Chacewater Winery



 Owners Luke, Paul, Kellye and Matt  Manuel

Chacewater Winery & Olive Mill is family-owned and operated. They are located in Kelseyville, a town tucked away in Lake County, California. They take pride in producing wines, Extra Virgin Olive Oils and soaps of the highest quality, sourced from select vineyards and estate-grown olive trees. By producing only small lots and using only the finest natural ingredients they are able to produce artisanal products of distinction. The name Chacewater honors their ancestral family in Cornwall, England. Because of their adventurous and hardworking nature, they are able to fulfill their passions today.

Paul Manuel, the founder of Chacewater Winery & Olive Mill, is very familiar with the hard work and passion it takes to grow grapes and make wine. When he started the winery in 2008, he and his wife Kellye had already spent the last twenty years caring for the vineyard they had started after a devastating forest fire nearly destroyed his family’s home land in the Sierra Foothills.

The family worked tirelessly then, planting grapes to create one of Nevada County’s first commercial vineyards. Paul sold the exceptional, organically grown fruit to Fetzer Vineyards until 2008, when he acquired a 10-acre olive mill property in Lake County from the monks of Saint Gregory of Sinai Monastery, and built a 10,000-square-foot winery. To honor his family’s strong work ethic and endless determination, he chose the name Chacewater after his ancestors’ town of origin, Chacewater, England.

Mark Burch has a longtime expertise with the grapes of Lake County and went straight to work for Chacewater, helping Paul craft exceptional wines that reflect the terroir of the lake County region. Mark’s exposure to many different winemaking techniques over the years has helped him develop his own personal style. Chacewater wines are exceptional because of Mark’s creativity and vision.

When the monastery Emilio De La Cruz was part of acquired a 10-acre parcel that became the St. Gregory Olive Farm, Emilio was asked to be Olive Mill Operator and Facility Manager. He has educated himself through books, classes and seminars and years of experience managing and operating the olive farm. When the monastery sold the Olive Farm and Mill to Chacewater in 2008, he worked closely with Paul to help train staff to farm and manage the olive trees. Emilio joined Chacewater full time this year and will continue to produce the finest extra virgin olive oil.

North Ponderosa Vineyards In 1989 a huge forest fire burned an entire ridge of Ponderosa pines in the Sierra Foothills. The Manuel family survived and managed to save their home, but their land was scorched. Afterwards, they consulted agriculture and viticulture experts and determined that a new life as an organic vineyard would be a wonderful way to start fresh and make use of the deep, well drained soils. The climate also proved an ideal combination of hot days and cool nights. The soil, a rich mix of ancient sediments, decomposed granite and organic matter is especially suited to producing excellent grapes.

Cat’s Paw Vineyards Located on the Kelseyville Bench in Lake County, CA at elevations between 1600 ft.–1700 ft. This yields good minerality, but minimizes stress on the vines, resulting in greater intensity of fruit.

Bella Vista Farms The fruit is sourced from a well established river bottom vineyard in Big Valley, Lake County. The rich soils of the Big Valley allow the vines to express concentration and intensity.

Lake County Wine Awards
2011 Best of Class, Best Red, Gold
2009 Red Hills Syrah, which won the Red Wine
Gold for its 2010 Sauvignon Blanc
Silver for its 2010 Chardonnay and 2010 Riesling
Bronze for its 2009 Malbec
Best of Class for its 2008 0-eight Headache Blend

Chacewater olive oils are continually lauded too eight varieties of olive grow in the orchard, and Chacewater uses the most advanced methods to produce the finest extra virgin olive oils, citrus infused oil, and olive oil soap products.

Chacewater Wine and Olive Mill
5625 Gaddy Lane
Kelseyville, CA
95451 707-279-2995

Interview with Paul Manuel

Did you have a different profession before owning your own winery, and if so what?

For 29 years I ran the family business- an underground construction company

When did you decide to become a winery owner, explain?

From 1993 to 2003 I farmed the land near my home tending to Cabernet Sauvignon that I had planted after a fire had devasted our land in 1988. We sold our organic grapes to other wineries. I increasingly wanted to more control over the final product of my labors and decided in 2008 that it was time to make wine myself.

What has owning a winery meant to you and is it what you expected?

It has been both challenging and rewarding. The business side of things presents new unexpected challenges every day, however, it always feels worthwhile when customers enjoy our products. 

What made you decide to transition into producing organic wines, or did you decide on this process from the beginning?

Our very first vineyard was and is certified organic. I always knew this was an important priority for my family and me.

Who taught you organic farming practices?

Our first consulting viticulturist, Alice Litton

What sacrifices have you had to make in choosing to go organic?

I don’t consider any of the protocols we’ve had to follow as a sacrifice.

What challenges have you had in labeling your organic wine?

Follow the complexity of the rules and regulations.
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