- Q & A
In 1861, Lake County was created from parts of Napa and Mendocino counties and has since been well known as a farming community. In the 1870s, vineyards were planted and by the early 1900s the area was already earning its reputation for producing "The World's greatest wines".
Prohibition forced an end to the Lake County wine production in 1920. Many of the vineyards were removed and replaced with walnut and pear orchards. The comeback of the wine industry began in the 1960s when a few growers rediscovered the area's grape growing potential and once again began planting vineyards. Lake County now has close to 10,000 acres of planted vineyards and is among the fastest growing regions in California.
Chacewater owner, Paul Manuel, started working for the family construction company while he was just in junior high and stayed with it for 30 years. He worked his way from laborer to project foreman to controller where he managed over $98 million in total sales.
His blood and spirit, though firmly rooted in family, are also rooted in the earth and connected with the hard rock miners, his forefathers of Chacewater, England. Therefore, he has always appreciated his own land where he considers it his home.
In 1988, he and his wife Kellye began designing and building a vineyard on their property and in 1993 they negotiated what turned out to be a ten year relationship selling their grapes to Fetzer Vineyards in Hopland, California. In 2004, Paul and Kellye began taking their grapes to Lake County for custom crush processing. Ready to try his hand at running a different sort of business, one more rooted in the land, Paul acquired a 10-acre Olive Mill property in Lake County in 2008 and built a 10,000 square foot winery adjacent to the Olive Mill. In 2011, they released their first professionally made wines.
The 2013 vintage was one of the best ever here. The long, slow and relatively cool growing season allowed perfect maturation of the grapes and thus the resulting wine. Notes of lemon, grapefruit and guava hit the nose and infuse with the tropical flavors of kiwi and melon. Goes well with a great cheese plate or challenging seafood dishes like shrimp Diablo or fish and chips.
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