Central Coast AVA: The legend of Richard Sauret

Oct 2, 2017

Richard Sauret died Saturday night, September 30, 2017, in an automobile accident on Highway 101 and Wellsona Road. He was 82.  Sauret had been in the process of retiring from grape growing.

Editor's note: This segment originally aired in December, 2016. 

Richard Sauret has grown grapes near Paso Robles for nearly 70 years. He lives just a few miles from the house where he was born although, he whispers, he was technically born in a hospital in Atascadero. But that hardly takes a shine off his legend. Pictured is Richard in front of the Zinfandel vineyard he planted with his dad in the 1960s with a painting of the same view.

Ask him what grape he started planting as a kid. Zinfandel. What's his favorite wine. Zinfandel. What varietal made his vineyard one of the highest rated in the world? Yes, that grape.

In this podcast we visit with him at some of the places where he has left his mark farming grapes, almonds and barley around Paso Robles. And Terrence Jones sits down with Victor Abascal, the winemaker of Vines on the Marycrest, about how that name came to be and owning a piece of the legendary Sauret vineyard in west Paso.

Richard Sauret's boyhood home. His father allocated some land for Richard's first planting of grapes in the late 1940s.
Credit Jason Lopez
The old head pruned Zinfandel vines Richard and his father planted in west Paso in 1969. The grapes from these vines have been made into highly rated Zins for winemakers such as Rosenblum Cellars.
Credit Jason Lopez
Sauret is both an icon and a neighbor. He's helped many vineyard owners throughout the county.
Credit Jason Lopez

Standing at the edge of Richard's yard is his current vineyard. Just below the hill in the distance is where his 1969 Zinfandel planting is located.
Credit Jason Lopez