contractor, Entrepreneur, Inventor, Carpenter, Musician, Recording Artist, Author and more
To listen click here:    final1

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Investor’s Business Daily 2014 - David Hunt Sees Beyond Blindness as a Winemaker by Richie Brand

In the mid-1990s, David Hunt was in a race against time. A degenerative eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa was sapping his vision. The malady that ran in his family — affecting his two brothers and father — had been roaring through David's life since his 20s. Threatened with complete loss of sight, Hunt could have capitulated to the condition — and anyone would have understood. Instead, he found his sanctuary. In 1996, Hunt opened his namesake Hunt Cellars, a winery on 550 acres in Paso Robles between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Today, his company moves nearly 8,000 cases per year of cabernet sauvignon, sangiovese, merlot and other varietals from its Golden State nest, with wine bottles ranging from $22 to $160 apiece. That's a far cry from the outset, when Hunt was an unknown brand with a fledgling enterprise. When he opened for business, his was just the 37th winery in the area. Now the central coastal region boasts 250 such firms. His vineyard operation — and subsequent career as a musician — is an accumulation of a life's work and something Hunt would not be denied. "I do what I want to do no matter if I'm blind or not," Hunt, 64, told IBD. "Our greatest power is the power to choose."
Rise In The South
Growing up in North Carolina, Hunt had one option: hard work. The third youngest of seven kids cut his teeth working for his dad's lumber business starting at age 6 — chopping and stacking wood and generally being resourceful. The Hunt family got by, but that was about it. Living in a small house by modest means wasn't something that captivated the young man with loftier goals. "I learned at an early age that I didn't want to be poor," said Hunt. "I learned to use my brain, not my back, to do things that have a positive impact on your mind and to not dwell on the negative." Reading the books of Dale Carnegie and Napoleon Hill helped teach Hunt about personal success, but it was the "Go West, young man" advice of an earlier author — Horace Greeley — that he ultimately chose to follow. Hunt had always been a music lover and dreamed of a career as a performer, but figured his chances of hitting it big in such a challenging profession were slim. Still, at age 21 he found a possible way into the entertainment arena. Chuck Barris' TV show "The Dating Game" invited him to appear, so Hunt trekked to Los Angeles. The Tar Heel didn't get the girl — and pressed pause on the music gig — but scored big in an emerging industry: technology. When security "went from being a product for jewelry stores and businesses to being needed in homes," Hunt was there to capture some of the windfall. His worsening vision diminished the businessman's ability to read in his 30s, but not his entrepreneurial savvy. In the 1970s he claimed patents for security and telephone line detection devices that would make their way into home security systems and voicemail. After setting in motion a handful of small businesses the following decade while building a cash cushion, Hunt found his calling: "I didn't want to live in the back of a Volkswagen on promises. I wanted to be able to control my future." In his 40s, Hunt shifted gears. He sold his patents and businesses, fled the security game and followed his passion: winemaking. Drawn by the creativity the field offered, Hunt enrolled in three extension classes in oenology offered by the University of California, Davis, in the 1990s. After learning the basics of vineyard management and grape growing, he gave people a taste of his new pursuit. Hunt — whose vision was severely diminished at this point — saw enough in the San Luis Obispo County land to purchase a plot in the central coast and plant his first vineyard in 1996. A public tasting room complete with colonial architecture and picnic space followed in 1999, and a bucketful of awards have come since. Nearly every Hunt Cellars wine rated by Food & Beverage World — an industry publication — has scored above 90 on a scale of 100. Gems include the 2007 Rocket Man Zinfandel and the 2009 Imagine Pinot Noir, both scoring 96. Other honors: • Hunt Cellars 2001 Paso Robles Starving Artist Barbera earned a stratospheric rating from Wine Enthusiast magazine. • Hunt Cellars 2001 Zinful Delight Zinfandel Port won double gold medals at the 2006 San Francisco Chronicle wine competition. • Hunt Cellars 1999 Rhapsody Meritage won a gold at the 2004 Florida international wine engagement. Aside from the cheers for making good wine, Hunt chases his own system of grape euphoria. "I push the threshold of mixing the science with the art," he said. Some of it comes naturally. The vintner relies on his strong palate and heightened senses to compensate for not being able to see.
Fruit Grip
Hunt, who is hands-on throughout the winemaking process, tastes and feels the grapes and smells their ripeness to gain an edge. His dedication and skill have paid off in the form of happy customers. Hunt's wine — which is handcrafted in small lots and receives extended barrel aging — is sold in restaurants like Morton's and Ruth's Chris Steak House. David Weisman, a Hunt business associate and friend for 10 years, knows why the good stuff keeps flowing at Hunt Cellars. "David has a laserlike focus," said Weisman. "He has identified what people want and he focuses on that. He listens to people and gives them exactly what they want, and that's an art. As a partner, I try and stick with people who really know their business, and he really understands his." Hunt also knows his tunes. After the hiatus to get his businesses off the ground, the music maker went hard after his original dream. Result: "Rhapsody in Red," a 12-song album released by Hunt in 2012 that features odes to many of his California wines. Titles such as "Hilltop Serenade," "Cloud 9" and "Bon Vivant" are soundtracks for wine country living. Hunt wrote all dozen songs, plus providing lead vocals and piano. He stages dinner concerts at his winery every couple of months and pairs his album with six-bottle packages of wine, a clever move for sales after his guests have been serenaded with the piano ballads live.
In Harmony
Wine offers plenty of stimulation. Hunt also gets his musical spark from family. The song "Destiny" is named after his only daughter — the winery's Destiny Vineyards also shares the moniker — who was born the year Hunt Cellars opened. Hunt lost his eyesight for good in the early 2000s and has never fully seen his daughter's face. He caught only shades and shapes after she was born. Three tracks are written about Hunt's wife of 37 years, Debbie, who has been his rock. "She backs me," said Hunt. "She is a sounding board and a trooper. She's amazing." Hunt's album has some orchestral hints with touches of blues and soft rock. The message for young people especially strikes a chord with the architect. "Music can change your spirits," said Hunt. "It can be a big inspiration to kids if delivered properly." Despite his blindness, Hunt keeps pushing. In the works is an inspirational CD aimed at adolescents. He hopes to expand Hunt Cellars to reach more traffic by building a new facility and tasting room in Temecula, a budding wine hub between Los Angeles and San Diego. Meanwhile, he works with charities Fighting Blindness, RP International, LightHouse and Stillpoint Family Resources to help those with degenerative eye disease through fundraisers, wine tastings and other events. It's all part of a man who flows with the upbeat: "Everybody is two people — the person they are in the physical and the person they want to be. If you think negative thoughts, you get negative results. Eliminate 'can't,' 'won't work' and 'it's impossible' and replace them with 'everything is possible.' Positive outlooks inspire people." - Richie Brand, Investor’s Business Daily

