I currently live in Charlotte, NC and after spending 7 years as a personal chef and caterer, I am now happy to share my love of cooking with friends and family. My heart is in the kitchen, but my soul is in the stars!

Chacewater Winery offers organic wine

The Boy Toy and I just returned from a much needed week long vacation of swirling and sipping our way through the California wine country. Not long before we started planning this trip, I accepted a job at a North Carolina wine and beer distributor and I soon found out that being “industry” ensured that the wine flowed and preferential treatment ensued during our winery visits. And I was not one bit ashamed of throwing my business card around - tastings and tours in Napa and Sonoma can get pretty pricey and we visited eight different wineries.

We also spent a couple of days seeing the sights of San Francisco since we were so close and Boy Toy had never been there. I took over 400 photos! I managed to whittle them down to a select 156 few and you can view them all here if you’d like.It’s been really hard to get out of vacation frame of mind and back into real life – I’m still pretending to be in the wine country each evening by pouring me a glass of wine while preparing dinner and trying to dissect its nuances.

Of the eight wineries we visited, six were suppliers that my company represents, which meant that I didn’t need to bother with buying their wine to bring home if we enjoyed it – I can just call out to the warehouse and have it brought to me. And you would think with that job perk, I wouldn’t need to buy wines from any other source. But there was one winery that I WANTED to buy from called Chacewater. Their grapes are grown organically and farmed bio-dynamically and their products carry a certified organic label. I had high hopes of coming back to work and spreading the good word about Chacewater in anticipation of adding them to our distributor portfolio, but my boss informed me that the word “organic” on a wine label is the kiss of death.  I was shocked to learn that – I know there aren’t many organic wines on the market but I would think with more and more people migrating to an organic and real food lifestyle it would be a growing part of the industry.  But then again, I also know that the concept only appeals to a minority.  So I’m singing the winery’s praises here and hoping it benefits someone looking for organic wines.  
We found ourselves at Chacewater’s tasting bar one afternoon based on a recommendation from my doctor.  In addition to a wine tasting, we were also offered an olive oil tasting.  It was here that we learned California wineries do not offer by- the- glass purchases of wine to enjoy after a tasting like we are used to here in North Carolina but Ryan, our pourer, allowed us to “revisit” as many wines as we wanted.   Each of their wines was very impressive and I liked them all – I walked away with a bottle of Highlander Red and I don’t even consider myself a lover of red wine!  I also brought home the four-bottle sample pack of olive oils and a bar of lavender mint scented soap.  

The founders, Paul and Kellye Manuel, had been tending to vineyards for nearly twenty years and selling the organically grown grapes to Fetzer when they had the opportunity to purchase 10 acres of vines in Lake County from the monks of Saint Gregory of Sinai Monastery.   Shortly thereafter, they built Chacewater and the name plays homage to Manuel’s ancestral town of Chacewater in England.

It wasn’t long before Chacewater’s winemaking portfolio gained recognition and in addition to wine, they produce certified bottles of award-winning Tuscan extra virgin olive oils and citrus infused oils from 8 varieties of olives grown on site.  Any of their olive oils that are two years or older in age are sent out and returned in the form of luxurious EVOO-based scented soap products.

Chacewater olive oils, wines, and soaps are not distributed in states other than California but they may be purchased online.  Once my funds recover from vacation spending, I plan to stock my wine refrigerator with more of Chacewater’s products.

If you happen to be visiting the Lake County area, their tasting room is open Monday – Sunday from 11am to 5pm.  They are located at 5625 Gaddy Lane, Kelseyville, CA .

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