Bridlewood Estate


What makes a wine special? Undoubtedly, it starts in the vineyard; but how can a winemaker capture that vineyard in the bottle?

At Bridlewood Estate Winery, winemaker David Hopkins crafts artisan wines that tell the story of California’s Central Coast. “There’s a sense of excitement in the winemaking community here, a spirit of discovery,” says David. “The Central Coast is unparalleled in its array of soils, microclimates and varietals. It’s a winemaker’s dream to be in on the ground floor, uncovering these incredible vineyards.”

David’s wines speak to the kaleidoscope of flavors that unfold along the Pacific Coast from San Francisco to Santa Barbara. With more than 20 vintages behind him, David knows exactly how to find the best grapes in the hidden corners of the Central Coast. He visits the vineyards, gets to know the winegrowers and makes it his business to understand the region’s burgeoning sub-appellations.

Winemaker: David Hopkins

When David isn’t walking among the vines, he’s pouring his passion into crafting artisan wines for Bridlewood. He brings an Old World sensibility to a decidedly New World region, using traditional methods to showcase the terroir of the Central Coast.

For me, winemaking is less about the latest technology and more about taking your time,” says David. “It’s about guiding the wine, and letting it carve out its own path to express the terroir of the region.”

For David, guiding the wine means treating it gingerly, with an artist’s hand. Some of his days start in the cellar at 6:00 AM, when he joins a group of winemakers and enologists to taste through each vineyard lot. They experiment with different barrel samples, blending them together to see how the flavors might develop. It is here in the barrel room at dawn that they get a glimpse of the wine to come. They don’t assemble the final blend until right before bottling, giving each vineyard lot enough time to develop its own unique contributions to the blend.

You have to be patient,” David explains. “We have the luxury of taking our time, experimenting with different flavors until we get the blend just right. For me, that’s the real art of winemaking.”  

Click the links to read reviews of David’s Pinot Noir, Cabernet, and Chardonnay.