Kevin Willenborg also comes to Paso from Napa and his resumé includes Petreus, Louis Martini and Francis Ford Coppola. His says the high diurnal variance in addition to the soil makes for a "creamier" wine. There's more roundness of the tannins in Paso he notes.
When he first arrived at Leoness two years ago there was "nothing here" he said, just a kitchen and the basics. There was hardly any budget. He had broken his ankle and spent the first four months in the kitchen on crutches.
I walked down the hill and back to the osteria for breakfast. A warm fire, fresh fruits, prosciutto and cappuccino and I was good to go. I could get used to freshly made cappuccino on a daily basis and I think I ate more prosciutto in three days than I have in the rest of my life.
When I asked him to describe what the hotel was like when he started there he described it as a shell. All the elements were there, he says, the work just needed to be done. He describes it as desolate, that there was many a night he and chef Aaron were the only people there.