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Voice America Radio Interview

Turning Hard Times into Good Times with Jay Taylor
"While free market advocates feel harmed and often sorry for ourselves because of injuries caused by government intervention, David’s amazing story should put any of us with self pity to shame. Hunt has been blind since the 1980s, but that has not stopped him from becoming a widely celebrated winemaker, accomplished musician, lyricist, author, successful entrepreneur, investor, pioneer “smart homes,” carpenter, and recording artist. Compared to David’s handicap, we gold bugs should be ashamed of our self pity."
Listen here: final1

Sacbee

The Sacramento Bee 2013 - Blind winemaker makes his vision for award-winning vino a reality

"PASO ROBLES — PASO ROBLES David Hunt asks his winemaking assistant to fetch three glasses: one filled with cabernet sauvignon, another with cabernet franc and a final glass that’s empty. Hunt has no idea exactly how much wine fills the two glasses. Even their densely purple color remains a mystery to him. Though the light in his winery’s lab glows bright and fluorescent, the celebrated Central Coast winemaker sees only darkness."
Read more here

The Examiner 2013

"David Hunt’s story is both fascinating and inspirational. Despite his loss of sight nearly 30 years ago, his story is a reaffirmation of the renaissance man concept of the 16th century. Game show contestant, musician, lyricist, successful entrepreneur, husband, father, vigneron, winemaker and recording artist are among the many titles he has on his curriculum vitae…so far." - The Examiner
To read more please click on the following link. Visionary without vision

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Forbes 2013 - The Diddy of Winemakers: Cross-Promotion For Civilians

"David Hunt was almost a reality television star in the 1960s. At age 21, he was invited to California for a chance to appear on the television program The Dating Game, a precursor to programs like The Bachelor. So he packed up his MG convertible, and with just $35 in cash and ambitions of becoming a musician, he headed west from his North Carolina home to seek fortune and fame.

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LA Weekly 2013 - A Blind Tasting

"David Hunt, winemaker and bon vivant, is having some friends over for dinner and a nice chardonnay. And cabernet sauvignon, and sangiovese, and merlot. Hunt, unfortunately, can’t see the rapt expressions on his guests’ face as they drink the wine. He is blind." Read More

Food & Beverage World, 2012 California Wines of the Year

Food&Beverage World names Hunt Cellars wines in its wines of the year list.
"After two rounds of tastings, sorting through over 100 total entries, we’re finally ready to reveal our wines of the year... The finalists in each category (as selected by the members of our tasting panel who work or have worked in the wine industry) were tasted in flights by non-industry members of our panel as well as a handful of invited guests. Everyone who voted enjoys wine and drinks it it on a regular basis, but certainly are not experts. In essence, they are simply members of the general wine-buying public, and since consumers do most of the purchasing, our thinking was they’d be best suited to pick our wines of the year. Each participant was told to vote for the wine they felt should win each category." - Food and Beverage World
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Wine and Jazz, 2012

Wine and Jazz magazine returns to a look at David Hunt in their October 2012 issue.

