“Look at the poverty of this soil around us and enjoy the richness of the wine.
Between the two, there is the work of man.”
Welcome to L'Aventure
Stephan Asseo, owner and winemaker at L'Aventure Winery, began making wine in 1982, following his education at L'Ecole Oenologique de Macon, Burgundy, France. In that same year, Stephan established Domaine Courteillac in Bordeaux. He and his family later purchased Chateau Fleur Cardinal and Chateau Robin in the Cotes de Castillion, Bordeaux. Over the next 15 years, Stephan developed into an artisan winemaker of fastidious craftsmanship, and gained a reputation as a maverick vigneron. However, his true desire was to be more innovative than AOC law would allow. In 1996, this led him on a quest for a great terroir, where he could pursue his ideal as a winemaker. After searching for over a year among the world's great wine fields, ranging from South Africa to Lebanon, and Argentina to Napa, Stephan found Paso Robles. Stephan immediately "fell in love" with the unique terroir of west side Paso Robles. The rolling topography of the Santa Lucia Mountain Range, the deep calcareous soils, and the maritime influence of the renowned Templeton Gap all combine to produce a world class wine country, with the potential to craft some of the world's greatest blends. It is here, in Paso Robles, that Stephan began his adventure, "L'Aventure".
In order to maximize quality in our harsh terroir, Stephan has established a high density plantation scheme of 2,100 vines per acre. A meticulous regimen of leaf pulling, shoot thinning, and cluster dropping result in benchmark yields of two to two and a half tones per acre. This equates to one bottle of wine per vine. In addition, Stephan's drive for fully mature fruit allows our grapes to fully express their character, in the form of intense, concentrated wines. After the painstaking labor in the vineyard, we continue quality selection by hand sorting the grape bunches as they come in. The grapes are then destemmed, and vinified in small lots, to maintain the integrity of each source or parcel. Thermostatic control enables us to manage premaceration and fermentation flawlessly, with silky, rich wines as the result. Furthermore, aging in French oak, and a minimal racking program contribute much to Stephan's artisan, handcrafted style.
The spirit of L'Aventure is most evident in Stephan's "Paso blends", such as Optimus and Estate Cuvée. Both wines are Cabernet Sauvignon /Syrah blends. In these wines, as well as in our Rhône blend Côte à Côte, the blending of premium varietals increases the authenticity, complexity, and balance of the wines. In this adventurous spirit, we find the future of Paso Robles wines…great, balanced red blends.