A taste of what is important in life, both past, present, and future, will continue to be the reward.
“It’s a girl!” announced the obstetrician. And with those words, William Robert stopped being the name for our third son and became the moniker for our wine. Raised alongside our children in the gentle valleys of the Paso Robles countryside, William Robert Wine represents our rich terroir, highly selective crop management, and infinite patience in the barrel aging. Yes, mother nature did most of the work, but this wine has our fingerprints all over it. And come crush season, you’ll probably notice a few of our toe-prints as well. Cheers.
—The Kirkpatrick Family
Split Rock Ranch
In 2005, we were lucky enough to find a very special 30-acre property on Lake Nacimiento. Our children named it Split Rock Ranch while throwing stones at the shore and noticing how they broke apart. For us, it was all about fulfilling our childhood memories of summers at the lake for our kids, but in a rural, ranch like setting. Split Rock Ranch became our land of dreams—spending quality time in nature with family and friends. Far from our day-to-day urban environment, Split Rock Ranch allows us time to slow down. Board games, long walks, happy hour at Inspiration Point, a roaring fire pit with guitars, lake cruises, and big dinners—it’s all about being together and having a little more time than usual to enjoy each other’s company. Nature provides the stage where memories are made by friends and family that engage with it and each other. From large groups to solo journeys, the ranch exists to nurture us and our relationships.
As the years went by the local wine scene exploded. It was like Napa back in the early days; boutique wineries working hard to produce great, terroir-driven wine. The combination of driving through the emerging vineyard country and the family DNA were too much and the vineyard dream slowly became a reality at Split Rock. The planning started for Split Rock Vineyards in 2007. Testing and mapping were followed by grading and fencing, water systems planning and installation, and finally planting in 2010. The first harvest, a field blend, was bottled and served as our beta testing vintage. But they were our grapes and represented the reality of all of the vision and hard work. Drought, yellowjackets, fire, what’s next? Bring it. Every vintage of William Robert Wines will continue the story at Split Rock Ranch.
Farming is in our DNA. The Kirkpatrick Family has farmed for almost 1,000 years, from the orange groves of Long Beach in the late 1800s, to the watermelon fields of northwest Texas, to the early settlement days in North Carolina, and back to Scotland—the home of the Kirkpatrick Clan in the Dumfries Shire farmlands starting in the 12th century. So it would seem that Split Rock Vineyards was destined, and, like most good things in life, time spent in the vineyard is both precious and challenging. Nature, patience, tenacity, history, community, beauty, and family. The fruit of these vineyards will be shared with all of our dear friends and family. And the trials and tribulations of each and every season and vintage will spark stories to be told around the table, the campfire, the barn party, and the weddings. Each time we sip we will be tasting a year-long marker of man and nature and their constant love/hate and highly dependent relationship. We will be reminded of what is really important in our lives. And then it will be time for the next generation to nurture each and every vine at Split Rock Vineyards, as a taste of what is important in life, both past and present and future, will continue to be the reward.