Planting in California Soil With Guillaume Fabre of Clos Solène

by Drew Hendricks
Last updated Apr 13, 2022

Legends Behind the Craft Podcast
Guillaume Fabre

Guillaume Fabre is the Owner and Winemaker of Clos Solène. Born in Southeast France and growing up in Bordeaux, Guillaume’s lineage and background are rooted in winemakers and grape growers. When he began an internship that turned into a full-time role as the Assistant Winemaker at L’Aventure in Paso Robles, he realized his passion for the California soil could not be satiated on the soil of France. In 2007, Clos Solène was created on the soil of Paso Robles.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • Guillaume Fabre describes his decision and passion that drove him to create a higher quality wine 
  • How temperature and soil quality can add to the complexity of wine
  • Guillaume talks about growing his first batch of grapes and why persistence is key when starting a new brand
  • How the pandemic changed the winery model for a more customized consumer experience
  • Guillaume discusses the viticulture process of growing grapes and trends in the future of winemaking
  • An in-depth look at growing varietals and maturing barrels
  • How Guillaume is taking an environmentally-friendly approach to wine bottles
  • The importance of a cork when aging wine varietals

In this episode with Guillaume Fabre

Do you have a dream to produce and grow your own vineyard from seeds? How can the environment influence the flavor, growth, and variety of grapes? 

For Guillaume Fabre, he began his brand by leasing rows and building up his Bordeaux-style barrel supply. Now, he and his wife built an estate of their own. Guillaume’s passion for California’s variety of soil, meticulously maintained vines, and cool climate influenced and cultivated his Rhone program. 

In this episode of Legends Behind the Craft, Drew Hendricks and Bianca Harmon sit down with Guillaume Fabre, Owner and Winemaker of Clos Solène, to discuss how the California soil and climate provide rich vineyards. You don’t want to miss this episode as Guillaume talks about his vision behind Clos Solène, how the environment and soil affect the harvest of grapes, and why a winemaker should explore and encourage better environmental practices.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Barrels Ahead.

Barrels Ahead is a wine and craft marketing agency that propels organic growth by using a powerful combination of content development, Search Engine Optimization, and paid search.

At Barrels Ahead, we know that your business is unique. That’s why we work with you to create a one-of-a-kind marketing strategy that highlights your authenticity, tells your story, and makes your business stand out from your competitors.

Our team at Barrels Ahead helps you leverage your knowledge so you can enjoy the results and revenue your business deserves.

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Episode Transcript

Intro  0:03  

Welcome to the Legends Behind the Craft podcast where we feature top leaders in the wine and craft beverage industry with your host Drew Hendricks. Now let’s get started with the show.

Drew Hendricks  0:19  

Drew Thomas Hendricks here on the hosts of the Legends Behind the Craft podcast where I talk with leaders in the wine and craft beverage industry. Today I have a co-host on the show Bianca Harmon, who’s our DTC strategist. past guests of Legends Behind the Craft include Daniel Daou of Daou Vineyards, Joe Wagner, Copper Cane Wine and Provisions in Ken Freeman of Freeman winery. If you haven’t listened to these yet, be sure to check them out and subscribe. Today’s episode is sponsored by Barrels Ahead. At Barrels Ahead, we work with the and implement a one of a kind marketing strategy when that highlights your authenticity tells your story and connects you with your ideal customers. In short, we help wineries and craft beverage producers unlock their story to unleash their revenue. Go to today to learn more. I am super excited to talk to you today’s guest Guillaume Fabre. He’s the owner and winemaker of Clos Solene in Paso Robles. Now Guillaume comes from a family of grape growers and winemakers. He grew up in the southeast of France in the commune of Dearborn and moved to Bordeaux when he was 24. Now Bordeaux offered a lot of new winemaking challenges due to the region’s different climates, soil and varietals. And not convinced the Bordeaux was the place for him. Guillaume took an internship at love and tour in Paso Robles. In 2007, he realized his dream, launching his own brand Clos Solène with his wife Solène Fabre. Welcome to the show Guillaume.

Guillaume Fabre  1:43  

Welcome. Thank you guys. Thank you for having me.

Drew Hendricks  1:46  

Oh, thank you so much for being on. So, Guillaume, tell tell me about this. How you got from Bordeaux to Paso and found Clos Solène.

Guillaume Fabre  1:57  

Yes. So actually, if we do go a little bit deeper, we say, who was my second home, I grew up in South East of France, Number C generation making wine and growing grapes in longer the museum. Exactly. kobir, which is kind of very close to the military running. In 1999, my dad and my mom decided to sell it and move to Bordeaux. So it was kind of my second comb over there. That’s how we started and

Drew Hendricks  2:25  

why did they decide to move to Bordeaux careers? Beautiful.

Guillaume Fabre  2:28  

Yeah, no, I agree with you. I love beautiful, but I think they were looking for something new. They wanted to kind of funding their own thing because, you know, five generations as quality don’t wait, you know? So, so for sure. But Bodu actually the place where actually I met Solène you know, my wife?

Drew Hendricks  2:50  

Oh, he did. So it was fate.

Guillaume Fabre  2:54  

So it was, you know, a big loss for big win.

Drew Hendricks  2:59  

That’s great. How long were you in Bordeaux.

Guillaume Fabre  3:02  

So although I say that we say only two years. So a very short time because, you know, they sold I was 20 years old. I stayed in longer, darker a little bit to help my dad to sell the estates. I was at school, help him to work on his on the vineyard while he was in Bordeaux launching his new brands. And he sold it in 2000 2002. So I kind of went back to Bordeaux and or three but moved to California and oh for Justin for one year internship, just like you said was Love and Basketball most which I thought he was in Mexico to be I never been and then Google eats and they say it’s actually in California, you know, so was pretty cool. either attend the top of that, which is the sherry on the pie. He was looking French, which was amazing. Because if I didn’t talk English, then you know, that was really good.

