Turiya Wine

I always get excited when I hear about a new winery, and taste their wines. This time was no exception. 

The best resource for finding new wineries and winemakers is from those that you already trust. I had been hearing some “buzz” about a winemaker that was doing small production, red wines, in Lompoc, California. Doing some basic research I was able to contact Angela Soleno, the winemaker and owner of Turiya Wines. We set up an appointment and met on a Monday afternoon.

Turiya is located in a warehousing area of Lompoc, not too far from the “Wine Ghetto”. When we arrived, Angela was in the process of punching down her recently harvested Sangiovese from the Stolpman vineyards. She had two large bins of red grapes fermenting: the Sangiovese, and a Cabernet Sauvignon that had recently been picked at Estelle Vineyards, right at the border of Santa Ynez, and Happy Canyon AVAs.

As we tasted some of the freshly fermenting juice, I learned a little more about Angela. She used to work as a Project Manager for Consilience Wines in Los Olivos, where she gained experience. As a single mom, raising two children, she found time to attend the Viticulture and Enology program at Allan Hancock College.  She was inspired by Stephan Asseo from L’Aventure and Eric Jensen of Booker Wines. With her contacts within the farming community, Angela secured her first fruit bill and harvest in 2008.

Turiya only produces red wines, and Angela only makes three wines a year. Two of the wines are single varieties, and the third wine is made from a blend of the two. Angela makes a very small amount of wine with each vintage, only producing as much wine as she can give her personal attention to. She said that she is constantly touching, tasting, and smelling each fermenter and barrel, making sure that the wines meet her personal style preference.

As we moved to her “tasting room” (really a cut out section within her warehouse), Angela poured the three wines from the 2008 vintage (total production of 96 cases): Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Perpetual Bliss (a blend of 60% Cab and 40% Syrah). Both varieties were sourced from the Camp 4 vineyard. She likes to be creative with her blends, combining grapes that are not traditionally blended together. Her 2009 vintage (total production of 182 cases), which was just released includes: Malbec, Petite Verdot, and Hither (a blend of 65% Petite Verdot and 35% Malbec).

All of Turiya’s wines are barrel aged for 36 months in once-used oak barrels. Versus new oak, this allows for a nice soft oak tannin flavor. She said she checks the wines after the two-year mark, but doesn’t rush the process. Once bottled, the wines age another year before release. The less manipulation, the better for Turiya. Her single variety wines are typically produced from free run juice. She allows the natural yeast to ferment, and doesn’t inoculate for malolactic fermentation (she lets the wine take its’ natural course).

The one thing you will notice right off the bat, with the wines that Angela produces, is that these are food friendly wines. The alcohol levels are lower than what we normally see in California, and the acid levels are higher. Remember our discussion about wine pairing from a past blog? Acid “excites” food and brightens flavors. These wines are intended to compliment your food pairings, and create an elegant wine and food experience.

The next thing you notice are the bottles. These are heavy bottles, with long natural cork closures. Each bottle is hand dipped in wax to seal the cork. The single variety wines have vertical labels and the blends have horizontal labels. The logo on the bottle is not your traditional paper label. Each bottle has a screen printed label made from 24k gold. Angela explained where she got the name “Turiya”…. “it is a state of consciousness, where reality and truth are the same”.

Angela wants to keep her production small, just enough for her allocation list, which is growing. The initial tasting of her fermenting 2014 Sangiovese  and Cabernet Sauvignon have me looking forward to their release in about five years. Asked what grape varieties she wants to add to her mix, Angela said she is trying to source some Anglianico.

The only way to acquire Turiya wines is by getting on the allocation list, or by visiting Turiya. Angela holds barrel tastings by appointment at her location at 316 North F Street in Lompoc. You can contact her either by email, info@turiyawines.com or phone 805.478.7016. To learn more, check out her website at www.turiyawines.com.

Turiya Wines capture the essence of a garagiste winery: small production, hands on at every step, and fine-tuned to express the winemakers style. These wines are unique, and offer the wine lover something that is different from the rest of the pack. Watch out for Angela Soleno, she could just be producing the next California “cult wine”.


  1. I didn't realize how fortunate I have been to acquire Turiya wine. A recent dinner with a long-time friend, Angela's father, had us enjoying her Cabernet Sauvignon. I am no expert, but I certainly liked that wine! And I saved the bottle with her beautiful gold label.
    I am delighted to see Angela getting recognition for her wines.

  2. About a year ago attended a large event where there were 40 to 50 California, Central Coast Wines being poured. Some big names with great reputations but nothing was exciting me. It all changed when I tasted the Turiya 08 Sarah that I can only describe and the best wine, of any type in that room and perhaps in my recent tasting experience. The Cab was its equal in quality, style and characterizes the small post modern style of wine making...character. The 09's just released have that same character, greatness! These are drinkable, collectable, and I agree, destined to be California cult wines of renown.