Los Pilares is Coleman Cooney, Jay McCarthy, and Michael Christian. Before making wine for others, the Los Pilares collective were either backyard growers, garage winemakers, or wine industry professionals. Jay moved to London a few years ago. Coleman and Michael each do a bit of everything, Coleman focusing more on the vineyards and Michael on the winemaking.
Since the first vintage in 2010, Los Pilares has celebrated San Diego’s backcountry and mountains by making wine with nothing but grapes or apples (and sometimes minimal SO2). All of the fruit is sourced from sustainably grown vineyards and orchards. Four years ago, Coleman began planting a vineyard at 3,800 feet of elevation in the Cuyamaca Mountains of San Diego in soils of granite, quartz, shallow leaf litter, and veins of clay. Grapes include Assyrtiko, Falanghina, Moscofilero, Mission, Counoise, Cinsault, Gamay Noir, Grenache, Girdiana, Rkatseteli, Graciano, and Alicante Bouchet, all own-rooted and dry-farmed. The land was in a state of nature when acquired, and burned in the Witch Fire of 2007. It abuts the 6,347-acre Santa Ysabel Preserve.
Instagram: @lospilareswines, @michaellospilares
Facebook: Los Pilares
Grape Collective: Coleman Cooney, Los Pilares
The San Diego Union Tribune: Uncorking San Diego’s wine potential
Napa Valley Register: Natural wine from San Diego? Los Pilares leads the way
The Elf Guide to Natural Wine: Los Pilares del Futuro