Bianca Harmon  4:02  


Guillaume Fabre  4:03  

You know, it definitely right here. You know, one road after another. I had the straight rule every day is that I get to learn 20 words every day. No matter how many hours we were doing during harvest. I can work on my English. So it took me a year to start to pronounce some words and be good and understand maybe five years.

Bianca Harmon  4:24  

Wow, impressive. That’s

Guillaume Fabre  4:28  

been 17 now if I don’t learn English in 17 years, I go back to France maybe.

Drew Hendricks  4:35  

How did what drew you to paso?

Guillaume Fabre  4:39  

I’m sorry, Drew,

Drew Hendricks  4:40  

what brought you other than getting the internship? Did the region itself interests you at the time or you’re just looking for a change?

Guillaume Fabre  4:48  

You know, when my dad told me he was moving to Bordeaux, I said to him, you know if I’m going to take over the business, although I really these times Take a step back and learn English. See what was happening with new world wine. That was back in 2003. At that time, when I start to look forwards, and I was looking for Chile, Argentina, nobody responded through a really good connections, I said, What about Paso Robles? I know, again, Steve and SEO. And we started like that, you know, so I hook up with my phone and say, you know, I love to work with you and say, Okay, come over, he took care of you phone call to say yes. But he said, Okay, let’s do 10 months together, and after you go back to your home, and so we never get back home. You know, we stayed over there.

Drew Hendricks  5:37  

That’s amazing. In your in your wife, Solène. She was in Spain at this time?

Guillaume Fabre  5:42  

Absolutely. She was in Spain. So it was pretty much a year, we were separated. She was doing other things. I was doing mine. And you see, you know, if we love each other, you know, Let’s reconnect and see if we can you know, of course, you know, when you get separated quickly. You see how many how much you love? Yes.

Drew Hendricks  5:59  

Oh, yes, absolutely. So what So you decided to state and pass? So what what what was the driving thing that caused you to stay and pass or your desire to like, create a winery and a whole life and pass up?

Guillaume Fabre  6:11  

That’s a really good question. I think when you decide to state Once purchased a lot of things, you know, where you actually you like the life I never been to us first, which was big, for me was a big take. I was amazed on this country, how great the people were, remind me where I grew up in South of France, very kind of inviting, and, and all of that, you know, was really huge, very inviting and be oh, you know, come to my house. And especially when you French guy come over doesn’t speak English. You know, they’re very helpful. And after the second pass is definitely the passion I have for wine for winemaking and wine growing right away when Stephen st went to grab me to the airport, you know what guy was very longer. Right away. I said, That’s him, you know, dirty. And I came back to the states and I was in love already. I finally came in with the door, you know, open the gates, see the dirt? Kind of the climate, a lot of things definitely kind of reminded me where I grew up. I say, wow, there’s always parts. months, he said you want to stay longer, you know, and you know, as he stands, you know, so I stayed. And I stay tenuous with him. Yeah. Oh, wow.

Drew Hendricks  7:30  

That’s amazing. Now, so talk to me a little bit about like, so there’s Paso and you’ve got Corbiere, the growing conditions, they’re somewhat similar but different to how would you describe the difference between the way you grew up making wine and what you’re doing now?

Guillaume Fabre  7:47  

Yes, so the main difference between the temperature and weed or we say very windy when I grew up in Languedoc, super windy is like, you know, you get those nerve by the winds gets very nervous about it’s, you know, because it’s so windy. Every single venue gets, you know, does that was one thing. The second thing? I think it’s the difference with passwords is the fact we have those shifts, Temperature wise, you know, cool and warm. And we did good. And so for that, I think we can do better on a lot of vitals a different than where I grew up in longer with good also. But I think here we have more potential to do better things in higher quality level.

Drew Hendricks  8:33  

Versus like so you’re more like what would you say that was? One would actually get Khanjan and ganache Eros and you were very worried and you’re on the west side of Paso and where are the varietals that you’re really concentrating on?

Guillaume Fabre  8:50  

It’s a premier St. Ganache, we’re motivated we also do Cabernet Sauvignon. And we do rights such as Olson and Jr. So I’ve done those there with my dad. But I think when I finally moved the one taker we say of that is definitely more meetings for it was huge. And also meeting new people meaning a new area such as Bordeaux because it’s only more or we see colder closer. That’s when people when people start to know you they definitely open the door very nicely and if for long then longer dogs definitely like open right away but some time you know it can close you know and then return you so and the weather I mean Bordeaux is huge on being cooler, rainy recruit for Merlot recruit for cab you know that was actually a good learning experience to see my dad Nicky wine over there helping him a little bit before I moved to California.

Drew Hendricks  9:46  

I would think that’s a very dummy board has a very different growing environment on the on the flatlands and soil and you do have that coat real coastal but passable get some of that coastal wind but you’re still miles inland

Guillaume Fabre  10:00  

Yeah, as you probably know, it’s fast. So, you know, in couple of words, what is pesto pesto is tucked between late San Francisco, you know, some trying to close considering it. And I think what’s great about that, so you have the one who wants planing, splitting the ABA between the East and the West, both can do great things. And it’s novels, I choose to be more closer to the ocean because, you know, definitely more wild hillside, rocky soil. For the runes, such as ganache, you remove it, and you can delete the cooler towards the ocean. It’s some points of getting more complexity to the wine. And that’s big these days big. Yeah.

Drew Hendricks  10:39  

We I was talking to Daniel Daou about that. He’s also on the west side. And it’s such a big, it’s such a big area, it’s hard to describe pasture with just one geography. With the you got the Templeton gap going in there. And

Guillaume Fabre  10:51  

yeah, but we wind from both sides is just for the eye we say is the composition of the fruits. And again, with the water with the weather getting warmer, I think if we can be closer to the ocean is always a bit cooler. You know, because getting warmer, you see what I mean?

