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J Dusi Wines
Janell Dusi, head winemaker and owner of J Dusi Wines, has become one of the most respected winemakers in San Luis Obispo County. In 2006, she started her label, J Dusi Wines, and in 2013 she opened her winery and tasting room on the westside of Paso Robles. The story doesn't begin here, however. Janell is fourth generation in the grape farming business. Janell's heritage dates back to the early 1920s when her great-grandparents, Sylvester & Caterina, came to Paso Robles, bought 80 acres along the Salinas River in 1925, and planted Zinfandel. The property became known as the Dusi Ranch and later, in 1967, as Benito Dusi Vineyard. In 1945, Sylvester bought an additional 100 acres west of the Dusi Ranch. This became known as the Dante Dusi Vineyard in 1949. It was Janell's grandfather, Dante, that taught Janell the basics of winemaking.
The first two generations of the Dusi family worked together maintaining both vineyards, harvesting, and selling the grapes. Grapevines were the passion of the Dusis. They did not make wine to sell, however.
Benito became the first winemaker in the family. He made wine in the cellar and opened the first tasting room on the Dusi Family Ranch.
Janell, the fourth generation of Dusis, grew up on the Dante Dusi Vineyard property. The Old Vine Zinfandel vineyard was her backyard and the family business. She worked and harvested in the vineyards with the family just as she does today.
Zinfandel is Janell's signature grape in her winemaking. Each of her wines is named to honor a relative or moment in history, her main goal being to showcase her family's old Vine Vineyards through her wines. Janell is farming the land of her great grandparents but as she will tell you, it is truly a family affair. It is said that on any given day, you can stop by the vineyards or the winery and there will probably be three generations present. Janell's father, Mike, now farms all the vineyards. Her mother, Joni, works the harvests, drives farm equipment, participates in the business decisions, and meets guests at the J Dusi Tasting Room. The family has been a supporter of the PRAHS for many years. For this and for becoming a partner with us, we want to thank you all. You care about preserving your family's history, which is also the history of Paso Robles!
To learn more, see @winehistoryproject.org.
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