Wine Making Philosophy
“My philosophy is, wine is made in the vineyard. I try to let each vintage speak for itself with minimal interference. By using organic farming methods and leaving our wines unfiltered and unfined, the beauty of the fruit shows through.”
—Eric Hays, Winemaker
Chateau Davell's Estate Vineyard is situated at an 1100’ elevation in the El Dorado AVA. We use sustainable vineyard management methods, eliminating the need for conventional herbicides and pesticides, and supporting the vitality of the surrounding ecosystem. We use cover cropping and other natural farming techniques in our estate vineyard as well as in the demonstration vineyards and gardens at our Tasting Room site. We are thankful to have relationships with other sustainable growers in both El Dorado and Amador Counties to source additional quality fruit for our winemaking. Ste. Maribelle, one of our Southdown sheep pictured here, helps manage the vineyard through weed eating and fertilizing.
Chateau Davell produces handcrafted wines in extremely small lots, combining old-world methods with new-world style. Winemaker/Owner Eric Hays approaches winemaking more as an artist than a scientist. He strives to make all of our wines, from our signature red blends to our Zander Zinfandel and Estate Chloe Chardonnay, well balanced, smooth, rich and velvety. Because none of our wines are filtered or fined, they have a beautifully pronounced bouquet, flavor and body not found in mass produced wines. Our labels feature the winemaker’s paintings of our family members and the original artwork used for the labels is on display in the Tasting Room.
Being able to spend time together as a family is really the most important element of our business. Eric developed a passion for wine during his 15-year tenure as a restaurant and club manager, and honed his winemaking skills on the job as an Assistant Winemaker at a local winery. Emily brings her passion for sustainability and green living to the vineyard and business operations, as well as managing marketing, Tasting Room design and operations, and our commercial kitchen. Eric's mom Davell, the namesake of the winery, brings her accounting and master gardening skills to the operation. All three family members manage the winery operations together.
Living an eco-friendly lifestyle, being good stewards of the land we farm, and creating a healthy environment for our children and animals are all integral parts of our family philosophy and business practice. We use no herbicides, pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Bottling by hand using recycled-content glass, labels produced with 100% post-consumer waste papers, and FSC Certified corks helps keep our production and packaging as sustainable as possible. We never add dyes or fining agents to our wines and we strive to work with other local growers using organic farming practices whenever possible. Thank you for letting us share our passion with your, and for supporting our family business!
Our Tasting Room offers unique and intimate spaces available to reserve for all your celebrations, and we have a number of private party and special event options available to help customize your experience. We are happy to host your birthday celebrations, family reunions, business meetings, anniversaries, holiday parties, small weddings, etc…you name it, we’ll celebrate it with you! Your rental of the Patio Bar, Love Shack, Vista Lawn or Tasting Room can include use of a private bar with a personal bartender, wine tasting with pairings, or an open bar with wines of your choosing. We have a wood-fired oven and full commercial kitchen with a large variety of food options for you to choose from, or you are welcome to bring in outside food or a caterer.
We also offer rental of our entire venue for larger events such as weddings and corporate events. Use of the facility includes staffed bars, parking, commercial kitchen, prep area, wedding arch and use of two bathrooms. Stop by the Tasting Room to view or call Eric at 530-644-2016 to ask about hosting your private event.
Chateau Davell’s daily tasting menu varies, but always showcases six of our current vintages of unique varietals and blends, each paired with a different local / farmstead cheese or other pairing. Our reserve wines, as well as some library vintages are also available for purchase at the Tasting Room, along with an assortment of artisan picnic supplies and hand-crafted chocolates. Our hard apple cider, Avery Sparkling Rosé and seasonal kombucha, all on tap, are only available by the glass at the Tasting Room.
Stay and enjoy our wines by the glass or bottle in one of our relaxing picnic areas. Our eclectic Tasting Room is a fun and funky mix of our winemaker’s original artwork, repurposed and sustainable building materials and scenic and relaxing vistas. We offer live music and wood fired pizzas on Friday evenings from May through September, and our venue is available to reserve for all your private events, weddings and special occasions. We look forward to seeing you soon!
- Open Daily from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m
- $10 Tasting Fee, refunded with bottle purchase (complimentary for wine club members)
- Always family-friendly and dog-friendly.
- We kindly request reservations for limousines and groups larger than 8.
Buy our wines online
Buy Our Wines Locally
- Taste Restaurant, Plymouth
- The Wine Smith, Placerville
- Smith Flat House, Placerville
If you're interested in wholesale purchasing, please use our contact form.
We believe one should always have a bottle or two of fine wine on hand. Become part of our extended Chateau Davell family, and receive two bottles of wine quarterly. Benefits of membership include:
20% Off Chateau Davell Wine Purchases
Invitations to Club-Only Events
Wine Club Exclusive Wines
Pre-Order Wines and Event Tickets
25% Off Case Reorders of Current Wine Releases
Wines are selected by the Winemaker. Due to limited production, substitutions are not allowed. We ask that you keep your membership active for one year or four shipments, then you may cancel at anytime. You may choose to pick up your wines at the Tasting Room or have them shipped. (Shipping rates apply.)
Call Today to Join our Club: 530-644-2016 or sign up online.