Who We Are...
Crystal Basin Cellars has its roots in amateur cooperative winemaking. Beginning under the house in 1981, CBC created a long string of vintages that captured fun times with friends. Steadily growing from 3 barrels to 25, CBC outgrew its space and was formed as a commercial winemaking operation in 2000. Since then, we've made more than 10,000 cases of wine that have been eagerly devoured by our fans and ourselves. We've been awarded a pack of Gold, Silver and Bronze medals since 2001. In fact, each of our vintages has won at least one Gold Medal at a major wine competition in California.
Our goal is to make wines from the heart is driven by a passion to craft the highest quality wines possible from El Dorado County grapes. At Crystal Basin, we are not grape growers but are blessed to have strong community connections to source great local grapes. We've been buying our fruit from the same super-premium vineyards for over 15 years.
One of the key strengths of Crystal Basin Cellars is our Team. We've worked together for a long time and we're all part-timers. We somehow always pull it together and look pretty good doing it.
- Mike Owen - Founder, President and El Jefe
- Mike has led the charge at Crystal Basin since 1988. A veteran of numerous harvests and cork-pulling contests, Mike contributes the drive and vision for the company. A Silicon Valley escapee, Mike also lived in France, where he learned to love Rhone wines. Mike has been very lucky to find high-quality Rhone grapes and put together a talented team to make and market Crystal Basin's wines. Mike has always gets wildly motivated when people say things cannot be done.
- Peter Zimmerman - Winemaker and Forklift Maestro
- Peter has been a part of CBC since 1992. He took over the winemaking role in 2002 with 10 years of under-the-house training and is responsible for maintaining CBC's unique "house style" fruit-forward flavor signature. He is an ex surfer dude and a current National volleyball dude. Plus, he can drive a mean forklift with a kid hanging off each arm. Peter's late nights and quarterbacking during harvest are some of the key reasons why we put great wine in the bottle.
- Bob Kershaw - Wine Ambassador and CBC's Ambassador to France
- Bob has the longest history of making wine of any of the current CBC partners. He made some of his own juice as far back as 1981, which means that he is getting up there. Uncle Bob is the official Brand Ambassador for Crystal Basin and he is loved by all. Owning a chunk of a successful and growing winery was one of his life's dreams and he is looking good doing it! Bob loves barrel tasting and giving personal tours of our facility. Be aware that What Happens in the Barrel Room - Stays in the Barrel Room.
- Melissa Owen - Wine Diva
- Melissa's mission at CBC is to make our guests feel welcome and look forward to their next visit. Melissa comes by her hospitality skills because she genuinely loves people. She is a natural at handling winery chaos, after having to clean up after Mike's whirlwind for more than 16 years. Melissa is the cheerful voice you will hear on the phone when you call up to order wine! (530) 647-1767.
- Jack Wohler - Newly Retired Dude
- Jack Wohler, a native Californian, moved to the Sierra Foothills 20 years ago from the Bay area. His love of Foothill wines and sense of adventure prompted him to take classes in enology and viticulture at UC Davis.On advice of other Foothill vintners ("grow what you love to drink") he and his wife planted 2 acres of Barbera grapes in 2000 and continue to reap the benefits of their alcohol farming.