Wines from area companies were sampled by a good-sized crowd who turned out for Thursday evening’s Holiday Wine Tasting event hosted by the Ceres Chamber of Commerce.
Represented at the event was Berryhill Family Vineyards, Bronco Winery of Ceres, Epic featuring Napa, Madera and Lodi wines, and French Bar Wines based on La Grange and Modesto.
Bill Berryhill and wife Triana Berryhill and family started wine production in 2016.
“We pulled some of our grapes that we farm for other wineries and we decided to make some wine so we started with all the five varietals,” said Triana Berryhill. “We were able to bottle the sauvignon blanc and the chardonnays in the spring of 2017 because they don’t have to be barrel aged.”
Using its 2016 crops, the Berryhills bottled red wines for the first time this past summer – merlots, zinfandels and cabernet sauvignons. The wines are crushed and manufactured in Lodi from grapes grown by Bill Berryhill in Clements. The wine labels used on Berryhill’s products feature artwork from family members – including watercolor ducks accomplished by Bill and flowers painted by his great aunt Edith.
Triana took advantage of the wine tasting event to introduce the wines to Ceres Save Mart manager Donna Lambert in hopes of getting the chain to carry the brand. So far the Berryhill wines are only available online and at O’Brien’s Market in Modesto and Riverbank, at Orlando’s Market in Linden and Village Fresh Market in Turlock.
Thomas Leach, president of the Modesto based French Bar Wines label produced by Warnerville Wine Co., owned and operated by the Coleman family, explained that the product is named after the original town name of La Grange. The grapes used in the brand are grown off of Warnerville Road east of Oakdale.
Bronco Winery, operating southwest of Ceres, was founded in 1973 by Fred T., Joseph S. and John Franzia, Bronco Wine Company’s diverse family of brands is sold in over 90 countries worldwide in addition to being distributed throughout the United States. Bronco Wine Company has become a major vintage varietal wine source to the California wine industry and is currently the fifth largest winery and the largest vineyard owner in the United States.
Santa Rosa based Epic Wines & Spirits, a wine importer and distributor of wines, was present with products from Cru Winery of Madera, Oak Farm Vineyards of Lodi and Peju Province Winery of Rutherford.