Six miles from the city of Westlake Village, down beautiful winding Potrero Road, time stops as you crest the hill and gaze over open pastures. In the heart of Hidden Valley, you’ll find a local treasure: a 5-acre vineyard where wine magic begins. Traveling through the iron gates of the 38-acre Mizel Estate is like entering a storybook. “Our intention is to transport visitors away from their daily concerns, to awaken their senses…” as they wander the manicured grounds along stone-lined paths through rose gardens into the vineyards.
Michael and Zelene Fowler, owners of Mizel Estate Wines, use the natural bounty of the estate to help others achieve their dreams. In 2012, they brought together a spirited team to establish the vineyard and begin making world-class wine, releasing their first vintage in 2016. At its core, Mizel Estate Wines is purpose-driven, donating a portion of wine proceeds to the Mizel Family Foundation, which provides educational and career opportunities for people with unique abilities who experience special needs.
Talent and Terroir
Michael and Zelene partnered with the renowned Guillaume Fabre, a sixth generation French Winemaker to develop the vineyard and make the wine. Fabre says, “Creating great wine is about balance…that unique equation that enables an ideal blend of climate, soil and the grape itself.” The Mizel Estate soil is a fertile mix of clay and sand, which Fabre says brings tannin structure and a certain elegance that is so difficult to find. Leaning into Fabre’s unique Bordeaux-style approach, the Mizel team is producing deep, velvety reds punctuated with fruit and spice that elevate the Malibu Coast AVA (American Viticultural Area) and show what the region can achieve.
Mizel’s sumptuous reds are made from 100% estate-grown grapes. Cabernet Sauvignon, Mourvèdre, Grenache, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc contribute their alluring profiles to Mizel Estate’s signature wines—First Impression Bordeaux Blend, Easy to Please Grenache and Smooth Touch Syrah.
The vines are nurtured throughout the growing season under the direction of Estate Manager Hector Ambriz, who leads an experienced team that builds protective canopies, prunes the vines and drops excess clusters to concentrate the flavors in the remaining grapes. Fabre and Ambriz carefully monitor the grapes to determine when to harvest.
Do You Have a Crush on Wine?
The wine making commences in Paso Robles with the crush, press and fermentation in the finest French oak barrels.
“There’s a little bit of an art and science to figuring out which types of oak and how old the barrels should be for each varietal. Guillaume is the expert, and he knows best,” says Michael Fowler.
When the aging is complete, the Fowlers meet with Fabre to taste wine from 30 to 40 barrels and decide which ones to blend. Michael and Zelene have been blending wine since 2016, and their relationship with each other, winemaker Guillaume Fabre and the wine all come through in the blending process. The pleasing and harmonious results are reflected in Mizel Estate’s superb, limited-production red wines.
Mizel Estate Wines are available for purchase online or by becoming a Mizel Estate Wine Club Member. Mizel also opens their estate periodically for intriguing events where guests can taste the wine.
Mizel Wine Community
Ready to try one of Mizel’s lush, complex reds now? Head over to Pearl District in Westlake Village, where you can pair exquisite, innovative cuisine with Mizel wine.
Peyman Afshar, owner of Pearl District, has been friends with Michael Fowler for over 20 years—dining together once a month, they share what they like best: wine and good food.
“He loves to share the property experience with friends, and he makes wine for the love of it,” says Afshar, whose favorite is Mizel Grenache. “It’s made locally and rivals Paso Robles Syrah and Grenache. It’s an elegant and approachable wine that’s easy to drink. I liked it so much, I serve it at my restaurant.”
More Than Wine
Mizel Estate offers an abundance of social and service-minded events to its Wine Club Members and the local community. Zelene and her team create welcoming, inclusive and playful Mizel Lifestyle Experiences at the estate, where you can join in their sense of wonder. Experiences include sensational parties with surprising touches, yoga in the vineyard surrounded by the scent of roses and fresh air, and wine and art workshops among the vines. Mizel Lifestyle Experiences resume in spring 2024, weather permitting.
On Saturday, October 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Mizel Family Foundation Fall Pumpkin Harvest Event takes place in support of the local community. The event provides work experience for teens with unique abilities, who will be employed to harvest and sell the pumpkins they planted and work with local businesses in their original craft booths. Rounding out the festivities will be a “Spooky Vineyard” tour, live music and libations.
When you join the Mizel Family, you step away from pretentious, hectic city life and journey down a road less traveled, where you’ll find fine wine, genuine people and a whole lot of unexpected, remarkable fun.
Learn more at MizelEstate.com.