Winemaking Process

About The Sculpterra Wine Making Process


Paul Frankel Winemaker at Sculpterra Winery

Paul Frankel

Paul’s Background:

Winemaking and grape growing is Paul’s passion! From an early age Paul excelled in science, botany, and chemistry, but most of all Paul loves the outdoors and working with his hands. His love for farming is evident in the quality of his wines. He has conducted numerous vineyard and winemaking experiments that have resulted in award wining wines. Paul has studied the Frankel Ranch property during his lifetime and is very well versed in soil types and meso-climates on the estate. Paul grew up on the property and was mentored by winemakers Shannon O’Neil and Jason Bushong. Paul’s father, Dr. Warren Frankel, planted the 125-acre vineyard and built the winery, opening the tasting room in October 2007. Paul graduated in 2009 from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor’s Degree in Viticulture and Enology. While in college he interned at the Cal Poly Pilot Winery and worked 2 seasons at Maloy O’Neill Winery. In fact, Paul took two fall quarters off to make Sculpterra’s wines. His first vintage as head winemaker was 2008 making 19 total tons. During harvest Paul puts in 14-hour days’, conducting the pick, crush and press. Paul was married in 2013 and his first child was born in 2014. 


Varietals made by Paul:

Viognier, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Mourvedre, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Primitivo, Grenache & Petit Verdot


Paul’s Fermentation Philosophy:

Whites-Our white wines are made in strictly stainless steel tanks, offering the freshest and fruitiest taste possible. Viognier, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are whole berry pressed right away and the juices cold soaked for 2 days before first racking and beginning fermentation. Paul’s whites ferment super slow preserving natural inherit aromas. Wines are bottled as soon as possible, usually after 3 to 5 months of tank aging.

Reds-Red fruit is destemmed and cold soaked for 12-36 hours depending on temperature of the “must” and variety. On the crush pad Paul adds untoasted oak granulates, evaluates and adjust the wines acidity and adds color enhancing enzymes. The fruit ferments for one to two weeks before “free run” wine can be removed and skins pressed. The fresh wine sits over night in a stainless tank before inoculation of ML-bacteria and the first rack of the wine into barrels.


Paul’s Favorite Wines to produce

Primitivo, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Rosé


Paul’s Top 5 Sculpterra Wines

2005 Cabernet Sauvignon

2007 Petite Sirah

2008 Cabernet Franc

2009 Figurine

2010 Cabernet Sauvignon “Bentley Ironworks”


Paul’s Favorite Yeasts:

3001, BDX, ICV-D254, ICV-D80, ICV-D21, RP-15, GRE, R-2056, BM-45, Cross Evolution, BA-11 & UVA-FERM


Preferred Fermentation Vessels:

Half Ton, three-quarter ton and one ton macro bins, small stainless tanks ranging from 500-2,000 gallons.


Paul’s Choice of Cooperage:

Cornerstone, Trust, Demptos, T.W Boswell, Vernou, Doreau, Sigeun Moreau, Billon, Damy, AP Johns & Radoux.