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the spirit of paso

Estate Sourced × hand crafted

 

Nestled in the west side of Paso Robles, Willow Creek Distillery creates a variety of hand crafted spirits & liqueurs, all from their estate or locally sourced.

Willow Creek Distillery was founded by Opolo Vineyards in 2013 with the intent of producing top quality spirits to accompany their wines.  Fast-forward to 2019 and Willow Creek boasts aromatic fruit brandies as well as premium liqueurs. Whether you are unwinding at the end of a long day, or spending valuable time with friends and family, with each bottle an adventure awaits! Enjoy our spirits neat, in a delicious cocktail, with dessert, or even as a marinade. So what are you waiting for? Reward yourself with the Spirit of Paso.

 

Phone

(805) 238-9593

 

Location

7110 Vineyard Drive
Paso Robles, CA 93446

5 miles north of 46 West

 

Hours

M-Th By Appointment
F-Su 11a-4p
 

locally farmed and sourced

Only the best ingredients are considered when crafting Willow Creek’s spirits. Attention to detail and an emphasis on quality are paramount when selecting fruit, grain, nuts, or botanicals. Using both grapes from our winery and locally sourced ingredients helps make this a reality. We are constantly striving to push the envelope and take pride in the variety of premium spirits we offer.

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vineyard

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Orchard

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Sourced

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Muddy Waters

Coffee Liqueur

$20

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Nutty Behavior

Walnut Liqueur

$20

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Thick Mint

- Chocolate Mint Liqueur

$20

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Cherry Brandy

$29

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Williams Pear Brandy

$29

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Muscat Grappa

$29

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Plum Brandy: Slivovitz

$45

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Chamomile Liqueur

$55

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VS Brandy

$55

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Fig Brandy

$55

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Malt ‘N Oats

Only Available at The Distillery and through Retail Stores!

Drinks

Concocted with some of our favorite mixologists in SLO county, these cocktails are sure to please.

Nutty Behavoir

Grappa-Rita

Baked Pear Drop

A MORE IN DEPTH LOOK AT OUR SPIRITS

Each of our spirits are unique in their own right. With each creation, we strive to meet a standard where both the novice and enthusiast can find something in common; the enjoyment of discovering something new to fall in love with. To help better understand what goes into making our premium spirits, below are some notes from our Head Distiller.

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Muddy Waters Coffee Liqueur

Willow Creek partners with Coastal Peaks, a local coffee micro-roaster, to make the delicious liqueur. Using their original coffee blend, “Muddy Waters,” with our neutral brandy base results in a dark, complex coffee liqueur. Rich aromas of ground coffee, chocolate, and a hint of vanilla lead to a delightful caramelized finish.

Distiller’s notes: Muddy Waters coffee liqueur is not like most coffee liqueurs on the market. It is far from being overly sweet or syrupy, and holds true to a robust flavor coffee enthusiasts love. Our neutral grape brandy base is infused with ground coffee beans in the same way cold brew coffee is made, creating a one of a kind coffee liqueur that boasts beautiful and complex aromas. As coffee lovers ourselves, it was vitally important to create a liqueur that embodied a clean coffee finish, without relying on any artificial flavoring. By infusing coffee beans directly in neutral brandy, the truest form of this liqueur emerges, embodying everything we love about coffee.


nutty behavior walnut liqueur

Made by infusing our neutral spirits base with our organic estate walnuts, this unique liqueur reveals a complex blend of spices and toasted brown sugar. Its interestingly different character makes it especially versatile to be used in desserts, cocktails, coffee, or in the kitchen during your next cooking adventure.

Distiller’s notes: This walnut liqueur, also known as Nocino, gets its origins from Northern Italy, where unripe green walnuts are steeped in a neutral alcohol base. The Franquette walnut variety used in our Nutty Behavior is sourced directly from estate grown, dry farmed walnut trees nestled in Opolo’s west side Vineyards, which also serves as the location for Willow Creek Distillery. Using unripe green walnuts gives this liqueur a very dark and rich color, resulting from oxidation during infusion. This creates an initially bitter, but complex character. Once the desired flavor and color is reached, the walnuts are then removed from the spirit, where a dash of brown sugar and our proprietary spice blend is added to round out this liqueur with notes reminiscent of the holidays. Aromas and flavors of allspice, nutmeg, and vanilla make this liqueur widely versatile to be used in cocktails, cooking recipes, poured over desserts, or simply on its own.


thick mint - CHOCOLATE MINT LIQUEUR

Steeped to perfection, we curate rich cocoa nibs and lavish mint oils into our estate neutral grape spirit to handcraft an adult version of your favorite childhood flavors. This delicious liqueur exhibits luscious chocolate and subtle mint aromas that will leave you coming back for more.

