The Barton Team
Owner/Director of Winemaking
Joe Barton is the owner and Head Winemaker at Grey Wolf Cellars and Barton Family Wines. His parents, Joe Sr. and Shirlene Barton started the winery over 20 years ago in 1994, following their dream of owning a winery and building a family business for future generations to come. Joe Jr. attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo as a fruit science major and was tasked at the age of 23 with carrying on the family legacy and dream after his father tragically passed in 1997. He has made it his life mission the past 24 years to create a distinct style, sourcing from dry-farmed vineyards in the Paso Robles Willow Creek, Templeton Gap and Adelaida District AVAs. Farming is the core of his business. Understanding the unique microclimates of Paso Robles distinct AVAs identifies the best location for growing a variety of wines with regional character. Focusing on making hand-crafted wines from specific sites creates a dynamic portfolio of wines. He works with a selection of wine varieties including the heritage varietal Zinfandel, the classic Bordeaux varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, both Rhone red and whites as well as some Spanish varieties.
Barton finds each vineyard offering a distinct character to the wine which complement each variety. His humble beginnings and hard work have brought him exactly what he wants – to make wines that represent Paso Robles. After twenty years of winemaking, he’s still captivated by tractors, bud break and turning fruit into wine.
Brad Ely was born and raised here on the Central Coast. He first developed an interest in fine wine while attending college and working in fine dining restaurants. After graduating from Cal Poly with a degree in Business and Entrepreneurship, he decided to forgo the suit and tie for jeans and work boots, and accepted a harvest internship at Saucelito Canyon in San Luis Obispo. The internship turned into 2 years of full time cellar work, where he learned the fundamentals of farming and winemaking. Once a full passion for wine was instilled, his thirst for knowledge and experience led him all over the world, with positions at Owen Roe, in the Yakima Valley of Washington; Two Hands Wines, in the Barossa Valley of South Australia; Vin Pro, in Central Otago, New Zealand; and Domaine la Barroche, in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France. Upon returning to California from his travels, he served as the cellar master at Tablas Creek in Paso Robles for three years. A wild hair led him to explore the wines of Monterey County working for Folktale Winery and Vineyards, before coming back home for good as the winemaker for Grey Wolf and Barton Family Wines.
Brad has a deep passion for winemaking, focusing on wines of freshness and balance, that truly show a sense of place. When not at the winery, Brad can be found surfing our local beaches, camping, and working on vintage motorcycles.