IntoWine recently caught up with Sunset Ridge Vineyards Co-Founder Linda Stinson to discuss winemaking:

What inspired the name Sunset Ridge Vineyards?

 The view next to our vineyard has a ridge and the sunsets here in Paso Robles are inspiring.

How did your foray into winemaking come about? 

It all started when my brother and husband and I had a dream to grow wine grapes and the rest is history. 

Describe your winemaking philosophy: 

Grow fantastic fruit and use quality barrels and then get out of the way!  We like a fruit forward elegantly styled wine with a lingering finish.

What are your long-term goals for the brand? 

Sunset Ridge Vineyards Petite Syrah 2007 was recently reviewed on IntoWineTV, watch now

To stay small so we can continue to focus on quality.

Why the focus on Petite Syrah?  

We were looking for a varietal to grow that would fit our climate, soils and provide the possibility of a good wine for blending and a stand alone varietal. We also loved Petite Sirah for it's dark rich purple color.  

A hot topic in wine circles is the "Parkerization" of wines. Some people claim his 100 point scoring system has been an enabling factor for consumers as they navigate the endless array of brands from which they can choose. Others claim his influence has negatively impacted wine quality as producers are increasingly crafting their wines to earn a high score from Parker at the expense of making the best wine they can with the fruit and resources they have available. Given this, what are your thoughts on Parker and the 100 point scoring system?

His scores sell wine, so of course some winemakers will chase the scores and others will not.  In the end I think people have to figure it out for themselves.  I have never chosen to submit my wines for a review, because I make wine that I like to drink.  Personally I don't buy wines because of the scores.

Lastly, where can your wines be purchased?

On our website,, and Paso Wine Centre in Paso Robles, Level 4 in Paso Robles, Gather Wine Bar in Arroyo Grande, Cin Cin Wine Bar in Los Gatos, Novo restaurant in San Luis Obispo, Dreagers of Los Altos, and Tastes of the Valley in Solvang.