Distiller’s notes: This premium spirit is made from our neutral grape brandy base, which is infused with organic, raw cocoa nibs. The infusion process gives this liqueur an elegant auburn color, yet maintains a refined clarity. After the desired color and flavor is reached, the cocoa nibs are separated from the alcohol and a small amount of mint extract is added to create a delicate mint finish that seeps lightly through chocolate overtones. It is delicious on its own, or can be used in cocktails, such as a chocolate martini.

cherry brandy

Enjoy the beautiful and alluring aroma of fresh Morello cherries with a kick. This cherry brandy has a bright finish, harnessing the soul of the fruit. Morello cherries embody the perfect combination of both sweet and tangy, resulting in a well balanced, distinctive, and flavorful brandy.

Distiller’s notes: Our cherry brandy is made from Morello cherries, a tart cherry variety that is closely related to sweet cherries, but with slightly more acidity. The combination of sweet and acidic creates a bright, aromatic, and clean fruit brandy. Cherry aroma lingers in the glass, followed by a subtle sweetness and light creaminess. The light nature of this brandy, while still maintaining noticeable cherry character, lends itself to being sipped or enjoyed in a summer cocktail. No cherry flavoring is added to this brandy. The flavor and aroma are directly from the fermented and distilled fruit. It takes careful and precise processing of the fruit to maintain its character throughout production.

wILLIAMS PEAR BRANDY

This delicious brandy is made from Williams pears harvested at the peak of ripeness. After fermentation, the pear wine is distilled into a bright, tropical, and flavorful brandy. Expressing the essence of biting into a fresh pear, this brandy is sure to excite your senses, finishing clean with a hint of green apple

Distiller’s notes: Williams Pear brandy is a delicious fruit brandy that boasts distinctive pear flavor and aroma. It initially smells like it may taste sweet, and although it does contain a hint of sweetness from the pears, it is dry, pure, and dynamic. Williams pears are harvested at the optimal time to ensure the fruit can finish maturing before processing. The whole pear is processed into a mash that undergoes temperature controlled fermentation. Once the pear mash is finished with fermentation, it is distilled into a delicious pear brandy. The distillate coming off the still is rested in a neutral container for up to a year, which allows it to mellow. This encourages more flavor and aroma to present itself, while simultaneously decreasing the perceived alcohol intensity. No pear flavoring is added to this brandy. The flavor and aroma are directly from the fermented and distilled fruit. It takes careful and precise processing of the fruit to maintain its character throughout production.

MUSCAT GRAPPA

Distilled from sound moscato pomace and rested in a neutral container, this Grappa produces a fresh bouquet of bright tropical notes and floral character. Our grappa manifests citrus aromas and crisp lemongrass, with a mildly sweet finish.


Distiller’s notes: Grappa is a product made from the leftovers of wine making, getting its origins from Italy. Specifically, grappa is a pomace based brandy that is made from all the skins, stems, and seeds after the grapes have been pressed to make wine. It is important to note that although grappa can be made out of many different grape varieties, they do not all produce the same quality in regard to flavor and aroma. For this reason we use muscat grapes, which lends to more of a fruit forward approach, encompassing bright tropical notes and a very mild sweetness. Distilled from sound moscato pomace and rested in a neutral container, this Grappa produces a fresh bouquet of bright tropical notes and floral character. Our grappa manifests citrus aromas and crisp lemongrass, with a mildly sweet finish.

V.S. BRANDY

Our V.S. brandy boasts floral and fruity aromas with a rich flavor of caramelized sugars, subtle vanilla, and spice from the barrel. Aged for 2 years on new French oak, this brandy embodies a warm finish that will remain on the palate long after you have emptied your glass.

Distiller’s notes: Our V.S. brandy is distilled from Muscat blanc grapes. The grapes for making this brandy undergo a soft press to ensure that only the highest quality juice is collected, eliminating potential bitter components that may otherwise taint the finished product. After fermentation, our V.S. brandy is distilled and aged in new French oak for a minimum of 24 months. “V.S.”, standing for “very special,” is the designation that lets consumers know it has been aged for two years. This brandy expresses fruity and floral aromas, with a mildly sweet, oak finish.

chamomile liqueur

Our handcrafted chamomile liqueur is a pleasure for the senses. We distill this from Opolo’s own carefully selected grapes with floral aromas and sweet, distinctive flavors. Infused with chamomile flowers and barrel aged for 14 months on new French oak, this authentic liqueur expresses notes of spice, vanilla, and warm honey.

