For those of you who haven’t been able to attend the Club parties or are new to Chacewater, a little news about the past year. We have increased our Club members to upwards of eight hundred this year. That is an increase of six hundred new Club members in just over a year! We here at Chacewater view this as one of our biggest success for the 2013 year. Club membership gives us flexibility not to depend on large scale distributors, which gives us an edge in both the amount of feedback we get from our consumers, as well as freedom for our winemaker. For the New Year we plan on keeping the Club a major focus for Chacewater.
This past year we had great success in the market place. Distributors like Mountain Peoples, our largest organic distributor in California, has been placing our wines in the “Mom and Pop” organic stores up and down the coast. While Nick Kurihara of Wanderlust Wine Company has been focusing on Southern California. Nick has been successful in getting placements of Chacewater wines at 4th Street Vine in the newly renovated Long Beach Airport terminal, Crustacean Restaurant in Beverly Hills, Oscar Cerveteca in Venice Beach, Bedford and Burns in Beverly Hills, Cafe Pinot in Downtown LA, and Le Cellier in Marina del Rey to name a few. Nicks focuses on wine by the glass programs, and has lead Chacewater into the prestigious restaurant venues of Southern California.
While in college Luke Manuel helped bring Chacewater to the East Coast. Business was slow at first, as a wholesaler, until a vendor introduced him to Red Ink Distribution. The owners of Red Ink Distribution Domenico and Jay were impressed with Chacewater’s wines enough that we were their first domestic label that they carried. Since then Red Ink has done a fantastic job representing us in the Washington DC and Southern Maryland. They continually increase the amount of stores that carry our wines. Chacwater wines may now be found in some of our nations capital’s most historically significant wine shops. Gathering Harvests distribution in Connecticut also started distributing Chacewater after tasting our wines and connecting with our brand. Donna Pace, owner of Gathering Harvests has created an excellent demand for Chacewater. After graduating from American University Luke moved to Arizona where he and his brother Alex became licensed distributors, known as Manuel Brothers Distributing. They continue to have success placing our wines into exclusive restaurants and wine shops throughout Arizona.
In 2014 we are increasing our production of wine by a third from six thousand cases to eight thousand cases annually! This growth is due to the success of our Club members and distributors doing a wonderful job. After two consecutively difficult vintage years 2010, and 2011, the 2012 and 2013 years have been exceptionally good. Increasing our confidence that the wine will continue to improve.
The 2013 vintage in particular, allowed us to harvest fruit at optimum quality, because of the relatively mild summer conditions, and the lack of early fall rain, allowed the fruit to get extra hang time. This hang time increases maturity and flavor development. The 2012 reds are going to be bottled in the next few months and the quality looks stellar! The 2013 Sauvignon Blanc and dessert wines are going to be in the bottle in mid-February and are tasting great. We will be releasing these wines in March.
Matt Manuel has done a fantastic job managing the vineyards. Four new acres of Cabernet Sauvignon are being planted in the Sierra Foothills. Matt has already put in stakes and end posts, he is just waiting on the bench grafts this spring. After apprenticing under Emilio for just a year, Matt is also running the olive mill during the off season. Giving Emilio some much needed rest as well as a helping hand.
In 2013 the olives trees were in an alternate bearing year. Last January we aggressively pruned the trees to promote positive growth for the future; we do this every other year. This created a smaller harvest year for 2013 (10 tons of olives) as compared to 2012 (14 tons of olives), which means 2014 should have a higher yield. The quality of the olive oil produced in 2013 is wonderful! In fact we are already pouring some of these new 2013 olive oils in our tasting room. Look for the Blood Orange Infused Olive Oil and the Tuscan blend.
We are also happy to announce that the olive oils produced in the current 2013 harvest season passed the California Olive Oil Council (COOC) Certification Seal for “Extra Virgin Olive Oil” labeling. Chacewater has been a proud member of the COOC since 2010. Having our oils go through lab analysis and sensory evaluation to get a ” high quality” product status. The tests consist of a lab analysis: free fatty acid test, ultraviolet absorption, and peroxide value test along with a COOC tasting panel, which evaluates the olive oil to ensure its quality and “extra virgin” designation. The panel articulated our oils as buttery, nutty, green apple, herbaceous, woody, and grassy to describe our oils. In fact this year the COOC invited Chacewater Olive Oils to be displayed at their booth at the National Association for the Specialty Foods Trade (also known as the Fancy Food Show) in San Francisco.
