When the founder of William James Cellars sets her sights on something, she certainly makes a difference.
Robin Bogue was born into wine. She recalls running as a child through the vines her father owned and managed in San Luis Obispo County. “I have grown up in the vineyard industry,” she says. She earned a degree in graphic design and learned the craft of winemaking through taking classes, asking questions, and experimenting for a decade with different clones, yeasts, and barrels. She also honed her craft by working alongside legends like Signe Zoller of Zoller Wine Styling.
When she launched her winery, she chose the name William James to honor her father William and son James. Robin Strives to make wines that reflect her own persona. Some are graceful, elegant, and delicate, while others are scandalous and rebellious. She playfully uses a characteristic to describe each wine.
Robin puts a lot of energy into getting the wines the attention they deserve. In the first two years alone, the impressive collection of William James wines won more than a dozen awards and accolades from the most respected competitions, including the San Francisco Chronicle International Wine Competition. The 2009 Chardonnay “Blonde & Beautiful” recently won Best of Class in the Central Coast Wine Competition, an achievement that Robin calls “a huge win for me. My personal goal was met!”
Although Robin wears many hats, she works closely with her father Bill, who helps run the day-to-day business at William James Cellars. They primarily produce small-lot Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Grenache, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, Sangiovese, and Cabernet Franc. They’re both committed to continually setting new goals for the winery and have long-term contracts from Santa Barbara County growers to guarantee the consistency of quality in their wines. They’re also working on two other labels, Camino Real Wines and the newly released Billy Jimmy (the rebel son of William James).