When Aurora and Rick Grimm began their search for a winemaker, they did not have to look far. While exploring numerous producers and tasting through countless wines, they began to discover some of the winemakers who were making lovely wines in a more ‘European style’, something they had grown accustomed to while living abroad. During their adventures in tasting, one winemaker continually stood out from the pack…Paul Lato.
The Grimm’s first met Paul in 2008 when a friend of theirs, visiting from France, asked to visit his winery. They soon found out that Paul’s journey to winemaking was as inspiring as his wines.
Paul’s story is one of the most incredible success stories in California wine. He grew up in communist Poland, later pursuing professional training as a sommelier in Canada. He studied through the Wine and Spirit Education Trust based in London, and took a course at the German Wine Academy. Later traveling to the Central Coast of California, he had no formal training in winemaking per se, but worked two harvests as an intern while studying to become a sommelier. Mentored by Jim Clendenen at Au Bon Climat, and Bob Lindquist at Qupe during those two harvests, Paul was truly inspired, and in 2002 decided to follow his dream to make wine and returned to California's Central Coast permanently. With him, he brought his life neatly folded into two suitcases, and his savings (which wasn't much). In addition to his belongings, he also had plenty of passion, a little craziness, and a certain innocence, believing he could actually become a successful winemaker.
In 2011, Paul agreed to join the Grimm’s on their quest to make exemplary wines of the highest quality from their newly planted vineyard in Happy Canyon.