Dear Friends and Sextant Wine Club Members,
When Nancy and I began our journey in 2001, it was our goal to channel the essence found within our estate vineyard through every wine we produce. Today, that philosophy continues — our wines are influenced greatly by the terroir of our properties, led by the core foundation on which Sextant was created. As third generation growers, we rely on a deep understanding of how the soil, climate, slope, and orientation of our vineyards can craft a sense of place in our wines. As Robert Mondavi has said, “Making good wine is a skill, making fine wine is an art.” We know that great wine starts with great fruit, and it is key that we own and source from our land to ensure the highest and most consistent quality. We believe in improving our systems, modernizing our process, and adjusting the path for each wine to respond to the natural conditions of our vineyards. While we evolve our winemaking program, we are committed to maintaining the style, profile, and palate that have guided production from the very beginning.
As we navigate forward keeping our vision in sight, we are excited to pair our pursuit with the skill and expertise of Winemaker Michael Fay. Groomed by world-class Duckhorn Wine Company and studied under notable talent on the Central Coast and in Napa Valley, Michael has returned to his local roots to expand a legacy he began long ago. His goal is to take our portfolio to new heights, and with a shared emphasis on clonal selection we are confident his addition to the Sextant family will help us reach even greater accomplishments. He joins us at a pivotal time, and his insight will be integral to the expansion of our vineyards.
Born in Vicenza, Italy, near the region of Friuli, Fay developed a passion for winemaking while studying forestry management at the University of Washington. “I wanted to cultivate a relationship with nature,” he admits, “but my growing love of Pinot made me realize I didn’t want to make paper — I wanted to make wine.” Shortly after this revelation, Fay transferred to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo to study enology and viticulture, taking a role in the vineyards at Cambria Estate in Santa Maria in 2000. He moved on to become cellar master at Firestone Vineyards, expanding his purview to delve into coastal Cabernets and rich Zinfandels, then returned to Cambria to hone his skills under noted winemaker Denise Shurtleff. By 2007, Fay juggled roles as assistant winemaker for Cambria, guiding the growth of their artisan reds, and lead winemaker for Los Alisos Wines, overseeing all aspects of their estate program. Centered on securing the best education for budding winemakers on the Central Coast, he helped oversee the conception and design of the Enology department while teaching at Allan Hancock College. Most recently, Fay led one of the most diverse and expansive programs in California as winemaker for Duckhorn’s Goldeneye Winery, succeeding famed winemaker Zach Rasmuson.
Fay has mastered his craft by making small lot, site-specific wines using old world techniques. He brings a philosophy that closely matches Sextant’s mission, with a central focus of producing terroir-inspired, boutique wines without compromising industry-standard quality. He shares a perspective that complements Sextant’s as well: “My goal isn’t to speak for the wines, but to let the wines speak for themselves.” A tenured leader, Fay knows how to truly inspire and positively influence those he supports, starting with the mantra that happy people make happy wine. When not in the vineyards, he can be found supporting local arts, enjoying live music, playing sports, or splashing around the Central Coast beaches.
It is with utmost pleasure and unrelenting confidence that we have Winemaker Michael Fay at the helm of Sextant Wines-we are humbled, blessed and beyond grateful. Please join Nancy and I in welcoming the newest partner aboard our journey, helping us further our mission in the next chapter of production for Sextant winemaking.
Sextant Wines Locations:
2324 West Highway 46, Paso Robles, CA 93446 • Hours: Daily 10:00am – 5:00pm • Directions: speedfind.com/SextantWines
1653 Old Price Canyon Road, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 • Mon-Fri 10:00am – 4:00pm, Sat-Sun 10:00am – 5:00pm • Directions: speedfind.com/Sextant
If you’re looking for a place to spend the night in Paso Robles, checkout:
The Adelaide Inn is an iconic, locally owned hotel known for its friendly staff and lush landscaping. With spacious rooms and a convenient location close to highway 101 and the event center – home of the California Mid-State Fair – this hotel is a great choice for most travelers.
La Bellasera Hotel & Suites is an elegant boutique hotel nestled in the heart of Central Coast Wine Country. Influenced by Mediterranean and Italian architecture, the luxurious accommodations reflect the aged sophistication of the Central Coast region and the relaxed nature of the California countryside.
Hampton Inn & Suites Paso Robles is nestled in the Central Coast wine region, home to over 200 wineries, beautiful beaches, mountains and diverse attractions. Relax and revive in a comfortable guest room with all you need for a successful stay. You can count on Hampton to deliver value, consistency and service with a smile. We love having you here®
Experience the pristine countryside of Paso Robles Wine Country at Lekai Ranch. Lounge on the porch of your private suite and lose yourself in the tranquility and stunning views of the vineyards and oak studded hills beyond. This vacation rental is located just minutes from some of the most distinguished wineries and a premier olive oil estate, and only 15 minutes from downtown Paso Robles’ restaurants, wineries and shopping.