All of us here at Chacewater would like to thank our Club members, distributors, family and friends! Without your help this last year wouldn’t have been as successful or as much fun. Through your continued support and hard work we have had some of the best Club parties and have enjoyed lots of community support and growth! A special thanks to Sinda Knight and her hard work on Sundays in the Tasting Room. From all of us here at Chacewater we wish you a Happy New Year!
Thanks to all our fans – new and old for making this past year such a good one and turning out to support our events and enjoy our wines and olive oils!
Mark has produced some beautiful new wines that are just now being released. The 2012 Riesling Vineyard is now certified organic, and is tasting exceptional! Mountain Peoples California and Luke’s new Maryland distributor Red Ink Imports will have it in the market soon. Keep your eyes open for this wine (or come by the tasting room for a sip).
In the olive mill, Emilio has been busy putting most of his Nuvo Extra Virgin Olive Oils in bottle. We couldn’t be happier with the results! California Olive Oil Council certified all six oils with excellent reviews. We are very excited to enter them in competition and introduce them in the market. Don’t miss these oils on your next visit to the tasting room or order a sample online.
Matt, Antonio and Tony are busy pruning our 31 acre vineyards in the Sierra Foothills. It’s important to take advantage of the dry weather we’ve been having.
I had a great time meeting and visiting with wine enthusiasts at the ZAP festival in San Francisco, and at Lake County Wine and Chocolate. I am looking forward to working with Mountain Peoples next month at the Beer and Wine Expo in Anaheim. My son Matt and his older brother Alex are scheduled to represent us in San Diego that same week end at the Family Winemakers wine pouring. Come on by and see us!
Ten for ten plus: ten wines entered in the California State Fair Commerical Wine Competition and ten medals received, along with four Best of Class awards and one Best of California award. Not a bad record for any winery and a spectacular record for a young winery that had its first bottling just last year.
Chacewater Wine Co. & Olive Mill, located in Kelseyville, a town tucked away in Lake County, California, is that winery, and they received the 2012 Golden State Winery award for their hard work.
“Mark Burch is our winemaker and deserves the credit,” said Paul Manuel, General Manager and owner. “He graduated from Fresno State and worked for Gallo, Sebastani, Kendall Jackson and Wildhurst before coming to work for us. He is a wonderful winemaker, highly experienced and, I believe, underappreciated in Lake County.”
“I was quite surprised and elated to get the results of this year’s judging,” said Burch. “It was a phenomenal opportunity for me to get to work at a new facility with some great people. Paul is a great guy to work for and together all of us are proving to be a good team.
“David Weiss owns a nearby vineyard and has been here for around 14 years. He knows where the best grapes are grown and helped us get our foot in the door. We rely on him, since in addition to the grapes we get from Paul’s vineyard in Nevada County, we purchase all our white, and some red grapes from Lake County vineyards.
“I like to make clean, solid wines with true varietal character, that are not overdone or over oaked. To do this I have to stay up on the wine, from fermentation to bottling. When people ask me about my wines I don’t give them the usual talk, I tell them that if it feels and tastes right to them, they will enjoy it. Later they can work on identifying all the aromas and tastes that many winemakers talk about.
“We are permitted for 15,000 cases, but right now we are producing about 6,000,” Burch added.
The story of Chacewater began many years ago when Manuel’s father moved their family from Sacramento to 80 acres outside Nevada City.
“In 1988 the ‘49er Fire’ burned all the trees and brush on the land,” remarked Manuel, “and we were left with a mess. I had a construction company at the time and fortunately had the equipment to clear it.
“Several of our neighbors and friends had vineyards, so I studied what they did and, when my company wasn’t busy, I put my men to work preparing the land for a vineyard.
“My wife, Kellye, knows each of those vines intimately, since she was two weeks overdue when we planted the first 10 acres. She and the eldest of our three sons, Matt, who recently graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Agricultural Management, manage the vineyard, which is now 31 acres in size. Matt also helps me here at the winery.
“Our middle son, Luke, is a graduate student at the American University in Washington, D.C. He is our east coast sales representative for Maryland and the D. C. area. Our youngest son, Alex is a CPA for Ernst & Young in Phoenix, Arizona. They are all doing well and are very supportive.
