LEFONDUSAC is the brain child of Stewart Finlay-McLennan and JP French and you can learn more about them by visiting the winery and trying their wines!
I have done many things prior to my life in wine making, however I'll leave that up to Google. As far as a winemaker and my credentials, no I didn't go to Davis, Fresno or the wonderful Cal Poly to study oenology. I actually helped form a winemaking group with some friends many years ago the name of which I coined and we were called "Brothers Of The Barrel". Eight guys who wanted to share and learn about winemaking. We learned, laughed, made mistakes and drank lots of beer.
Of those original eight, five now remain. When I approach harvest each year I do so now in memory of David, Tim and Tom, the three "BOBs" who are no longer with us.
Some six years ago, I founded along with my friend Doug Minnick what has now become the Garagiste Movement based on a series of festivals highlighting small artisan winemakers. I also host and produce a radio show on 92.5 The Krush that is similarly themed.
I've been extremely fortunate along the way to find winemakers and friends who have been most gracious sharing their knowledge with myself. My life now is pretty much immersed in the world of wine from being a partner in LEFONDUSAC with Mr. JP and Emily French, a partner in Golden Triangle with Jeremy and Marianna Morris and last but by no means least a life wine partner with my beautiful Michelle.
I like to make wines with structure and style and find that by hand making and truly caring about each barrel the chances of success grow immeasurably.
I'm a "Stemhead" first and foremost, meaning I like to include stems in all of my wines. LEFONDUSAC is the place where the magic truly happens and I'm immeasurably grateful to each and every person who have made that dream possible.
JOHN PATRICK FRENCH III
I am a fifth generation Californian, and I grew up in Agoura Hills. I moved to San Luis Obispo to attend Cal Poly State University, where I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Business with a concentration in Wine Marketing and a Masters in Viticulture. While working my way through school waiting tables, I developed a deep passion for the food and wine industry. I was also greatly influenced and inspired by my professors on my graduating committee at Cal Poly.
After graduating Cal Poly, I decided to focus on Vineyard Management and Development. It was there amongst the vines I learned that a great quality wine starts in the dirt then flows through vines and emerges through the fruit. I then decided I wanted to not only grow great quality grapes but wanted to make a great quality wine as well. In 2001, I made my first vintage with one of my favorite professors and friend, Keith Patterson. It was in 2005 when I started to focus solely on winemaking. I have made wine for several labels in Paso Robles; always bringing a high level of precision, detail and passion all in the name of quality wines.
I am co-founder and winemaker at LEFONDUSAC and the sole winemaker for my own label, JP III Wines. My goal is to always focus on creating great quality wines, by sourcing fruit from the best vineyards in Paso Robles and using minimal intervention in my wine making techniques. I hope to provide, through LEFONDUSAC and JP III Wines, an opportunity for wine lovers to enjoy an unpretentious, high quality wine experience and to always have “Good Times!”
Away from the winery, I spend my time with my beautiful wife and best friend, Emily, LEFONDUSAC's Graphic Artist and my sweet son, Jack. We are usually outdoors hiking, or at the beach surfing.