Paul Manuel's grandfather came from Chacewater, England, during the California Gold Rush. He was one of the lucky ones to actually find gold in them thar hills - enough to start a successful construction company that supported his family for decades.
When a devastating fire flattened their property in the 1990s, the family changed course. Wine called to Paul Manuel and his wife, Kelleye, and they decided to plant a 10-acre, completely organic vineyard in Lake County. Their goal was to sell their grapes to other wineries. But when the Manuels realized that their grapes were being used to make award-winning wines, it didn't take long for them to decide to make their own.
Lake County was once part of Napa and Mendocino counties, so it's easy to see how their wines can be so good. Our selection comes from two distinct and esteemed vineyards in Lake County: Arrighi and Red Hills.
Our selection is named "Gwin," and honors the founder's English heritage, as it is the Cornish word for wine. This is a rather unique blend of 50% Petite Sirah, 35% Malbec and 15% Petit Verdot. The blend was aged for 20 months in used French oak and six months in new.
This combination is what accounts for the mammoth flavors and textures in the finished wine. The Petite Sirah obviously takes center stage, with its explosive bramble and dark cherry flavors softened by the vanilla characteristics of the oak. The Malbec contributes the gripping finish, with the Petit Verdot softening the entire undertaking with its sensuous plum and spice components.