Our Story

Tucked in between the rolling hills of the Templeton Gap AVA and surrounded by vegetable gardens and roaming chickens, the new Clesi winery and tasting room will be opening its doors in May of 2017 at 1877 Templeton Road in Templeton. After more than a decade in San Luis Obispo to return to the Templeton AVA is to return to where Clesi began.

Clesi Wines GrapesClesi Wines Vineyard

It was just down the road while working for another winery that winemaker Chris Ferrara and marketer Adrienne Lindsay first met and fell in love, and where Chris first fully realized his passion for exotic varietals while working under legendary winemaker Ken Volk. Today Clesi produces rare heirloom varieties like: Malvasia Bianca, Dolcetto, Sangiovese, Negro Amaro, Barbera, Aglianico, Greco, Montepulciano and more.

Clesi Wines - Chris Ferrara

Like the Sicilian trinacria stamped on the label, the inspiration behind Clesi is a symbolic trifecta. Equal parts legacy, curiosity and culture, Chris brings his Sicilian-American farming roots, love of eccentric varietals and reverence for Italian culture into his winemaking process. Because of this, Clesi wines are elegant, food-focused and meant to be shared amongst friends.

Clesi Wines HorshoesClesi Wines Chickens

When you come to the tasting room, you sit at an ancient redwood slab table and enjoy the wines with Chris and others as friends. This is intentional. While traveling through Italy, Chris and Adrienne had their eyes opened to the concept of convivio – shared life – and embrace visitors in this style. And when you leave, you may have tomato seeds in your teeth and a bottle under your arm whose name you may or may not be able to pronounce – but it will be filled with beautiful wine.

Clesi Timeline

2004

Donning an old family name, our first Clesi vintage was harvested with enough fruit for just 75 cases.

2007

We officially launched the wine club – even without a tasting room.

2009

We got married, celebrated with Clesi wines, and danced to “The Best is Yet to Come”.

2011

We opened the tasting room and opened our eyes to parenthood with the birth of our daughter, Anna.

2013

Another harvest and another baby! Anna was joined by her first brother, Joseph.

2015

We purchased 30 acres in Templeton with an idea for a winery and vineyard—just down the road from where we met while making wine in 2002. We welcomed a third baby a couple of months later, because “overdoing it” has become our mantra. Biagio joined Anna and Joseph, making a trio of future cellar hands.

2016

We built the road, poured the concrete, and erected the beams of the structure. We finally knew that we’d be able to call it a winery and new tasting room in 2017.

2017

We will plant Sangiovese and Montepulciano on our ranch, which is in the Templeton Gap sub-appellation of Paso Robles. More importantly, we will open our “forever” winery at 1873 Templeton Road, Templeton, CA.