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This SLO County man is one of the wine industry’s top tastemakers under 40

Lucas Pope is the vineyard manager at Halter Ranch Vineyard in Paso Robles. He’s one of Wine Enthusiast magazine’s “Top 40 Under 40 Tastemakers of 2017.”
Lucas Pope is the vineyard manager at Halter Ranch Vineyard in Paso Robles. He’s one of Wine Enthusiast magazine’s “Top 40 Under 40 Tastemakers of 2017.” jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

An Atascadero man is the first vineyard manager ever named to Wine Enthusiast magazine’s list of beverage industry innovators under age 40.

Lucas Pope, 35, has served as the vineyard manager at Halter Ranch Vineyard in Paso Robles since 2012. The “Top 40 Under 40 Tastemakers of 2017” list recognizes “trailblazers who are shaping the future of wine, beer, cider and spirits in America,” including influential winemakers, grape growers, retailers and bartenders.

Wine Enthusiast heralded Pope’s efforts to combat grapevine red blotch disease, a devastating viral disease threatening vineyards across California, at Halter Ranch, which features more than 280 acres planted with 13 varietals. “It’s been a roller-coaster,” the Cal Poly graduate, who previously worked at Stolo Family Vineyards in Cambria, told the magazine.

Pope’s Wine Enthusiast nod is the latest in a series of honors for Halter Ranch Vineyard.

In April, the winery took home the award for top white wine for the South-Central Coast region in the 2017 California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition.

Halter Ranch Vineyard in Paso Robles was recently honored at the California Green Medal: Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Awards. Here's a look at how Halter Ranch strives to protect the environment.

And Halter Ranch was named the 2017 Winery of the Year this summer in the Central Coast Wine Competition. The winery won nine gold medals and Best in Class awards during the blind tasting competition held in June.

Pope wasn’t the only person with San Luis Obispo County ties to make the “Top 40 Under 40 Tastemakers” list. Also honored were Santa Barbara resident Mikey Giugni, 29, of Santa Barbara, and Dante Colombatti, 33, of Los Angeles.

Giugni, a Cal Poly graduate, co-founded Tin City Cider Co. in Paso Robles, and Scar of the Sea in Santa Maria. Colombatti serves as marketing and design director at Riboli Family Wine Estates, which has a Paso Robles production facility and San Antonio Winery locations in Paso Robles, Los Angeles and Ontario.

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