Drew Hendricks  11:10  

Yeah, so what I want to shift for one second here and talk to me about you went from an internship to in 2007 founding your own brand. How did you go about making that happen?

Guillaume Fabre  11:22  

So it was definitely a deal with Conan, you know, so the name is after different is the cause of the brand is that is the left story behind and between us too. And I think you know, Thorin are always kind of see me as very eager, eager to start and do things because I’m I can entrepreneur, like I like working. And, you know, I started in 2005 thinking about it in Okay, let’s talk to brands. And in this video, I can do this again. Let’s see, hold on, hold on, why don’t you wait a little more? And then she was right. I’m glad we started oh seven. Because I think we were more ready. At that time. I was maybe six years old. But you know, we were looking for the best blog to start to want. It was Hussin it was white wine. Yeah, it wasn’t red, it was white, because they used to make Roussanne festival unknown. And second of all, their price point of the wine was definitely high your CC dollar bottles, because I knew all the work I was going to put into this wine, you know, from the get go. So that didn’t help to kind of start the brand. And of course, oh eight came right after the big crash. But you know, starting a brand new, you know, at this price point or that he was like, but it’s okay, because it’s a huge question we have. And I think we’re very gather to what the customer and we love meaning people and we love you know, sharing why. And I think that helps have to find a brand, you know, one bottle shared with another and then so we start?

Drew Hendricks  13:03  

Absolutely. Did you start? Did you start by purchasing grapes or getting a contract? Or how did you for aspiring winemakers, how did you go out? And how did you get your first?

Guillaume Fabre  13:15  

Great, great, yeah, the first lot. So we still first batch. We see what’s great about America is this, you know, you can bind foods and make your staff to make wine and we say, you know, and then you can do wherever you want. So in France very different. You have you have to have your own cellar. So to start off brand in France will take a little bit longer now. I think he changed a little bit.

Drew Hendricks  13:41  

Okay. Yeah. I mean, that seems like all the grapes are just purchased and allocated in France. And it’s harder to start a new winery.

Guillaume Fabre  13:51  

Yes, somehow they are located. I think you can start as a small batch. But to be honest, it’s very hard. It’s super hard. And it’s your custom crush. You know, I was lucky enough to find said, you know, you can grab this corner of the state of the winery, you can make your wine. So that’s how I was doing kind of dual work. Oh, that was fantastic. Yeah, you know, pays the bills, if we don’t work, and then selling slowly your brands, you know, and that was I think it was hard because Solène’s pregnancy, you know, two kids in between. But the good thing is we didn’t leave the work. So when I left 11th shoe, closer, it was already 1200 members, we start to have some, you know, definitely some revenue coming in. It was like not like from saying from scratch. You see what I mean? You know,

Drew Hendricks  14:39  

when he started coastland did we were you selling directly to consumers, or did you start selling through this through stores and restaurants first?

Guillaume Fabre  14:47  

Yeah, so that was clear. You know, the pact with a sudden we said okay, if we do something, we’re not going to take a loan to buy GSA to whatever. We start small, we buy a ton of fruit we make two barrels. And then when you make some was two bills, you know, it was done because that work for two bills pretty quickly done. Even if the first six years, we were actually renting the rows, and doing all the work convenient to save money, you know, as a buying bicycle, like today it is Nikkor they do all the work for you. So in for five years, the first five, I did all the work to kind of save money, which was great, you know, defensively. But the selling point was like, Okay, who are you what six you allow Roussanne your crazy theory, see what I mean? So, but it’s okay, I always as never afraid of things. And we started to do like a couple really good hotel, you know, serving at the lobby. And so starting at least, that was good. But obviously, is a big thing who started as was actually postvention at Big Sur, we’re really connection with them. And we started to do dinners. And then the main domain is started to be built. And then you meet one guy, you need to sit on guy, you know, after what, 12 years we have solid 20 members now on the wind.

Drew Hendricks  16:04  

Amazing. Yeah, post Perhentian. That’s a that’s an amazing place. Oh, gosh, yeah, I was there once. Awesome. It’s a Yeah, that’s a marquee place to get your wine. And so that was your foothold. And those people can appreciate $60 Now,

Bianca Harmon  16:20  

what are you using these days for your marketing? I’m sorry. Are you using these days for your marketing?

Guillaume Fabre  16:27  

We don’t do any marketing. We just do ourselves? Yeah. All the all the literature’s we do are in the house. We have kind of clear idea of what we want. Well, very simple. It’s, it’s you know, we’re family. And you know, so yeah, I mean, definitely, what am friends who helped me to kind of drink sometimes some stuff? But for the most part, we are doing all in house? Yeah.

Drew Hendricks  16:56  

How many cases are you selling?

Guillaume Fabre  16:58  

We are doing 4500 cases now? Yeah.

Drew Hendricks  17:02  

And most of that is going directly to consumers or throughout the restaurants and three tier.

Guillaume Fabre  17:08  

Yeah, we do pretty much 95% direct to consumer, you know, to both hands, maybe 1% in the markets a little bit here and there. So yeah, I mean, we’re fairly, we do host tasting one on one is very familiar. Hospitality is kind of the route also. And we’re trying to do our best we’re not missing we are the best where we’re trying to do very, our best as much as we can. But we can please everybody, that’s the thing, you know? Well, that’s the

Drew Hendricks  17:39  

thing. If you please, everybody, please no one got to you gotta polarize the people in order to be successful.

Guillaume Fabre  17:48  

That’s the kind of guys they never know. You know, in France, we always struggle to get customers and for me whatever time it is, if you want the guy wants to come taste of course now we have Howard more and more are from the get go. When we started closing we never said no. Because it’s it’s it’s the bread and butter. You know, it’s all

Drew Hendricks  18:08  

about the experience. Yeah. So from that from the start, you always just started the hospitality with the experience and then spread. So when did you move into the the estate?

