Central Coast, California

In the summer of 1994, Stephen Ross Dooley started his label Stephen Ross at a custom crush winery in Santa Maria. By the next year he moved to Talley Vineyards to make his wines and in 1998 moved to Courtside Cellars in the Edna Valley — a large custom crush winery that Dooley designed and helped establish. In 2001 he developed an estate vineyard planted exclusively to Pinot Noir in partnership with Talley Vineyards called Stone Corral Vineyard; it is located in the Edna Valley, a designated American Viticultural Area (AVA). Home to several well-known vineyards, the Edna Valley exemplifies the characteristic microclimate and geologic features, which are the hallmark of the south central coast; an east-west valley, which mitigates its temperate climate with cooling, ocean-borne breezes. This provides a long growing season ideal for the development of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Petite Sirah grapes. More recently, in 2005 he invested in new winemaking equipment and moved back to Santa Maria where he leased a winery building to make his wine directly under his control. In 2008 Stephen Ross moved to a new building at 178 Suburban Road, San Luis Obispo for wine production as well as a tasting room. Some Stephen Ross wines are available in keg format. Shelftalkers  Winery Website 
sr-edna-chardChardonnay, Edna Valley
Classic Burgundian winemaking methods were used in making this wine; barrel fermentation, malolactic fermentation, lees stirring, and sur lies aging for nine months in French oak barrels. This is a ripe, rich Chardonnay showing hints of French oak and soft acidity. To the eye the wine is brilliant, clear and straw in color. The nose has spicy nutmeg, brioche, crusty baguette and fruit notes like fresh apples and cantaloupe melon. It is full and rich on the palate with lots of flavor, hints of lemon zest and baked apple pie, finishing with silky textures.

2012: 92 Points – Wine Enthusiast
sr-roseRose of Pinot Noir
The wine is brilliantly clear; very light salmon pink in color. It has very light color from whole cluster pressing at a very slow speed. The nose jumps out and makes a big statement for strawberry…very fruity. It is a gorgeous rosé with refreshing acidity, and very pretty flavors reminiscent of red fruits, watermelon as well as floral notes of rose petals. Serve chilled. Limited quantities.
Final 2006 Ross labelsPinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands
Ripe fruit aromas as well as good structure and flavors. Our Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir is a pretty ruby garnet color and transparent to the eye. The aromas are reminiscent of Bing cherry and raspberry, with hints of sage. This is a pretty wine with a wonderful Pinot Noir expression. It is easy on the palate and finishes with fine silky tannins.
sr-edna-pnPinot Noir, Edna Valley
Solely from estate grown fruit. The wine is quite concentrated in terms of color and flavor, no doubt a consequence of the ongoing drought. The wine has a deep ruby garnet color. The nose is abundant in blueberry and plum aromas, with hints of nutmeg spiciness from the French oak. It is medium bodied wine with impeccable balance, moderate acidity, very fine tannins, and a voluptuous rich finish.
sr-bien-pnPinot Noir, Bien Nacido Vineyard
Bien Nacido is in the famed Santa Maria Valley. Our Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir has a deep dense ruby crimson color, and is transparent to the eye. The nose shows lovely aromas of red fruits, raspberry, and violets. This is a full rich wine with silky, creamy textures and spicy notes of white pepper and juniper.
sr-stonePinot Noir, Stone Corral Vineyard
Stone Corral is our estate vineyard, located in the southeastern portion of the Edna Valley. It was planted in 2001 and is unique for its well-drained sandy loam soil. This is a concentrated, deeply colored ruby-red Pinot Noir. The aromas are similar to blueberry and plum, and there is a touch of vanilla spiciness from the French oak. The mouth-feel is rich and voluptuous with pleasing fruit flavors and lingering fine tannins.
Final 2006 Ross labelsZinfandel, Dante Dusi Vineyard
Dante Dusi Vineyard, in the Templeton Gap, was planted in 1945; the vines are head-trained and dry farmed. This is a beautifully structured and food friendly Zinfandel. It has a vibrant deep ruby red color. The wine is very open and aromatic with raspberry, lavender, and sage notes in the nose. It is nicely balanced on the palate with moderate alcohol, bright flavors, fine tannins and lingering red berry fruit.
flying-cloud-sbFlying Cloud Sauvignon Blanc
Composed of fruit from the Los Ositos Vineyard in Monterey; Oliver's Vineyard, Edna Valley; and Spanish Springs Vineyard, San Luis Obispo. The winemaker describes this Sauvignon Blanc as "Sancerre style from California grapes."
2012 Flying Cloud zin faceFlying Cloud Zinfandel
This Zinfandel was made using classic Bordeaux methods of production: the grapes were de-stemmed and crushed into small stainless steel tanks, pumped-over daily during the peak of fermentation, two weeks of skin contact, lightly pressed with a state-of-the-art stainless steel basket press, and aged in neutral French oak barrels for fifteen months. This wine has a deep garnet color and is just transparent enough to see through. The nose offers an array of aromas reminiscent of cranberry, forest floor, allspice and cherries. It is quite full on the palate, rich and flavorful with lingering spicy cranberry flavors.
sr-flying-cabFlying Cloud Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles
We also produce this small label, Flying Cloud. The name Flying Cloud comes from the small airport, Eden Prairie, in Stephen’s home state of Minnesota. The wine is brilliant and clear to the eye with a concentrated ruby red color. The aromas are a fruit forward delivery of blackberry pastilles, dark cherry, allspice and a tiny waft of cedar. It drinks nicely with a rich mid-palate, good acidity and finishes with fine tannins.
sr-aviatorFlying Cloud Aviator
A blend of Pinot Noir, Syrah and Zin.
Meet winemaker Stephen Dooley: