Growing up on the Central Coast of California, I developed a love of the land and an appreciation for wine early on in life.  In the early 1990’s when Paso Robles had only a few tasting rooms my free-spirited parents would pack a picnic and take me on their wine tasting excursions.  The aroma of the wine and the tasting rooms combined with mom’s delectable picnic were two of the early influences that led me to making wine.

In 2005 I enrolled in a Study Abroad wine program in Italy where I happily roamed the Tuscan countryside in search of amazing wines and their history. Upon my return from Italy I entered The Culinary Institute in Napa to become a certified Sommelier.  I then worked at restaurants in Southern California learning about the best wines from all around the world.

The Sommelier experience made me realize that I wanted to make great wine, not just taste and recommend it to customers. I wanted to be a part of creating this lovely, soothing drink that brought a hint of a thousand dazzling flavors and aromas to my palate and nose. I had to do this. I had to make my own wine.

The gods must have been smiling upon me as I was soon hired at Booker Winery.  I worked the vineyards and tried to absorb all the knowledge of every step of winemaking. From picking the grapes to learning the creative techniques of blending and barrel selection and to the final step of bottling, I came to love the art of making wine. I soon became an assistant winemaker to Eric Jensen, the owner of the Booker Winery and Vineyard. It was an amazing opportunity with an amazing winemaker, which I am very grateful to have been a part of.

In 2011 I decided it was time to take the plunge and make my own wine and started my own label, Dilecta, which means “lovely” or “loved” in Latin.

I am sourcing my fruit from the best vineyards on the Central Coast. My hope is that you will have a chance to try my wine and love drinking it as much as I have loved making it.

Orion Stang