Get the Dirt about Calstar Cellars from winemaker Richard Davis

28 Mar

CalStarRick1. What was your first vintage year? 2001

2. How many cases do you make per vintage? Around 1200, depends on the vintage.

3. Do you have a Tasting Room? No, but we do have tastings by appointment.

4. What wine / grape made you want to become a winemaker/start your own winery? Pinot Noir

5. What varietals do you work with? Which varietal/wine is your favorite to make? I work with many different grapes: Pinot Muenier, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel. My favorite is Pinot Noir, because each vineyard is very different and that shows in each wine.

6. What vineyards do you source from? I source from all over Northern California, searching out cool climate vineyards. My wines feature multiple sites in Sonoma County, two in Mendocino County, 1 each in Lodi and El Dorado County. Gives me the a wonderful variety of grapes and flavors to play with.

7. What type of oak treatment do you use? Why? It really varies depending on the grape and vineyard. From none to a lot, mostly around 30% new.

8. What do you love about your winemaking region? What makes it different special? The number of micro-climates, yielding great variability between vineyards.

CalStarBottle9. What’s the story behind your winery name / label? The lack of an interesting last name, coupled with my wife’s two studio cats Callie and Star hanging around when I was started the label in 1999. That year, after bottling wine that we stored in our back yard under a tree, both cats, but Star in particular, also selected this as the best place to hang out and watch birds while soaking up warmth. One afternoon while Lynn and I were trying to come up with a brand name and watching the cats hang out we came up with the alliterative (and memorable) name of Calstar Cellars.

10. What’s the one thing you wish someone had told you about the wine business before you started your own winery? As we all know the easy part is making it, hard part is selling it.

11. Most importantly, what’s so great about being small? What can you do as a small winemaker, that wouldn’t be possible for larger wineries?
I enjoy being able to develop personal relationships with all my customers, and experiment as I see fit.

12. How do you view the future in the wine industry for small-lot winemakers? It’s going to continue to be hard due to our lack of budgets and time for marketing.

13. If you had to choose another wine region to work in what would it be? Oregon or Central Otago. Pinot country of course.

For more information about Calstar Cellars, please visit their website or follow them on FACEBOOK.

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