by Fred McMillin
for February 13, 1998

Winery of the Week

Valentine Wine


Cupid was the son of the Roman god of war, Mars, and the goddess of love, Venus. A wound from one of his arrows made a person fall in love.

...P.C., "World Book"

Our winery's name, Arciero, means "archer" in Italian. Our logo features a Roman archer.

...Arciero Winery Newsletter

The Rest of the Story

Not far from where Cupid and his parents were so revered, the city of Rome, Giovanni Arciero quietly pressed his grapes and dreamed of coming to America. Clearly he had been struck by one of cupid's arrows, for he and wife Cristina had four strapping young sons. Ultimately, they did reach America (Detroit). Later, brothers Phil and Frank moved on to California, established a successful cement contracting business, and looked for a place to put the profits. Then Frank saw the rolling hills of Paso Robles that reminded him of his hometown south of Rome, and its vineyards. The Arciero Winery was born! It was 1983.

The Wines

Since I was struck by cupid's arrow many years ago, and still have the same Valentine, I'm serving her an Arciero (arch-ee-air-oh) Chardonnay on Valentine's Day. It's won a number of awards for being a good wine at a good price.

If you prefer a red, critic James Halliday called the Zinfandel "superb." Also, my panel gave high marks to the Sangiovese, a grape that arrived from Italy about 30 years before Giovanni did. As expected, the winery is showing a deft hand with it.

Just the Facts

Name   Arciero Winery
Location   Paso Robles, CA
Winery Founded 1985
Vineyard 500 acres; widest planted is Chardonnay.
Capacity   Over 100,000 cases annually; 78,000 sq. ft.
Co-owner & General Manager Kerry Vix
Contact & Phone   Renee Wiebe (805) 239-2562


Those Cupid arrows were very reliable. In fact, he pricked himself with one and promptly fell in love with a mortal princess named Psyche. The romance looked doomed, since gods and mortals were not allowed to mix...but luckily, Cupid got a waiver so they could live happily ever after. And that's our Valentine story.

Note: For more about the winery, see WineDays of September 8, 1997 and November 18, 1997.

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College and is Northern California Editor for American Wine on the Web. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.

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