Guillaume Fabre  18:20  

So Oh, seven was the first year we had the first bottle 14 When we moved out from when I stopped live on through. i At that time, I was making 500 cases. TC we moved in 14 we move I think we start to produce 1000 cases. In the right away when I moved to tin city. Rosie put my heads on the front for a while to get our dream is to get on land. You know, that was seven.

Drew Hendricks  18:47  

That’s when tensity started in 14 right around then. Right?

Guillaume Fabre  18:51  

Technically, I think the downturn didn’t help but technically it started in 2011 doesn’t stop. Okay. Yeah. I think the first brand launched tensity was taurine, Scott Holly Nicaragua. I think those two were the really the first ones you know

Drew Hendricks  19:13  

in the in that area Yeah. There’s a just for the listeners out there there’s an amazing documentary on YouTube about 10 cities site or or 10 city the whole kind of I want to I don’t want to say caught me in but it’s like a marketplace of food and wine and there’s a site or beer wine shops there.

Guillaume Fabre  19:33  

He has made the documentary right.

Drew Hendricks  19:37  

Did that talk I mean did that community help help you kind of grow and

Guillaume Fabre  19:44  

it’s always a welcome easy I think. Say no be totally stupid to say no, because I think we help each other on a daily basis.

Bianca Harmon  19:54  

Has tourists income? Is tourism pretty heavy through that area now intensity?

Guillaume Fabre  19:59  

Yes. Yes. And it’s funny because now we see some pattern of people going on estate mall during the weekends. And you know, maybe it’s a Friday they do three SK, it’s funny how you get some a couple of patterns like that, you know, because it really wasn’t in theory, you know. But that’s yeah. It’s always fun. I love to see who’s getting

Drew Hendricks  20:25  

it is I’ll be going up there a few months from now. And as far as closely with the we talk a lot about the pandemic and how he had to close down your experiences. That is your opening up. Now as we’re going into the summer of 2022. What has it caused any changes in the way you’ve done marketing or winery or had your in person experiences.

Guillaume Fabre  20:47  

So it’s funny how you hear is upon the mix, some people get really injured by the pandemic, some nuts, and you actually tripled what they were doing. Think for us, you know, in what we do in winemaking, and obviously hospitality and, and selling wine to direct to consumer. It’s funny, because what we were doing before COVID actually fit the whole COVID situation in a way that we were all doing testing by appointments. We were all separated groups, and people ask me, How do you do that for COVID? Say, No, we were doing that before, you know. So I think that played on our favor, because we were already set up. You know? Yeah. So that was that was awesome. Of course, we had to do more, we had to be more careful and do more guidelines. And you know, none of that, which I totally get it. So for us it didn’t change. And on the selling point, did it change? I will say it was actually better, because it definitely pushed us to think differently further by keeping the team here at the states. You know, and we had to kind of brainstorm It’s okay, guys, you know, we have to work on this. Don’t want to lose you and coming back into you. And maybe you will not come back. No, you stay here. Let’s do this together. You know. And so we develop things that people have done all over the place like virtual tastings. All those things, I think it really helped to keep the connection with the guests. And that was huge, especially with our members. Because about free release individual, which mean was sending about I think we bought all small bottles, about 4000 small little vials throughout throughout the year. So it was a lot of work.

Drew Hendricks  22:38  

He told me Yeah, he brought bring up a great point, though, about how you were positioned perfectly to not perfectly but you were positioned for your tasting experience to move into this pandemic with a more intimate customer experiences, which is what you’ve been doing all along. I think some of those wineries that have the people three deep at the tasting bar. That model didn’t work anymore.

Guillaume Fabre  23:00  

Yes. Yeah. But the good turn on this, you know, I think they they change their model. Because try the one on one testing, oh my gosh, you know, you can sell more, it’s more private, you know, sticked to, it’s because they saw how beneficial it was.

Drew Hendricks  23:19  

Tell me about your experiences that you offer Clos Solène. That sets you apart,

Guillaume Fabre  23:24  

even experience in terms of the wine.

Drew Hendricks  23:26  

So the tasting experience, like what’s it like to come taste at your estate.

Guillaume Fabre  23:32  

So we have to take an appointments, guest comes in and you have a host that we train in house, of course, the hosts are with us for some time. And so they they go through the story. So the wines, and I think I’m really, really kind of pushy about this with OST is to know the customer who is coming. And you know, it’s basically red carpet for everybody. You know, it’s you know, I think it’s very important for the guests to be good, feeling good. In interview admins that it’s, it’s, you know, kids might throw some Nerf gun on top of it some time. So, but it’s very toward the end customer, and I’m huge on that. And I think we can still do better. But I hate when people are not happy. I want people happy, you know when they come?

Drew Hendricks  24:25  

Yeah. Have you seen that your customer base from 2007? You know, 14 years from now? How is that? How is the customer evolved over the last decade and a half?

Guillaume Fabre  24:35  

Oh, I guess that’s a really good question. I don’t think he changed, you know, no,

Drew Hendricks  24:42  

it’s i i think about that quite a bit because I I’ve been selling wine since the 90s. And I see the young I see a younger group coming in more often now and I see a little bit of the pomp and circumstances being removed from it. People are feeling A little more open. Do you see that at all? Like a little less of that?

Guillaume Fabre  25:05  

Yeah. Yeah, you know, I stayed general when I said, you know, didn’t change, because I keep, I see the people who are already working like, you know, 50 and more, has already worked for so long, you know, someone on the side, so they were buying wine. So that didn’t change, you know, the patterns. But I think the COVID really kind of start to change a lot. You see a lot of now family coming with our kids. You know, much more, I think, because now I really want to get out also. Yeah, but I see this pattern coming still coming. So that’s the first thing we see. And you’re right, the second, I think you start to see a lot of people younger sign to be like exploring about wines, in a good way, you know, in a really good way. So which is very encouraging to, you know,

Drew Hendricks  25:54  

yes, yeah, that’s a good point, let families because back in the 90s, it was really a, you know, you take a date wine tasting, or you be on out on a guy’s golf weekend, and you might go wine tasting, but you wouldn’t, it wasn’t really a family type of event, to head to head to the winery. So I like to see that that’s, that’s where I’ve seen it, too. We go on to the wine tasting more often than I care to admit with, but it is becoming more more of a weekend event for people in their in their in their families.

