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Campovida Announces New Winemaker and Tasting Room

(Hopland, California) – Campovida, the restored former Fetzer Valley Oaks winery, gardens and Food & Wine Center, announces the first full vintage wine releases from Sebastian Donoso, the property’s new – and first dedicated winemaker since it was purchased by private owners from Brown Forman in 2010 and painstakingly revitalized.

A native of Chile, Donoso is a graduate of California State University, Fresno, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Enology and Viticulture and worked under John Giannini, lead winemaker at the Fresno State Winery and head of the wine production program. Donoso joined Campovida as its first lead winemaker from nearby Saracina Vineyards, where he spent four years as an enologist and assistant winemaker under head winemaker, Alex MacGregor.

In its early stage of wine production, Campovida made use of Saracina’s custom crush services, allowing Donoso the opportunity to begin working closely with Campovida growers and partners to help shape the winemaking style and program. In addition to using fruit from Campovida’s own estate vineyards, Donoso continues to collaborate with some of the region’s most respected growers, including Norm Shandel (Oppenlander Vineyard), Paul Dolan (Darkhorse Vineyard), Julie and Joel Golden (Golden Vineyard), John Chiarito, the Grazianos, among others. Under Donoso’s leadership, the Campovida wine program is focused on Mendocino-driven, pure and expressive varietal character, small production lots, sustainably-focused production practices and a minimalistic approach to winemaking.

“We’re incredibly lucky to have found Sebastian,” said Campovida owner, Gary Breen. “His passion for his craft and for this Mendocino community of growers and producers; his creative mind and minimalistic approach to winemaking greatly complement our work at Campovida and have helped to capture the expression of the region and create something truly special with our wine program.”

This month, Donoso and Campovida released five Rhone whites: a Grenache Rosé, a Roussane, Marsanne, Viognier, a Marsanne/Viognier/Rousanne Rhone white blend called Campo di Blanca; as well as an Arneis and Chardonnay, with production per wine ranging from 75 – 250 total cases.

Future red releases include Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Carignane, Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Grenache, Zinfandel and Pinot Noir.

“Working with the team at Campovida and the community of growers and partners in Mendocino wine country has been a dream for me,” says Donoso. “This region offers such unlimited potential to grow so many varietals well with such a commitment to quality – from farming practices through to production.”

Campovida wines are available direct-to-consumers via their Pura Vida wine club community, online, through Campovida tasting rooms and at curated Northern California restaurants.

Campovida Brings Mendocino Terroir to Oakland: A Taste of Place 

In 2010, after purchasing the former Fetzer Valley Oaks property, new owners Gary Breen and Anna Beuselinck relocated their young family from Oakland to Campovida in Hopland, CA – beginning a next chapter for the 51-acre property and in their own lives.  This month, Campovida celebrates its East Bay roots through the opening of an urban tasting room in the same 19th century building which houses the Linden Street Brewery in the industrial Port of Oakland. Named “Taste of Place”, the tasting room designed by Breen and Beuselinck will feature Campovida wines by both glass and bottle, as well as extra virgin olive oil, honey and other garden products harvested from Campovida’s own certified organic farm and estate.

This is a sweet return to Oakland for us,” says Beuselinck. “We lived, worked and started our family in Oakland, yet dreamed of integrating our lives with nature, adventure, family, community and contribution – which we were able to find at Campovida. With the opening of Taste of Place in Oakland, we get to share that dream with the Bay Area community where we got our start.”

The move next to Linden Street Brewery is also a testament to a rapidly evolving partnership with the brewery’s founder, Adam Lamoreaux.  In 2011, Lamoreaux began planting and harvesting hops in Hopland in partnership with Campovida – bringing back to the region the crop which was once at the heart of the local economy and for which the town was named. Lamoreaux has handcrafted beers for the Piazza de Campovida, Campovida’s sister property in downtown Hopland and is planning a brewery in Hopland for later in 2013.  Campovida and Linden Street Brewery are working on future plans to further expand and deepen the urban-rural connection both in Oakland and in Hopland.

Campovida’s Oakland “Taste of Place” is open Thursdays 4-9 p.m., Friday, 4-9 p.m., Saturday & Sundays 12-5 and Monday through Wednesday by appointment. The Taste of Place is also available for private gatherings and corporate off-site meetings. 

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