Robert Hall, founder of Paso Robles winery, has died

Robert Hall, founder of Robert Hall Winery in Paso Robles, died Saturday at 85.
Robert Hall, founder of Robert Hall Winery in Paso Robles, died Saturday at 85. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Robert Hall, who founded Robert Hall Winery in Paso Robles, died Saturday at the age of 85 from complications related to an extended illness, winery management confirmed Tuesday.

“We are saddened to announce the passing of Robert L. Hall, beloved owner of Robert Hall Winery,” management wrote in a post on the winery’s Facebook page. The winery also noted that Hall’s wife, Margaret Burrell Hall, will take over as sole owner of the winery, which produces about 60,000 cases of wine a year.

Hall moved to the Central Coast from St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1994 to pursue winemaking and founded the winery in 2001, according to the Robert Hall Winery website. Before that, Hall invested in other business ventures, such as construction, bowling centers, travel agencies, restaurants and champion horse breeding.

The desire to constantly be busy was one of Hall’s defining traits, said family friend Lisa Pretty, who met Hall when he opened his winery at 3443 Mill Rd. in Paso Robles.

“If he didn’t have something to do, the man couldn’t sit still,” she said, noting that Hall was out in the fields at last year’s harvest, picking up rocks and helping the harvesters. “He was always saying, you know, ‘Let’s go!’”

Pretty worked for Hall for several years in his marketing department for the winery, and said during that time, she came to know him as an “enthusiastic guy,” a “great storyteller,” and “a real, get-your-hands-dirty kind of guy.”

“That’s why he was so successful I think,” Pretty said. “For a lot of people, I think they assumed he was someone who had grown up getting everything he wanted, but the truth was, he worked for it all. A real self-made man.”

Besides his wife, Hall is survived by three daughters. The family will hold a small, private memorial service in the coming days.