Distiller’s notes: For our chamomile liqueur we begin with our base of muscat grappa, a spirit made by distilling the skins, stems, pulp, and seeds of grapes after they have been pressed for wine. The Muscat grape is pungently floral and aromatic, which lends its tropical and fruit forward characteristics to our finished Chamomile Liqueur. After the grappa has been distilled, it is aged in new French oak barrels. Once the aging process has imparted subtle spicy notes with a satin texture, whole chamomile flowers are steeped in the aged grappa, complementing its already floral and sweet undertones with a smooth honey like finish. This unique, premium spirit is perfect for any occasion, but is especially exceptional as an after dinner nightcap by the fire.

plum brandy: slivovitz

The coveted Damson plums are de-stoned, crushed, and fermented into a fragrant plum wine. The wine is then distilled and barreled in new French oak for two years. Jammy notes of rich plum softened with vanilla proved an exquisite tasting experience.

Distiller’s notes: Our delicious plum brandy, traditionally known as Slivovitz, is a fragrant and unique brandy that has origins in central and eastern Europe. Damson plums are picked at the peak of ripeness and macerated before fermentation. Maceration allows the Damson plums to fully ferment while imparting the most flavorful and aromatic aspects of the plum into the resulting wine. The plum wine is then distilled and barreled in new French oak for a minimum of two years. Our plum brandy is a unique spirit that embodies a light amber color and a fresh plum, fruit forward nose. This brandy is nostalgic for many of our customers who have European heritage, but is also a pleasant surprise to those who have never tried it. Soft vanilla notes shine through subtle spice and oak, with a clean silk finish.

FIG BRANDY

Whole figs are infused in our neutral spirits base to deliver rich and nutty character in this exceptional brandy. This brandy flaunts the essence of fresh figs, with lingering notes of honey, jam, and a hint of butterscotch.


Distiller’s notes: A truly unique spirit, our fig brandy is full of character, flavor, and beautiful fig aroma. Whole figs are steeped in a neutral brandy base we distill from saignee, where they undergo a year long infusion process. Over the course of their steeping venture, the figs soften and bleed their complex and rich nature into the neutral spirit. This results in a brandy that embodies a gorgeous amber glow, elegant fig aroma, and of course, the essence of a delicious, ripe fig. After the desired results are achieved, the figs are separated from the brandy, where it is filtered and bottled. Perfect for any occasion, this brandy easily wins over the affection of any willing partaker.

MALT ‘N OATS

Distilled from an age-old recipe, this American classic is made from a mash of oats, corn, and malt. Aromas of brown sugar, vanilla, and soft maple combine with the body and robust character of new American oak to create a pleasant tasting experience.


Distiller’s notes: This delicious grain spirit is made from a mash of corn, oats, and malted barley. Incorporating oats into the mash transforms the flavor profile by imparting a nutty aroma and a smooth, creamy texture to the finished product. Coming in at 45% ABV, it has a clean bite that whiskey and bourbon connoisseurs are familiar with, but with pleasantly sweet undertones. After mashing, the grain undergoes an approximate week long fermentation. The fermented mash is then distilled and barrel aged in new charred American oak barrels. Although it is not necessarily sweet in nature, and contains no residual sugar, our Malt ‘n Oats is characterized by its lightly sweet, sophisticated mouth feel, with a subtle smokey maple finish. This spirit is distinctively enjoyable on its own, or can be used in any whiskey or bourbon style cocktail.











ABOUT US

Rick Quinn & Dave Nichols    Proprietors   Co-owners of Opolo Vineyards, Rick and Dave’s interest in distilling peaked as an extension from years of wine making. That interest turned into the next facet for Opolo, the introduction of Willow Creek Distillery.

Rick Quinn & Dave Nichols

Proprietors

Co-owners of Opolo Vineyards, Rick and Dave’s interest in distilling peaked as an extension from years of wine making. That interest turned into the next facet for Opolo, the introduction of Willow Creek Distillery.

Kevin Coulton    Head Distiller   Joining the team in 2016, Kevin’s drive and passion towards hand crafting one of a kind spirits has helped Willow Creek Distillery expand. A local fixture, Kevin comes from a military background bringing both attention to detail and creativity to our ever growing venture.

Kevin Coulton

Head Distiller

Joining the team in 2016, Kevin’s drive and passion towards hand crafting one of a kind spirits has helped Willow Creek Distillery expand. A local fixture, Kevin comes from a military background bringing both attention to detail and creativity to our ever growing venture.

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