ANSWER: York Mountain Winery cum Epoch
In the late 1870s, Andrew Jackson York, the first Englishman to arrive on the Central Coast winemaking scene began planting Zinfandel, Alicante Bouschet and the Mission Varietal on a 240-acre homestead. York was a rancher from Indiana and within a few years, found that he produced more wine grapes than he could sell. In 1892, he established Ascension Winery on a hill between Paso Robles and the Pacific Coast, building his winery from hand-made bricks (that he fired on-site) and beams from a dismantled Cayucos pier.
The winery was nestled on York Mountain Road, which was the lifeline from Paso Robles to the coast before Highway 46 was constructed. It was during this time, that York also made wine for Ignace Paderewski from Paderewski's famous Adelaida Vineyard.
Ascension was renamed York Mountain Winery by York's sons after they joined the business. Three generations of the York family owned and operated the property from 1882 to 1970 before they sold the winery to Max Goldman. In 2001, David and Mary Weyrich, who also owned Martin & Weyrich Winery, purchased the property from Goldman and expanded the plantings on the vineyard to include Pinot Noir.
In 2003, the York Mountain Winery sustained catastrophic damage from the Paso Robles earthquake and was condemned at that time. The Weyrich's continued to produce York Mountain Winery wines until it was closed in February 2010 after Martin & Weyrich filed bankruptcy.
Bill and Liz Armstrong, owners of Epoch Estate Wines, purchased the winery and 150 acres in July 2010. The Armstrongs founded Epoch Estate Wines in 2004 and currently operates the Epoch tasting room on the 150-acre York Mountain property. They plan to rebuild the historic winery to house a museum and erect a state-of-the-art winery elsewhere on the property.
If you'd like to learn more about the history of the Paso Roble's wine region, join First Crush for a Paso Wine 101 Seminar or our Historical Vineyard & Winery Tour, May 18 @ 1:00 p.m. and May 20 @ 11 a.m.