“We simply sold our grapes for a while and after I retired from construction in 2004, we decided to take the grapes to Lake county for custom crush. Later we decided to go looking for a location for a winery and Lake County seemed to be the place to start.
“In 2001 St. Gregory of Sinai Monastery began building an olive mill there and planted about 10 acres of olive trees. The building and facility manager, and later the mill operator, was one of their Novices, Emilio De La Cruz.
“In 2008 they found it was interfering with their other work, so they decided to sell the land, orchard and mill. It was perfect for us, so we bought it and built a 10,000 square foot winery building next to the mill. Emilio stayed on to train our staff and a few years later he joined us full time so we can continue to produce the finest extra virgin olive oil in our mill.
“Our family is Cornish, with roots in the Cornwall area of Great Britain. We didn’t realize it at the time we moved to the Nevada City area, but my great grandfather, like many of the Cornish, had been a hard-rock miner there in the 1880s.
“On a visit to Cornwall we fell in love with Chacewater, a small village on the southern tip of England, that was the origin of the Manuel family tree. That seemed perfect for our winery name, and we included in our logo the unique Mark of a Chacewater church craftsman.
“Our vineyard, the olive mill and the winery facilities are all certified organic and audited once a year by the CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers). Since we get grapes from other sources than our own vineyards, our wines are not necessarily organic. However, the facilities are, which means they are very clean and well maintained.
“Our wine is not the only thing receiving great awards, our Robust Tuscan Extra Virgin Olive Oil received Best of Class and Best of Show awards at the Los Angeles International Olive Oil Competition last March.”
The wines entered by Chacewater Wine Co. & Olive Mill in this year’s California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition were:
2010 Lake County Chardonnay (Double Gold, 98 points, Best of Class (Tie) North Coast Appellations and Best of California)
2009 Red Hills Petite Sirah (Gold, 95 points)
2008 Red Hills O-Eight Headache! (Gold, 94 points, Best of Class North Coast Appellations)
2010 Sierra Foothills Estate Merlot (Silver, 92 points)
2010 Sierra Foothills Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (Silver, 91 points)
2011 Lake County Sauvignon Blanc (Silver, 90 points)
2009 Red Hills Malbec (Silver, 90 points, Best of Class North Coast Appellations)
2011 Sierra Foothills Estate Rose (Silver, 89 points, Best of Class Sierra Foothills Appellations)
2011 Sierra Foothills Estate Zinfandel (Bronze, 86 points)
2010 Sierra Foothills Estate Syrah (Bronze, 86 points)
California Golden Winery Doug Noble
Chacewater Wine Co. & Olive Mill
5625 Gaddy Lane, Kelseyville, California
We are honored to announce our winery was named 2012 Golden State Winery of the Year at the recently completed California State Fair Wine Competition. Chacewater wines scored well across all categories including:
- 2010 Chacewater Chardonnay – 98 Points, Double Gold
- 2009 Chacewater Petite Syrah – 95 Points, Gold
- 2008 Chacewater Red Blend – 94 Points, Gold
- 2010 Chacewater Merlot – 92 Points, Silver
- 2010 Chacewater Cabernet Sauvignon – 91 Points, Silver
- 2011 Chacewater Sauvignon Blanc – 90 Points, Silver
- 2009 Chacewater Malbec – 90 Points, Silver
- 2011 Chacewater Rose – 89 Points, Silver
- 2010 Chacewater Zinfandel – 86 Points, Bronze
- 2010 Chacewater Syrah – 86 Points, Bronze
This year, 2,890 wine entries were received from 688 participating wineries. Seventy-two judges on 18 panels awarded 2,156 medals, including 74 Double Gold, 268 Gold, 1,195 Silver and 734 Bronze.
Awards will be presented during California’s Grape & Gourmet, the state’s premier wine and food event, which returns to Cal Expo on Aug. 18. The results of the wine competition will appear in “California Wine” magazine, a publication of the California State Fair. “California Wine” will be available at Grape & Gourmet and Save Mart Supermarkets. For Grape & Gourmet tickets and information, go to www.bigfun.org
Visit Our Tasting Room
Open Daily 11am-5pm
5625 Gaddy Ln.
Kelseyville, CA 95451
Phone: (707) 279-2995