Yes, wine in Malibu. The grapes for our wines are grown not on the famous beach, playground to the stars and surfers' Mecca, but in a scenic valley four miles inland and 1400 feet above the coastal fog. In 1987 Los Angeles businessman George Rosenthal began planting vineyards at his 250 acre Malibu retreat, but only after he spent two years carefully checking soil composition, drainage, and weather conditions to make sure he planted the correct varietals in the most ideal locations on his property. The work proved worthwhile and Malibu Newton Canyon is now recognized as its own distinct AVA (American Viticultural Area) or appellation. Thirty-two acres of hillside vines are now planted in this unique microclimate, where cool evening breezes temper warm, sunny days.
It's an intense undertaking that requires a labor of love. The slopes are steep and everything from canopy management to harvest has to be attended to by hand. The wines are then aged in French oak barrels under the watchful eye of winemaker Christian Roguenant who strives to bring out their unique character. The reds are vinified with limited intervention to highlight terroir and the Chardonnay is made in a Burgundian style yielding a lightly oaked, crisp wine that complements a wide array of foods.
We invite you to visit us at our Malibu Wine Tasting Room that boasts views of the Pacific Ocean and is an amazing location to relax and enjoy the sunset while sipping a glass of your favorite Rosenthal – The Malibu Estate or Surfrider wine. We are located on the Pacific Coast Highway, just 300 yards north of Topanga Canyon and across the street from the gorgeous and inviting Topanga State Beach. We hope to see you there soon where you can enjoy a bottle of wine and taste the flavors of Malibu for yourself.
James R. Young - Owner Robert Young Estate Winery
Jim Young, the oldest son of Robert Young, learned grape farming at his father’s side. Jim now heads winegrowing for all the family vineyards. He earned a degree from the University of California at Davis in plant science with a specialty in viticulture and enology, then in 1975 returned home to Robert Young Vineyards to continue the family tradition of innovative farming. In 1987, he implemented the planting of six-foot-wide vine rows. To create a more balanced vine, he introduced new trellising systems. “These systems open up the canopy and moderate the vigor of the vine,” he explains. “The larger canopy surface area encourages healthier exposure of the grapes to sunlight, which greatly improves the flavors of the wine.”