Up around 2000 feet in the Sierra Foothills, a short drive from Nevada City and Grass Valley, sits a small Cabernet vineyard. It is often referred to as the East Field Vineyard. It sits eloquently atop the hill overlooking the Marysville valley and mountain ranges beyond.
At its’ most humble beginnings, this small sized Cabernet vineyard was the foundation for the Manuel family to begin their Certified Organically Grown vineyards. It was planted after the fire in 1988, known as the 49er Fire, where the family homestead was nearly lost. Looking back, that was over 24 years ago when Kellye Manuel planted the Cab vineyard soon after the land was cleared of the ashes from the fire. Matthew Manuel, the youngest of three sons, now the Vineyard Manager, who is often seen in the Tasting Room and other Chacewater events, was born along with this vineyard.
As time went on, this Cab fruit was sold year after year as the Manuel family started to plant Zinfandel, Syrah, Cab Franc, and Merlot on other areas of the fire cleared property. Eventually, they started North Ponderosa Vineyards and sold their fruit for over 15 years gaining experience and knowledge.
Four years ago this 20 year old vineyard was removed. This year on Sunday, June 22, 2014 the historic 5 acres was replanted with a modern clone, 169. It will be a long 3 year wait to see the fruit of our labor begin to produce as the vines mature. However all good things are worth the wait. We are looking forward to the evolution of this family company as we grow, but will always remember our humble beginnings starting at East Field Vineyard.