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Winemaking at Chamisal Vineyards

The winemaking team at Chamisal Vineyards, led by winemaker Brianne Engles, is dedicated to continuous improvement, experimentation, and isn’t afraid to try innovative new techniques in the pursuit of making better wines.

In one of a series of “firsts”, the team Chamisal Vineyards, was one of the first producers in California to make an unoaked style of Chardonnay that took more inspiration from the vineyards of Chablis than Napa, and set the tone for a new style that quickly took hold among wine drinkers seeking an alternative to the buttery and oaky style that had become popular.
We continue to innovate with the recent release of our Amphora Chardonnay, aged on its skins in traditional clay amphorae without added yeasts or SO2, and the inaugural vintage of our Estate Sparkling Wine in 2021.

Inspired by the fresh coastal crispness of the ocean air in which our vineyard thrives, our wines are marked by a hallmark style that balances the bright and fresh side of our cool-climate with the layers of complexity and a depth of intensity that comes from our long growing season and extended ripening period.

Our winemaking team is incredibly hands-on in the vineyard, guiding and coaxing each vineyard block to produce fruit that is the most expressive of place and time; allowing for a “less is more” approach in the cellar intended to amplify the voice of the vineyard. Our winemaking team takes a minimalist approach and strives to use as little intervention in the cellar as possible – each decision is weighed carefully and thoughtfully, and every decision about what to add to the wine is as painstakingly made as what not to add.

The art of winemaking is in the details; in the time spent walking each row of vines, in each handful of dirt run through fingers, and in every berry sampled for ripeness and flavor. Each vintage is a culmination of the vintages before it, a patient and persistent progression of tinkering, experiments, and adjustments in the cellar to nudge each wine closer to its fullest and highest expression.

Chamisal winemaking grapes

Vineyard and tasting room at Chamisal Vineyards