Cowboy dreams of owning a cattle ranch brought Robin Baggett to Edna Valley on the San Luis Obispo Coast. The cold Pacific wind and soils from ancient seabed to limestone made him realize he was on a frontier of a different sort: a microclimate ideal for ripening sensitive Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes.
Robin began planting our home ranch in 1988. In Edna Valley, much as the soil and the climate come together, the passions of vintner Robin Baggett have converged. The revelation of the valley as a remarkable place for Pinot Noir ignited his zeal to build complex, nuanced and balanced wines of distinction. Over time, his quest has expanded to find other special pockets of terroir throughout California that offer an exceptional environment for these delicate grapes.
A true believer in terroir and the deepest evocation of place, together with his winemaking team, his mission is to discover the best pockets of soil, and through the art of uniting the right sites, clones, rootstocks and farming practices, create exemplary Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays that are the purest expressions of the place from whence they came. Tolosa is the expression of his commitment to spare no effort to craft nuanced and balanced Pinot Noir and Chardonnay of distinctive character to rival any in the world.
Vintner Robin Baggett returned to Edna Valley almost 40 years ago with a law degree and cowboy dreams of owning a cattle ranch like his grandfather. Having graduated from Cal Poly in 1973, he knew the area. He bought a historic ranch in the valley and began running cattle, but the cold Pacific wind and limestone soils made him realize he was on a different kind of frontier – one for world-class cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Being in a region with a grape-growing history that stretches back to the 18th century, when Franciscans at Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa produced some of California’s first wines of distinction, planting wine grapes was a natural choice. Robin and his partner Bob Schiebelhut began planting vineyards in 1988, adding several other historic family ranches in the valley over time. Together with Jim Efird, now retired, they founded Tolosa in 1998. Robin’s passion for wine making was born, and his wine journey began.
Vintner Michelle Baggett began her multifaceted career in the development of hospitality brands before she joined the world of wine. A Georgia native, Michelle’s career designing five-star hotels landed her in Beverly Hills and then Honolulu as a Senior Designer for two of the world’s leading international hotel architectural firms. Her hospitality development background then led her to a position on Hawaiian Airlines’ marketing team and thereafter into a marketing and public relations firm in San Luis Obispo. It was there that Robin and Michelle’s stars aligned.
In 2006, Robin and Michelle embarked on the next stage of their adventure. Together, they founded Alpha Omega in Napa Valley, with the vision of creating world class Bordeaux wines. Procuring prized grapes from the many appellations of Napa Valley, they have established a winery that handcrafts finesse-driven, complex and balanced wines expressing the aromatic profile of the best Napa Valley has to offer.
Intrigued by the idea of creating Burgundian wines that express the same passion for excellence as the Bordeaux wines made by Alpha Omega, in 2015, Robin and Michelle introduced our Napa winemaker to their home of so many years, Edna Valley - and Tolosa. The next chapter of Tolosa began....