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How to Start a Winery as Imagined by the Owners of Cass Winery & Cafe


How to Start a Winery as Imagined by the Owners of Cass Winery & Cafe

Cass Winery in Paso Robles is celebrating its 10th anniversary on Saturday, May 16th with festivities to mark the occasion and the public is invited! Wine, fun and fabulous food (prepared byCass Cafe’s talented chef, Jacob Lovejoy) will be the centerpiece of the celebration. See below for the details.

For mapping and directions to the winery go to

So how does an idea for starting a winery go from thought to concept?

After 20 years of working as an executive for a successful investment firm in San Francisco, Steve Cass was ready for a change. Even though he loved his job and the company he worked for, the winds of change were beginning to firmly blow his sails in a different direction. Steve discovered the rolling, oak-studded hills of Paso Robles in 1999, and soon thereafter purchased 700 acres of land on the East side, on which he planted 146 acres of grapes. 


But what is a King without his castle? Steve was looking for someone to build his dream home where himself, his wife Alice, and his two children Bryan and Kristen could enjoy their newfound rural digs. Enter one Ted Plemons, a builder of custom homes and boutique wineries (this detail will become important later) who has deep roots in the central coast and had spent 30 years growing his own business. Despite their vastly contrasting personalities, Steve and Ted became fast friends and golfing partners. 

Fast forward to the Summer of 2003, where Steve and Ted decide to take a boys trip to the vineyard-rich country of South Africa. A two week golfing and wine tasting trip is exactly what the doctor ordered for these two after all of their years of hard work in their respective disciplines. In the midst of their trip, being the charismatic and charming fellow that he is, Ted proposed to Steve that they should become business partners, and build a winery amongst the Vineyards that Steve had planted on his land back in 2001. Steve was reluctant at first, but Ted was persistent and adamant that this would be a fantastic venture for the both of them. After serious consideration Steve relented, and the two agreed to start Cass Winery. 

cass-winery2While the idea and the necessary personnel were in place to start Steve and Ted’s venture into the wonderful world of wine, there was still something fairly significant missing; A winery! On the vineyard property, Ted had built a Hacienda-style barn to house the farm equipment necessary tomaintain and cultivate the vineyard. Using his 30+ years of experience in building boutique wineries, Ted transformed the bare-bones barn used to house heavy equipment into a beautiful winery, complete with crush pad, tank room, climate-controlled barrel storage and fully-appointed bar and tasting room! Once construction was completed, Cass Winery officially opened its doors for business in May of 2005. 

Celebrate our 10 Year Anniversary Saturday, May 16th 11 am—5pm 

• All you can eat Tacos (includes wine tasting) $20pp
• Complimentary Fandango olive oil tasting Barrel tasting with Ted Live music by The Sweetwater Trio
• Complimentary taste from our enormous 18L bottle of 2012 Reserve 

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