Paul Lato is a Polish-born professionally trained and educated sommelier who first visited California’s Central Coast in 1996 on the invitation of Au Bon climat’s Jim Clendenen. Clendenen told him, “You don’t need to read any more wine books. Just come out and work for me one harvest and you will understand how this works.” After three months with Clendenen, he returned to Canada where he was a sommelier for Toronto’s best restaurant, and worked for six more years in the wine trade until he was ready to make a permanent move.
Paul Lato wines are sold through a mailing list with very limited retail distribution. He is not as well-known now as he should be, but very knowledgeable pinotphiles, including myself, sing his praises. His Pinot Noirs are sourced from several premium vineyards, including Gold Coast, Fiddlestix Vineyard, Solomon Hills, Zotovich, and Pisoni. He is married to Pinot Noir, but also maintains a friendship with Chardonnay and Syrah and all varietals are top notch.