In 2002, when proprietors Bill and Gerry Brinton launched Charles Creek Vineyard with a little over 300 cases of their 2001 Miradero Merlot, little did they know that in just four short years, they’d be where they are today… Successfully enjoying a brand that isn’t impacted by the consolidation of wholesalers and retailers. That consolidation means there’s less and less shelf space for any brand that isn’t favored by big wholesalers. And, what they favor are brands that are produced in 500,000 case production. These wines make for great “house” wines, but aren’t the ones that you purchase as a “home for the holidays” gift giving wine.
The Britons are enjoying a growth pattern that demands further investigation with a “How is this possible?” mentality. This increase, you need to know, is no where near hundreds of thousands of cases. Charles Creek is still a hand crafted brand, which favors quality of grapes and winemaking techniques. The fact that they’ve got great wine is pushing a conservative growth pattern that means they don’t have wine that isn’t selling, so they can continue to notch up production to satisfy supply and demand needs.
The first time I tasted their 2001 Charles Creek Miradero Merlot, I was astounded at the quality. I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with a Merlot, as I had begun to move from Merlot to Pinots and Zinfandels, at that time. I had had so much Merlot, it seemed like my palate was just saturated and ready to move on. The Charles Creek 2001 Miradero Merlot, however, completely changed my mind. That first release went on to win gold, after gold, after gold medals; and sweepstakes awards have also been handed out in the years that have followed for the expanded list of wines that they offer. Obviously, it wasn’t just my palate that fell in love with their wines.
Success seems to be their middle name, as the Brintons have moved from only having wine to sell on line, to the opening of their tasting room in the artisan town of Sonoma, and now to having a portfolio of wine varieties that’s as eclectic and original as Bill and Gerry’s palate preferences.
How has this been possible? It’s so simple… They live by the principle that anything worth doing, is worth doing well.
Charles Creek Vineyard has great wines that prove just that. As you consider what wine to give as a holiday gift, either for the dinner table or for someone’s wine library, consider Charles Creek. They have wonderful wines!