To mark the milestone, the award-winning family winery in Paso Robles is officially reopening its winery for reserved tasting appointments
May 10, 2021 (Paso Robles, Calif.) – In the late 1990s, Kevin Jussila was making wine out of his basement and tending an acre-plus of Syrah vines he planted in his yard outside of Los Angeles. Fast forward to today, and his kukkula winery in Paso Robles is celebrated the world over as one of California’s premier producers of estate Rhône-style wines and a beacon of sustainable farming.
kukkula is marking the anniversary by reopening its winery to the public and is officially taking reservations for safe-distanced tastings.
Since their first release in 2006, kukkula has earned dozens of awards and consistently high scores. Among the accolades, Wine + Spirits Magazine named kukkula’s wine, Aatto, a top-100 wine in the world in 2018, Wine Spectator honored the winery’s modern and sustainable architecture, and in 2020, kukkula won top winery of the year at Finland’s largest annual wine competition.
Kevin and Paula Jussila moved to Paso’s famed Adelaida District AVA in 2004 and began planting their organic dry-farmed estate vineyard and building their winery and home – stone by stone – on the property. In 2006, they officially opened their estate winery.
Kukkula means “the hill,” or “high place,” in Finnish. The winery name, and most of the wines in kukkula’s portfolio bear Finnish names, and are a celebration of Jussila’s roots. Jussila’s parents emigrated from Finland. His mom grew up in Northern Ontario, Canada where his dad first emigrated from Finland, before moving to California over a decade later. Kevin’s first language was Finnish.
And while the name is unique, what wowed the wine world and continues to grow kukkula’s loyal following began with Jussila’s bold decision to dry-farm his estate vineyard.
“Because our hilly and steep estate vineyard is so similar to the terroir of Rhône region of France, we wanted to be true to the Old World dry-farming practices, farm organically, and just be good stewards of our land.” says Jussila, kukkula’s Founder and Winemaker. “Paso is dry and gets hot in the summer during the day, so, we did get some concerned commentary about this approach. But, we were determined to make it work. It has paid off, and each vintage has allowed us to get better at delivering character-driven wines of intense aromatics and flavors that are true expressions of our unique terroir.”
Despite the success, kukkula remains a true family-owned winery. Kevin Jussila is still the sole winemaker and if he’s not in the cellar, chances are he’s driving his tractor between the estate’s steep vine rows, while Paula manages kukkula’s wine club and lives up to her self-given title of CER, or Chief Errand Runner.“We couldn’t be prouder of our 15 years,” says Kevin Jussila. “What drives me, and why we do it, is working to get even better and improve our farming and wines with each vintage.”
Kukkula is a family-owned, dry-farmed estate winery in the Adelaida District of Paso Robles, California. The name kukkula means “the hill,” or “high place,” in Finnish, which is the first language of Owner and Winemaker, Kevin Jussila. We believe most of the hard work is done in our estate vineyard. We adhere to this ethos by farming organically and without irrigation, which allows us to craft wines with intense aromatics, flavors, color and that truly express the estate’s terroir. With very little intervention, we allow the grapes to become wine. www.kukkulawine.com.