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Gold Medal Wine Club
5330 Debbie Road, Suite 200
Santa Barbara, California 93111
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Welcome to Gold Medal Wine Club. America's Leading Independent Wine Club since 1992. Celebrating 20+ Years!
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Stevenot Winery - Sierra Foothills

Exclusive to the Platinum Series and not available in stores.

Barden Stevenot remembers well the times he and his family drove past the Shaw Ranch as he was growing up. As a young boy 12 years of age, he didn’t think much of the property’s storied history—how it was first settled in the mid 1860s, at the time of the great California Gold Rush. It didn’t seem to matter either that Shaw Ranch was in the heart of the Mother Lode region where vast amounts of gold were extracted from the hillsides. And never mind that a 195 pound nugget was found nearby, which to this day is still the biggest ever found in the earth’s northern hemisphere. What really fascinated young Barden was the swimming pool he could see as they drove by. “It was just an old concrete tank,” recalls Barden. “But I wanted to own a ranch when I grew up and when I saw one with a pool, well, that was it, I knew I wanted that ranch!” he says laughing. Twenty years later in 1969, like a dream come true, Barden Stevenot bought Shaw Ranch.

The area was first settled in the late 1840s primarily by Italian and French immigrants who were part of the initial wave of European newcomers to the U.S. Most had landed on the east coast and traveled across the country to crush and chip and sift their way into the fortunes of the Mother Lode. These early settlers also brought with them a way of life from the old country that included winemaking. As a result, a number of vineyards and wineries cropped up in the area that historians say at one time numbered more than one-hundred.

In 1860 a Mrs. Shaw, an immigrant from the Falkland Islands, bought what was then a 260 acre parcel from one of the original settlers. Shaw transformed the land into a cattle ranch, produce farm and dairy operation, and kept active a small portion of an existing vineyard. Oh yea, and she also had her own personal gold mine in her back yard! This last item came in particularly handy during the Depression.

The property remained in the Shaw Family for 75 years. It was one of Mrs. Shaw’s descendants who, during the 1920s, built that glorious concrete pool. After World War II the Shaw Family sold 160 acres of the property to the Winslow Family. They owned it until 1969 when they put it up for sale and Barden Stevenot jumped at the chance to buy the ranch he had always loved.

One of Barden’s good friends, Lou Preston, encouraged him to grow grapes on the property. Lou had recently started his own vineyard and winery in Sonoma County. “I helped Lou out during crush and spent a lot of time at Preston Winery learning about viticulture and winemaking,” Barden says. “And for a year we logged tons of data about the climate and soil on the Shaw Ranch property until I decided to give it a go.”
In the mid 1970s, Barden planted 24 acres of 6 different varietals on his Shaw Ranch property. Then in 1978, he refurbished an old 1860s barn on the property and converted it into the winery. That same year, he produced 2,200 cases of his first commercial wines. Production steadily increased to keep up with the demand, eventually settling into their current annual output of 40,000 cases.

Today Stevenot produces, Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc, and very small quantities of Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, and Barbera. Recently, the winery added three ultra-premium “Shaw Ranch” designated wines which are extraordinarily hand-crafted and comprised of the best fruit from the vineyard. Extremely small quantities are made of Shaw Ranch Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Winemaker, Chuck Hovey, has directed the production of all Stevenot wines for the past 15 years. Evidence of a superlative job comes from over 350 medals earned during his tenure.

Dear Members and fellow wine lovers,

We at Stevenot celebrate your interest in fine wines and herein bring you the history and description of our offerings.
Stevenot Winery resides in a beautiful valley through which a bubbling stream flows, dividing our home vineyards. The name Shaw Ranch is applied only to wine made from the fruit of these vineyards, as we deem the grapes produced here to be competitive with the finest vineyards anywhere. Our grapes are hand picked under the inspection of artful winemaker Chuck Hovey, and delivered to the winery only a few feet away from the vineyard.
Shaw Ranch was settled in the 1850s by Falkland Island immigrants, and grapes were grown at some periods between that time and 1974, when I planted our current vineyards. The wonderful climate and soils of the valley were the inspiration for planting, but I underestimated the quality of fruit that has evolved.
You will be tasting the second vintage of Chardonnay that we have deemed worthy of the Shaw Ranch label. We are very proud of this series of wines produced, nurtured and bottled at the winery from its own vineyards.
The 1995 Shaw Ranch Chardonnay won a Double Gold Medal in the San Francisco International Fair Wine Competition, and we feel that the 1996 is every bit as fine, or better, a wine. The ’96 wine exhibits a range of papaya and citrus like tropical flavors carefully entwined with subtle nuances of vanilla. Three months of oak aging on the lees gives a creaminess of the palate that is complemented by buttery notes produced by the malo-lactic fermentation undergone by 30% of the wine.
You also have the first vintage of Shaw Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine has been aged in new French and American oak for 16 months before it was bottled on June 30, 1997. There are intense raspberry and currant flavors as well as spicy vanilla and eucalyptus notes with good tannin structure to provide long term aging for those of you who are so minded.
Please enjoy these outstanding wines produced by all of us here at Stevenot.