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Wine and Jazz Magazine, 2010

"There’s a big difference between a man who is able to see and a man of vision. To see is to be dependent on what’s physically in front of one’s eyes. Sight is much more limiting than vision, which incorporates what a person sees with his heart and mind—his beliefs about himself, where he wants to go, and the path that will lead him there." Wine and Jazz, full article (PDF, 1.9MB)

Wine Enthusiast 2007 Editor’s Choice

93 Points - Hunt Cellars 2000 “Oldie But Goodie” Tawny Port (Paso Robles); $100.
"Really nice California Port-style wine, rich and very sweet, soft and complex, and so easy to drink now. It’s a lighter-bodied style, where the tannins don’t get in the way, and the milk chocolate, cassis, root beer, cola, caramel, licorice and spicy vanilla flavors are simply delicious." — S.H.
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Wine Country This Week 2007 - Cover Feature

“'Who wants to be second place?,' David Hunt once told a visitor who noticed he didn’t display any silver medals awarded.
Spoken like a man used to bringing home the gold.
Indeed, Hunt Cellars in Paso Robles has made a habit of grabbing top honors at wine contests and earning 90-plus scores from wine publications, such as Wine Enthusiast. Hunt, the owner and winemaker, proudly pointed out that virtually every wine sold at Hunt Cellars has won multiple golds, best of class, or scored 90 points or better." - Wine Country This Week
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An interview with David Hunt by Fred Bouchard of Beverage.

"Perfect Vineyards After looking at numerous parcels of vineyard potential property, we eventually (in 1996) settled on our uniquely beautiful property of over 55O acres in the foothills and mountains of Creston. This area met our criteria for topography, soil composition, unparalleled beauty, and ideal terroirs – its varied elevations and mineral soil composites mirror some of the world’s great wine regions. That said, I want the very best grapes when I make my wines. If my Syrah is not as good as my neighbor’s, I’ll buy his. I’m in the marketplace now for Cabernet Franc. I’ll buy grapes if I can, juice if I can’t."
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Aspen Times – 2004

Turning a blind eye to the art of winemaking

"Pay attention to how David Hunt pours a glass of wine this weekend. His left hand will weight your glass so he doesn’t overfill it; his right hand will be just at the mouth of the bottle, making sure he doesn’t miss the glass altogether. Hunt sees dark shadows and bright light, but has otherwise lost his sight due to a gradual deterioration of his retina." - By Naomi Havlen, Aspen Times Read More

americanwinesociety

Recent Events in Review: Gold is Discovered

John Marshall Chapter, March 2003
February 22-23 ~ 4th Annual DC International Wine & Food Festival ~ DC Convention Center.
"The most impressive new winery was Hunt Cellars of Paso Robles CA. Owner-president and winemaker David Hunt may have been a musician and inventor before turning to winemaking, but obviously he has the golden touch. (Even David’s lovely wife Deborah added to the experience by demonstrating extensive knowledge and a refined palate.) Hunt Cellars red wines are huge and gorgeous. David likes to think of them as “in your face,” but clearly in a pleasant sort of way. None of the Winecounsel writers who were lucky enough to taste them would disagree. Wine Enthusiast has awarded 90+ points to earlier Hunt vintages, so certainly it was not dumb luck that had Bob Dierker (Director, VA Wine Institute) turning cartwheels."
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VCInside

Que Sera Sera – A Life As Rhapsody

An extensive insight into David’s life work by Brett Johnson of Inside VC (now the Ventura County Star).

"David Hunt went into winemaking following previous successes in music and as an entrepreneur. Now, he says, “it’s all about the wine.” SWEET LIFE: What will be has been for vintner David Hunt, who brings light to a world that is growing darker. The kid who used to bump into trees while trick-or-treating came west to California in the 1970s as a starry-eyed musician and wound up in the grapes of success, even as his world view became hopelessly stuck on a dimmer switch. But David Hunt has always found a way to turn on the lights again – he even found a way to do it just by walking down the hall. His is the story of how one thing leads to another, sometimes forced by what he calls his “inconvenience,” sometimes due to his enterprise." Download the Full Article (PDF, 856KB)