Charles R Winery is a small family owned and operated winery in Livermore Valley with three generations of the Bartlett family actively involved in the production of their fine wines. Founder Charles Richard, or Dick, Bartlett and his wife Bonnie started their winery on a remote ranch in the eastern corner of Livermore Valley. Their son Randy is the winemaker, learning his craft while working for other Livermore Valley wineries. His sister Debra is the director of marketing and her daughter Katie is the events manager.
This winery is reached at the end of Greenville Road, past Poppy Ridge Golf Course. At the end of the road visitors turn onto rural Crane Ridge Road and down the gravel drive to the tasting room. This is truly Livermore Valley ranch land and as you stroll out the back door of the tasting room to relax on the patio sipping your wine you will admire the rolling hills and the nearby cattle grazing in the fields. Often wildlife is visible.
Inside the tasting room antique mining tools adorn the walls. The ranch is located along an old mining trail. Bonnie is an artist and she designed the tree found on the label. Her artwork and those of other local artists are also displayed in the tasting room.
The Charles R 2006 Pinot Grigio delivers aromas and flavors of pineapple, peach and pear. It has crisp acidity and the acids linger on the long finish.
The 2007 Chardonnay – Sur Lies from their estate vineyards is a ripe full bodied wine that has received prolonged lees (the residual yeast and other particles that precipitate). The lees contact delivers a yeasty quality similar to sparkling wine. The lees are stirred (batonnage in French) to promote more uptake of the lees flavor. These extra steps generate a more fruitful flavor and a smooth finish.
The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon is a Silver Medal winner in the 2008 San Francisco Chronicle wine competition. It has black cherry and blackberry aromas and on the palate these same flavors follow through along with a smooth velvet finish.