Wine & Love, a powerful pair.
Winemaker/Proprietor Chaim Gur-Arieh PhD has always been an innovator. His winemaking endeavors began after a 35-year career as a food technologist, where he was responsible for the creation of some of America’s favorite food products: Cap’n Crunch Cereal, Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing, Tiger’s Milk Bar, pudding cups, Power Bar, the list goes on.
After this illustrious career, Chaim was eager for creative liberation from the food industry, so he & Elisheva, his wife / business partner purchased a 209-acre parcel of land between the south and middle forks of the Cosumenes River in the Shenandoah Valley of the Sierra Foothills. They planted 42 acres of rolling vineyards with 11 varietals, built the winery together, and Chaim brought his expertise to the art of winemaking in the year 2000.
Our Beloved Vineyards
We are dedicated to the land and strive to maintain a healthy and beautiful environment for the present and the future so that we may drink the best wine today, and leave a healthy planet for our children. We work hard to conserve water and energy, maintain healthy soil, protect air and water quality, preserve local ecosystems and wildlife habitat, and improve the economic vitality of the region and ensure the highest quality of grapes.
Excellence in winemaking must start with a steadfast dedication to keeping meticulous and sustainable viticulture practices in order to source the finest fruit and make a positive impact on the surroundings. We maintain soil health by composting the pressed grape seeds and skins after fermentation and recycle them back into the soil to enrich it with nitrogen and minerals. Furthermore, our vineyard practices protect our fish and our waterways with certified Fish Friendly Farming.
Water conservation is our priority. We water our grapes with a fresh drought-resistant water supply from our 600ft deep well that taps into a pure mineral rich source of water without impacting the watertable or our community. We use drip irrigation to conserve water and have implemented an innovative system that uses sensors to monitors the irrigation system for leaks.
What grape varietals do we grow?
Zinfandel, Primitivo, Syrah, Petit Sirah, Barbera,Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon,Cabernet Franc, Tempranillo, Grenache, and Touriga Nacionale.
Harvesting uniformly ripe fruit is our priority. We achieve this through balancing the vine, which requires extensive hand labor. through clonal selection and by modifying the architecture of the trellising system to provide more shade to the side of the vineyard facing the afternoon sun.
Our Unique Winery
Designed by winemaker Chaim & his partner Elisheva, the winery itself is a 12,000 sq.ft. world class facility perched on a hillside on 2 plateaus, utilizing the natural terrain to provide gravity flow during crush. Always the innovator, Chaim engineered and built 11 Dual Compartment Submerged Cap Fermentation Tanks with the capacity of up to 8 tons of grapes each. His innovative tank design works like a french coffee press, engineered to submerge the skins during fermentation, a gentle technique that enables maximum extraction of the skin components that give the flavor, color and mouth-feel while avoiding the bitterness and harshness usually associated with other extraction methods such as punch down. The winery has a capacity of 10,000 cases per year.
While much of the quality of the wine depends on farming techniques and takes place in the vineyard, we have also implemented a number of winemaking protocols designed to enhance the balance and quality of our wines. They include: Our wines are aromatic, with a longlasting mid-palate flavor and a long finish.
Our grapes are rigorously sorted to ensure that only the best berries are vinified.
Our grapes are destemmed and gently pressed to avoid crushing the seeds and macerating the skins. This gives us a clean, well-balanced, full flavored wine without excessive astringency.
Our wines are cold-soaked for maximum flavor & color.
Our wines are aged in predominantly French oak barrels carefully to preserve the flavors and the regional identity of the wine.
Where are we located?
We are located in Amador County high in the rolling foothills between the South & Middle Forks of the Cosumnes River in the Shenandoah Valley. At an altitude of 1,700 ft above water, the region is graced with hot days, temperate nights, cool moderate breezes and excellent loam soils.
“I like to make wines that are elegant and have good balance. My style of wine has forward fruit that carries to the mid-palate and a long sustained finish. I like to use the oak to enhance the varietal identity of the wine and not mask it.”
-Chaim Gur-Arieh, Ph.D.
As an inventor and new food product developer, Chaim Gur-Arieh spent 35 years preparing himself for the role of winemaker at C.G. Di Arie Vineyard & Winery. Born in Istanbul, Turkey, he immigrated to Israel as a teenager. After completing his military service as an officer in a tank division, Chaim studied at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology and received his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering. Soon after, he moved to the United States to continue his education at the University of Illinois where he earned a Masters and a Ph.D. in Food Science with minors in Biochemistry and Chemical Engineering. Chaim then joined Quaker Oats where he co-developed the breakfast Cereal Cap’n Crunch. Then, he moved to California to become Director of New Products at Del Monte Corporation where he created an array of new products including “Pudding Cups”, “Gel Cups”, “Yogurt Cups”, etc. In 1974 Chaim married Elisheva and founded Food Development Corporation, where he developed numerous new products including Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing, Power Bars and Wine Coolers. In 1980, Chaim merged Food Development Corporation with California Brands Flavors, his newly created flavor company. Over the next 18 years Chaim transformed California Brands Flavors into a major West Coast flavor company. In 1998, Chaim and Elisheva sold their flavor company to Mane & Fils, an international flavor company and went on to pursue their life-long dream of creating world class wines. Chaim’s wines are highly extracted, soft and elegant – a perfect match to fine cuisine.
Vice President / Proprietor
Elisheva, Chaim’s wife and co-owner of C. G. Di Arie Vineyard and Winery, was born in Haifa, Israel. She was raised on a “Kibbutz” (a communal farm near the Sea of Galilee), in the Jezreel Valley. At the age of 13 Elisheva and her family immigrated to San Francisco.After completing her studies in anthropology, she went on to pursue a career in Fine Arts. She attended the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, Ca and is a nationally exhibiting artist. She has exhibited her paintings in Chicago, Georgia, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Washington, San Francisco and San Diego.
Brand Manager / Partner
Tasting Room Manager
Tasting Room Dog
Regional Sales Manager
Tasting Room Associate