Bianca Harmon  26:29  

At your at your tastings do allow families because some wineries don’t actually allow family?

Guillaume Fabre  26:35  

Yes, we do. So what we try to do it is maximum group of six to eight. Okay. So basically size sometimes if we reduce, because our permit doesn’t go further than that. So we tried to be very stained on that patterns, you know, so maximum six to eight people coming.

Bianca Harmon  26:55  

And but you will and you allow children, that’s just good for the listeners to hear that. Yeah, if you have kids that are trying to go out wine tasting that they can come to you. So

Guillaume Fabre  27:04  

yeah, so that’s a good question. Also you bring up because, you know, it’s after they come, you know, they they still don’t pay. So how many people is it? So of course, like I said, we try to be very vigilant of that. And it’s, I don’t want with the No, but you know, we always have a room to you know, see what I mean. Totally,

Drew Hendricks  27:28  

probably would rather have a family than a bridal party come in.

Guillaume Fabre  27:34  

Those are really fun, too. We try to find the spots where they can offend. Where, because we do intimate settings. You know, everybody’s on time is absolutely fine. But it’s a matter of when you put people out because it can be louder. And some people are like really coming from I know from Iowa. They meant like six months ago, they know is intimate. And then you have a party close by Oh, see what I mean. You started way back. So it’s just a matter of separating.

Drew Hendricks  28:05  

So somebody from Iowa, how did they find you?

Guillaume Fabre  28:09  

I do. Actually we have quite a bit of people coming from Iowa. I mean, definitely drew, I think in 14 years. And you Bianca, you asked me about this, we never had, I don’t want to say I didn’t want to be cheap on the marketing. But I said, we are going to be limiting our production. And I want to take time to sell this one strongly. I don’t want to be overtime getting 2000 members, because the score of something else. I said, Let’s go slowly, is one but all the time, I always say that to everybody. And they feel is a very is the best way because it’s strong. And you know, it’s you know, it’s it’s the way we did you know? Very good question, actually.

Drew Hendricks  28:53  

Pardon? Oh, just how do people find you from Iowa? I mean, it’s word of mouth.

Guillaume Fabre  28:58  

Yeah, so Exactly. So one button after one vote totally exactly quickly

Drew Hendricks  29:02  

matches out. Kind of jumping ahead or jumping into the future. So a global so we talk a lot about global warming and climate change and how growing conditions are just shifting. How do you see Paso Robles evolving over the next 1420 years? In your winemaking,

Guillaume Fabre  29:21  

that’s actually a sweatshirt 14 years is how to have to ask to see the day I was reading an article New York Times. You know, you were looking at the trends of the Tampa two, three trends it was it was okay if we do nothing is very bad. If we keep doing like well doing well actually in great shape. Or we can even do better, you know, so it’s hard to can project in 14 years, but definitively in France. You know. I remember my grandfather taught me about things that I start to see again, and that thing cycle, you know and so cycle can go and we take care of them. I think it’s a matter of for how to plant a vineyard, that will last a long time. And speaking was a drought, you know,

Drew Hendricks  30:06  

because you got to play it, you got to play it with 14 years in your horizon takes about seven years for them to get where they need to be.

Guillaume Fabre  30:13  

Yeah, absolutely. And in the past of hunting for 100 years, you know, not winning. So I think those techniques that I’m lucky enough to see from my family, but they that in spending more money. So let’s talk quickly about those things. It’s, it’s viticulture wise, it’s pretty easy. You want to ask vine can root very deep, alright? It’s pretty simple. But that you have to choose your rooster, the rooster GF sample grow horizontally doesn’t go deep, or you have some are super strong. In clicker. What do you think one can do with user? So light profile roots will give you quicker find that suffer, because it doesn’t grab the water. And the one go deeper? Quickly will give you a lot of power. A lot of fruits occur, we are always seeking for the best quality and say, Oh, which one quality do you want? You know, it’s okay, I want a small fruit right away, not the big one, the more and how the small fruit will end on 20 years, unfortunately is going to crash. Then the big become very mature. And the excellent photos are four years behind. You see what I mean? I do. So it’s very down to that. So that’s, that’s kind of the base one. We say base two is your spacing. If you have a lot of vines biker, of course, is going to be much more competitions and smaller berries. Do you want that? Maybe we should be more in the middle. I think we’re going back to that. And the point number three is the heights. You know, you have a very tall guy, he will need maybe more food to be wanting something. You know, if you create a vine right away from the planting smaller, you don’t ask much you don’t feed it to be low. We say crap and things like that. You know, you train it’s a train, you know? And the training starts from day one. So if you do the training very well. I think divine will last no matter what’s going to happen. What are you planning it’s in your area in your area in your

Drew Hendricks  32:23  

area. So for Pastor what would you say? Moderation with the spacing. Don’t cram them in there.

Guillaume Fabre  32:29  

Yeah, we say you got Daniel Daou. Recently he has a very special site where he does beautiful cabin over there different soils. Pesto can do actually very well on the cab and Rome. That’s the beauty of it. Yeah,

Drew Hendricks  32:44  

I know for Rhones more than calves that Daniel was very. He’s proven Cabernets work there. I’ve always thought a pasture with with Ron’s beat. He just sent me straight.

Guillaume Fabre  32:56  

So definitely a big majority of the vineyard was planted gabbiani you know, from a to West Side, Money Money side. We see like you said Drew, the road became very famous here because a few people got 100 points. Justin Smith, Stephen SEO, dinner a park I mean, all those cool wines that got very big press Zarya, push past two on the roadmap and Tablas Creek, Debra’s Creek yeah, I forgot to mention Tourette’s you absolutely right. I think cyberscoop was the first one

Drew Hendricks  33:28  

they’ve got Yeah, they’re they’re one of my favorite points I like the softer style there.

