Atascadero was intended to be built as a utopian community with agricultural sustainability. That’s what EG Lewis had in mind, when he purchased 27,000 acres in the Atascadero/Paso Robles area. Lewis called upon a man named Earl Henderson, who was farming in the San Joaquin Valley at the time, to be the viticulturist managing the acreage set aside for wine grape production. With great success, Earl planted and managed approximately 740 acres of wine grapes that consisted of Alicante, Charbon, Petit Syrah, and Zinfandel (the Zinfandel cuttings were purchased from the Paderewski Ranch). Unfortunately, no one could foresee two major problems that would lead to the collapse of this new fledgling industry: U.S. Prohibition and the Great Depression. Although Earl was able to sell his grapes privately to individuals who could make their own wine, he was unable to have a commercial winery. He and his wife, Katie, settled in Atascadero calling it home, raising their kids, and watching the next generations grow.
Fast forward 70 years, and David Parrish, Henderson’s grandson, was living a similar dream with his own vineyard in the foothills outside Atascadero. Like his grandfather, he didn’t fall into the winemaking world; he was called to it. However, it wasn’t until one evening, sharing a bottle of wine with his brother, overlooking the vineyard, that David considered the possibility of taking it a step further than their grandfather ever could: opening their own winery. The Parrish Family took the leap! The family began producing their boutique wine in 2004 and later opened a tasting room to the public in 2011. In memory of their grandfather, the family has named one of their labels, P.O. Box 1, since Earl and Katie Henderson had the first P.O. Box in Atascadero.