Munger Family Vineyard began as a hobby. Danny and I were engaged and living in Live Oak. We would go wine tasting for fun any chance we got. We would stop at wineries whenever we saw them and check out their facilities, and their wine of course! Once, we took a grounds tour of a Napa favorite and saw the process from start to finish. What fun!
So, for a birthday I gave Danny one of those small wine making kits and bought a box of juice online. Directions were followed, patience and sometime later and Danny had made his first batch of…well…vinegar. But in true Munger fashion; if at first you don’t succeed, plant a whole vineyard and try again! Well that is just what we did!
We married in 2009 and moved into our Irwin avenue home on Valentine’s Day of 2009. The house had a little property to the south that was a weed patch and after 2 years of mowing nothing but weeds we decided it was time to do something with it. In March of 2010, we planted that piece of property with 398 vines consisting of Chardonnay, Cabernet and Zinfandel. We then took a couple of classes through UC Davis, (which were completely overwhelming) and eventually met up with Reece Cordi of Cordi Winery. (Later we would plant another 46 vines to make the total here, 444 vines.)
After three years of training and pruning, it was finally time to pick some grapes. 2013 was our first harvest and by this time our two kids, Sydney and Trevor, were 4 and 2 years old. Both our families came out to help with the harvest, arriving here at 4 am. (some traveling an hour, to help us pick!) We then took our grapes over to Cordi Winery where we destemmed and crushed and learned a great deal. For 4 years, Reece Cordi processed our grapes, all the while, answering countless questions and helping us in any way he could. We couldn’t be more grateful for the Cordi Family and our own families for their support all these years.
Now somewhere along the line, we realized that having 398 vines would produce 5 barrels or 128 cases of wine, and that was probably too much wine to consume between ourselves and our family and friends. It also is only legal for hobby purposes to have 2 barrels per adult living on the premises. So…we had to get a license through the government, TTB, and be classified as a winery. In 2011, we were declared a winery, hooray! Next, we applied for our ABC license to sell wine through the state of California. No problem, it is an application you fill out online, print it out and turn it in. Well that’s when the paperwork fun began because within their application is a sign off sheet from our county office stating they give us permission to open a winery. Only they didn’t. You see, our property is zoned Ranchette, and a winery was not considered part of the zoning access, thus, starting our long journey through red lines and tape, and out the other side. Nothing worth doing is ever easy. Isn’t that what they say? Well, in October of 2017 we FINALLY met all the necessary guidelines and received our Use Permit to operate in Sutter county as a winery, and our ABC license to sell in the good old state of California. HAPPY DAY!!
So here we are! What started out as a fun little carboy hobby turned into a full-blown winery over the course of 7 years. And do you think we are stopping there? Oh no…might as well keep going…
Our friends, Bruce and Kathy Peacock planted over 1200 vines on their property. They needed someone to make their wine, and so we decided to partner with the Peacocks! We process and produce their Merlot, Primitivo and Zinfandel wines, ready in 2018. We also decided that if we were really going to do this…then I guess we better do this…and so over the course of the next 5 years, we will be planting approximately 300 grapes a year at Larry and Eleanor Mungers property just down the street. This year we planted a Syrah and Granache Noir. It is the original, hot weather Pinot Noir…my personal favorite, yippie!! Watch our 2020, it’s going to be a great year!! We also will build in the next 6-8 years a production building and indoor tasting room so we can move out of our converted garage (get our parking spots back) and be able to serve and house the wine under one roof.
So welcome to our home, welcome to our winery and welcome to our tasting room! We are very fortunate to have such a great group of people around us. Our family, our friends, our mentors, our neighbors, but most of all each other. We hope you enjoy your experience, we hope you enjoy our wine, and we hope you will come back and see us again!
Wine tasting, Sutter, CA