Guillaume Fabre  33:34  

Yeah, I agree with you because I think tablets as you know imagining behind you know with with with book SL is very softer wines bring great density with soft I was actually in South Carolina this weekend it was actually a panel with inside nine wines and he was part of it definitely you can feel it and it’s beautiful wines yeah you know in general when was the first one cleansing rapes in bathrooms I mean in the areas right ghost gaming with the first rounds with Gary a belly putting the filthy around a 1975 I think and I think tablets camera well after that and you know launcher and all those people sex zoom and all those people will start to follow and you know luckily for us we can jump on the train already advanced you know yes

Drew Hendricks  34:19  

yes now how would you describe the Clos Solène house style

Guillaume Fabre  34:23  

is definitely like everybody house here you know as a winery basketball rules. I would say my tastes tend to be more to worlds we say someone like to drink on a daily basis some softness ships. I’m sorry.

Bianca Harmon  34:41  

What would your flagship wine be?

Guillaume Fabre  34:44  

It’s obviously wrong. It’s Hommage à nos Pairs Reserve commented with Cuvee Jean. Yes, definitely more buddy. Then the field is stolen on Harmonie which are the more ganache ad of Syrah lighter style because we put For over 150 loads across lines, a lot of large or small winery we are. But we can share a peak to make each wine the way we want, you know, we don’t blend right away, we wait 12 to 15 months before to blend. And we almost do it at the end to be very specific on the profit of the oak. And she’s like, that’s awesome.

Drew Hendricks  35:21  

Have you seen that your house style evolve over the last 14 years?

Guillaume Fabre  35:25  

Yes. Yep. Absolutely. And the big one is, I’m sorry. Go ahead.

Drew Hendricks  35:30  

Is that is that is the house style evolved due to the consumers tastes like with them wanting a different type? Or is that your style of winemaking? That’s kind of shifted

Guillaume Fabre  35:39  

it? No, it’s definitely lucky enough. We’re small enough to we say listen to us and listen, and do what we like to do that it’s a craft. And each one we attack on craft, and they have their own, you know, people to buy that, I think are really the vision I have since 2002 1007. It’s the same in terms of making it the making of it. While I’ve been evolving or changing a little bit, it’s more the drinkability I came friends with knowledge around and then when you’re 23 Oh, you think you know everything. And then I came with everything I can learn with my dad since four years old and start to can do it or say I do my own fruit going exactly do the same thing. And I just got a big wall. Big one. Because you’re in California, you know, a French boy, you know, we are here, not in France. They think he was a big adjustment for five years. So I adjust my the cultural side of it because it’s my definitely first passion is making great fruits. And from 14 years ago to today is 12 less alcohol, the same concentration with less alcohol. Don’t tell me you do it. It’s my it’s my drive. It’s for me is the acidity is the spine. And when you talk about Tablas Creek, I always think about those wines because they have acid, they have beautiful complexity. And they will be in a way softer. And I think you’ll see when you’re in the body, the bottles empty out one are easier to drink and Reagan Reagan and the one are very hard to drink algae for you know,

Drew Hendricks  37:24  

way easier to wake up the next morning drinking a bottle a Tablas. Like a human story.

Guillaume Fabre  37:32  

Different styles I love both of them. It’s but in terms of of making it, it’s tough. It’s tough to make this kind of a softer wine is less alcohol. And contrition is a very tough things and we can do it. It just a little work.

Drew Hendricks  37:51  

Yeah, no, I greatly admire that. Going towards that same just powerful flavor, but without having to like substitute the flavor with alcohol to get what you need

Guillaume Fabre  38:01  

to get get that punch to it. Yeah. And then I don’t know if you saw but so you get you do blind test. You will not notice the alcohol maybe up to the next day, right? But when you taste the wine, I’m sure he has 10 people I don’t think I maybe 14 and a half in but 16 because two people your soil, whether that is actually together, you don’t really feel it. But as a winemaker you know the finest I think I talked about most of finest, the elegance is disturbed there. It’s it’s those sort of hits, you know, even if it’s good acid is still there. And I think what we are really pounding every year and getting very honest.

Drew Hendricks  38:48  

Getting the acids and what about the use or using native use in your wines

Guillaume Fabre  38:52  

or so if you think about the way we are making wine, so 150 Lots, which is usually a lot size for much bigger size wineries. automatically when you have a lot of lots, you want to be really careful because we talked about fruit we buy from the I mean, we have from the States, which we did a lot of planting. So this year, we’re going to be producing 100 percents about 40% of the crop versus the other 60 are purchase fruits. And when you make a lot of lots different vitals. I prefer to cover you know, I won’t say the next word. And then make sure I have east that I’m growing. I’m not going to be you know, not doing bad for the wine and you see what I mean. So I want to be safe. And so I’m using east from the markets. Yes.

Drew Hendricks  39:47  

Just as far as barrels, how are you? How are you sourcing your barrels now?

Guillaume Fabre  39:54  

So I asked one one time one guy in France, I said you know how long it took you to really make your wine It was like a very old house. He said, Sir, it took me four years to read out the barrels, the east. Do you see what I mean? They were I think you have a long way to go. So I’m still, I’m still doing, I was doing much more trying to pass with more Cooper’s. But as we get refined to find this refinance the elegance, it’s it’s the maturity, it’s the alcohol, it’s the east, it’s how much composure and most parties Isabel and Isabel I’m returning now into the details and now I’ve only like three to four Coopers only. Because they give me what I’m looking for, you know, why I think 20 If you can afford that actually you do better with you know.

Drew Hendricks  40:53  

So So uh, barrels are you gravitating towards,

Guillaume Fabre  40:56  

so not to be too much French, French, French side is French, a French

Drew Hendricks  41:04  

nice tight grain.

Guillaume Fabre  41:06  

tight grain, maybe not as tight. But the main thing was, Oh, nobody see some oak are going to give you more. Or we say sweetness, some give you more. And the toasters was playing. But the toast the oak were choosing and forest, we are grabbing forest, grabbing more freshness to the wine. And then seeing more the freshness minerality then having this oak cover of sweetness, and make the one fighter so more to have that freshness again, by seeing oak provenance, then the opposite of do I mean, then the opposite, which is more facts.

Drew Hendricks  41:47  

That’s interesting. That’s interesting. So sourcing or sourcing all your barrels from France right now?

Guillaume Fabre  41:53  

Yes, we are. Yeah, you know, some people are trying to take me on going or look for ways the poram when you put one in barrel, if it’s a trial if it doesn’t work, what do you do with it? It’s wasted. And that’s huge last you know, so it’s definitely something Well, not anymore trying so you know, we stick to what we know if we do try this one bill, but this bill has to be at the power meter I’m looking for and we see how they exempt you know,

Drew Hendricks  42:21  

any different packaging like not box wines, but like beyond just the glass like with all the glass shortages everyone’s kind of reevaluating their their packaging. Have you guys looked at making any changes there?

Guillaume Fabre  42:35  

Yes, maybe do you have a question on what I was talking before

Bianca Harmon  42:39  

I was gonna ask if you were using new French oak or used or what your percentages were on your barrels.

Guillaume Fabre  42:47  

So we use both both neutron and yoke. Now we are down to pretty much size for each of the wines like ganache movie there are more wine out you know on the fruit is very light tannins we go bigger bills like four to five milliliters or even on for serum at the best it was small bills like to carry on in the morning was giving me too much oak and he was covering the serum. So now we move this here on the 303 20 which was that Hogshead of cigar barrels and the Cabinet on the you know as younger they are all tiny they have they are definitely more into 25 Israel’s barrel so smaller barrels and then on the three programs go Nashville they never get New York City where I get to my city Boston, New York or Northlands and then it gets 80% of New York. Okay, interesting. So Mark Mark I mean the packaging three good question. I’m asking a lot myself at this point. Not to factory kind of yes, maybe money is one point but the thing we hear a lot I was talking about the widow in 2015 20 in 2100 I’m How are you saying 2100 100 sensory I mean No, I mean wherever when when that with coming repetitive with all the thing we see with the weather due to what we do today. No, absolutely. Okay. What can we do? You know, we can reduce, you know, some things and I think the one thing we can do is wait our bottles and standing next year watching all the liner bottles, and we’ll be decreasing the wait about 40 percents.

Drew Hendricks  44:40  

Oh, that’s it? Yeah, I was I was I was looking at Janice Robson always has on Twitter. The latest heavy bottle that she found. It’s just it’s just a big waste. Yeah.

Guillaume Fabre  44:51  

It’s the big bottle. It looks so good. It looks good. So, at this point, you have to look okay, Do you care for your child in fifth use? Or do you care for your Luke right now? You know, so it’s so I definitely saw it’s a big hurt because I’m still looking at the bottles. And I have seen here you know, examples, you know, I look at them every day. So what do we do? We don’t do now we pull the trigger, we’re going to do it. And, and the customer, we’re going to save a ton of money on shipping as well.

Drew Hendricks  45:24  

Yeah, 40% weight reduction on the bottle that’s going to add to your bottom line. And also, yeah, the shipping charges. Everybody’s only getting more expensive.

Guillaume Fabre  45:34  

Yeah. But Huck, I hope the customer will understand the kind of train while we’re doing it. Because it’s not definitely the cost, because the button cost maybe be more than last week, when you get his bottle empty. You know, we did an event in Arizona, and we dumped like tons and tons balls. Gosh, I feel so bad for the enviornment because it was like so much waste on the glass, you know?

Bianca Harmon  45:59  

Do you think it will affect the aging of the wine going to lighter? No.

Guillaume Fabre  46:04  

No, because the bottle is the bottle, we keep the cork as great quality as we’re keeping. So it’s just look, you know, that takes in the field.

Drew Hendricks  46:14  

So I could, someone could argue that the thickness of the glass creates the temperature, consistency versus a glass wall. But if your wine cellar is any good, you’re not going to have that temperature variation. Anyway,

Guillaume Fabre  46:25  

you You’re right. But we deal with a clientele who are buying wine and aging and are really careful. Because when you pay, you know, 60 to 150 to 200. You don’t keep your bottles you know, outside, you know. So, so that is definitely one thing. And an interesting theory, at least in in France and all the big castle, the first growth and all of that are looking at do we continue to ship all our wine in wood cases? Because everybody does wood cases in France in Bordeaux, I talked about this survey, and then a few people are changing to Gaston boxes. It’s great to see that is great.

Drew Hendricks  47:03  

Yes. Especially with like maybe the upper upper upper and would do is usually taken out of the one box. Having worked in the wine store, we were always breaking down wood boxes.

Guillaume Fabre  47:15  

Yeah. But as the branding, especially when you start to want to look at the best wood bottles and things like that. So it’s definitely a hard step down that these models but you know, I think we have to do a craft, everybody needs to do their thoughts, you know, to help.

Drew Hendricks  47:34  

I’m all for that. It’ll easier to fit in my wine cellar. Whenever I get a big heavy bottle. It just won’t fit into any of the slots. The labels gets stuffed. Yes, of course.

Guillaume Fabre  47:45  

It’s exactly. Customer to me is my member. So you know, I’m, I’m really tempting to change. I see em as long as the mindset. I’m okay with it.

Drew Hendricks  47:54  

Yeah. There’s something to be said for that. Because most of us do just have those. You know, they just make a certain size bottle hole. You gotta put the bottle in. Yeah, especially in those vino temp type sellers where they have to slap them on a single rack. If it’s this, the bottle is too big. You can’t get the five or six on that row. Whereas if it’s a normal nine with a normal size bottle, you can just set up we can get online across. Yeah. And you read the labels to know Yeah, my labels are unsellable.

Guillaume Fabre  48:27  

And you go to a friend’s Oh, you said don’t take this one because the label was ripped. You take another one. You see what I mean?

Drew Hendricks  48:33  

What about quarks? Are you have you looked at a different court type packaging for the closures?

Guillaume Fabre  48:42  

Now, cookies is the religion that we say it’s like the barrels?

Drew Hendricks  48:46  

I think so too. And it’s one of the most renewable resources for sure.

Guillaume Fabre  48:51  

Gosh, one thing I would never change the clock you know that for sure. You know? Yeah.

Drew Hendricks  48:56  

Yeah, for you know, for wine I’m going to drink tonight or it’s not going to age it’s you know, sometimes it’s nice to just take a screwcap to a picnic. But if you’re aging, I do believe you need a good cork.

Guillaume Fabre  49:07  

I think he’s on my mind too. Because you see a lot of people trying a lot, a few, a few people doing some trial with screwcap. And it just well, it’s just in my head, you know, just can’t do it.

Drew Hendricks  49:22  

I agree. The other trend is the closures. The you know the full cap on pork. Are you guys committed to the caps? Are you going like some of these other wineries that have just taken the caps off there?

Guillaume Fabre  49:34  

To me it looks a little unfinished. Yeah, as it caps for me always will be here. I think unfortunately, a few things cannot change much with these a cap. Because, like you said it’s it’s unfinished. I think the bottle shape people will will you know, definitely the time has changed the chance that something else is like you know, you forget your coat you know, you’ll forget but that was tight. I have you know, I don’t See bad falls or because some as the old style, a respect, but definitely for us like, I need my coat.

Drew Hendricks  50:07  

Yeah, I agree I have I’ve got a few wineries that I collected where they just stopped putting the caps on him. And when I look in the line, so it looks like so maybe, yeah, I can just close the backup again.

Guillaume Fabre  50:20  

But you’re right, USD forgot to put it.

Drew Hendricks  50:24  

I did ask I did ask I did ask. So give them is we’re kind of we’re up and down here what? What else can we learn about you? What have we not asked you about that you’d like to talk about?

Guillaume Fabre  50:36  

You know, I was mentioning about dinner at the beginning. So my brother moved to to America. When was that? 2009? He actually married my old boss daughter from 11th to one we sell orders

Drew Hendricks  50:50  

early. Yeah, we’re working with our note on another

Guillaume Fabre  50:53  

on procure maybe? Yeah, yeah. And so I don’t know. And I, you know, that we are for the family. And I think the two of us are the closest in mindset, the way we are doing things and all of that. And we say, you know, why don’t we do something together? And we love being in 15? Oh, did well. Yeah. Benign, which is actually most commonly used for renewal driven with some spray blends with some Caribbean some more there. So definitely on the end, ganache, and blend with gabbiani. And I think those wines are fantastic. It’s just a different winemaking that I do with porcelain. And that Hello, does all the all the marketing and the sales of the wine, you know, get ready to read you. It’s very terrific to work together. It’s like working with your wife sometime you know, you your head.

Drew Hendricks  51:50  

Yeah, I can I can testify to that. But it always works out for the better. How would you say that? How has it been on mine’s different than Clos Solène?

Guillaume Fabre  52:00  

Already, you have different vitals. So as soon as you put on a dramatic change this title because cabbies tiny, you know. So, that’s how can you make a cameo in the movie two worlds old style gabbiani like old word, never. You know, it’s I think of tweak to do it. And people ask me all why so different. You know, I’m a huge lover of chemical Weinger. You know, we can do things differently. You take a painter he does 20 different paints. You don’t ask him why is different is because on his on his belly, I mean, on his inside of him. He hasn’t kept doing things is just like it’s a passion. And also, as I was trying to push with being, you know, different Machiavelli. And that’s how we do it, you know, different winemaking techniques and Clos Solène? And he came very naturally, you know, we try hard to make another one. It was just natural, which was actually the beauty of it. Yes, yeah. So, I mean, aside from that, you know, we’re just going to look at the phase three of Clos Solène, which, you know, buys the state planting, which that I knew. And but when we bought Clos Solène, we we knew it was small. So we’re going to extend the wine. We were building a key starting this year. Yeah. Be pretty cool to see in the next couple of years. Yeah. So.

Drew Hendricks  53:36  

That’s great. So Guillaume, where can people find out more about you and your wines,

Guillaume Fabre  53:40  

I always use the website is the only way unsorted, you can buy why? Because we don’t have enough. Well, not so much on social media, because that’s something that’s I was always on the fence, maybe it’s a bad thing on me. Because nutrition or all fish, social media and things like that. But I’m not somebody who like to kind of throw things on social media. So you will see us some time, we’ll promise we can do maybe a little bit better, you know, as much as we can. But after you know the tests will only be the best way you know, Tality taken appointments and this and that you will be really on the ambience of the other wineries. You know, mix, meet a few people get my son’s Nerf gun on the bag sometimes.

Drew Hendricks  54:29  

The wedding one maker. That’s great. Well, Guillaume, such a great, so great to hear your story. Thank you so much for joining us.

Guillaume Fabre  54:41  

No, thank you Drew. I hope I didn’t talk too much was Thank you, Bianca for reaching out.

Drew Hendricks  54:47  

Your quest for harmony and Clos Solène and branching out into wine it’s just fascinating. Thank you. Have a great day. Thank you.

Guillaume Fabre  54:57  

Thank you so much. Thank you guys.

Outro  55:06  

Thanks for listening to the Legends Behind the Craft podcast. We’ll see you again next time and be sure to click Subscribe to get future episodes.