gmhTODAY 25 gmhTODAY April May 2019 - Page 76

the Vine Bev Stenehjem Bev Stenehjem is a local wine enthusiast, author and free- lance writer focused on the wineries of Santa Clara Valley. Bev wrote “The Wineries of Santa Clara Valley,” a historical photo book published by Arcadia Publishing in 2015. Calerrain Wines C alerrain Wines, owned by Geoff and Chantelle Mace, is one of the newest wineries to join the Santa Clara Valley Wine Trail in Gilroy. Geoff and Chantelle met while students at San Jose State University and married soon after graduation. Both are “seize the day” kind of people with a reputation for hard work and dedication to family. At 38, Geoff’s impressive resume includes service in the Marine Corps, an MBA, a degree in Finance and in Winemaking and most recently, a winemaker of at Calerrain Wines. Chantelle, a pharmacist, manages a local retail pharmacy. Married for fi fteen years, they have two children; Lincoln and Morgan. Just celebrating their one-year anniversary of the winery, the Maces produce premium Chardonnay, Cabernet and Pinot Noir wines. Calerrain is What did you do before you got started in the business? After graduating from San Jose State with a degree in Finance, I joined the Marine Corps and served two deployments in Iraq as an Infantry officer. Fresh out of the service in 2007, I worked in sales in Southern California. Then in 2010 I used my G.I. bill to go back to school. I enrolled at Fresno State University in order to earn a degree in Oenology and Viticulture while at the same time earning an MBA. How did you become a wine entrepreneur? Chantelle and I caught the “wine-bug” in 2005 during a visit to Healdsburg. After visiting a number of wineries, we thought, ‘Wow; people do this for a living? They grow grapes and make wine?’ and determined that we were going to get into the wine business someday, too. So we started exploring and tasting wine up and down the coast of California – from Temecula, Santa Barbara, and Paso Robles up through Russian River, Anderson and Mendocino Valleys. We were fascinated to discover that the same varietals, grown and produced in different regions could yield such different outcomes. In 2015 I worked at Diageo as one of the winemakers for BV Coastal wines. After receiving an unexpected bonus there, we used it to buy some grapes to fulfill our life-long goal of making our own wine. After much research and with a desire to stay close to family, Chantelle and I chose the Santa Clara Valley to start a family and launch our wine business. 76 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN one of three award-winning wineries located inside The Stomping Ground. How did you learn to make wine? Alongside their Oenology and Viticulture program, Fresno State offers a unique hands-on training at their 8,000 case commercial winery where I was able to “learn by doing.” How did you come up with the name, Calerrain Wines? It is a combination of “California” and “terrain” and represents our vision to illustrate how place influences wine—that the same varietals grown in different regions of California can taste wildly different from each other. For example, this year we offered two Cabernets; one from the Santa Clara Valley and the other from San Benito County. The Santa Clara Valley grapes, aged in French oak barrels, produced a wine more in the old world style—medium-bodied with solid tan- nins. In contrast, the Cabernet grapes from San Benito, were aged in American oak barrels and produced a New World style wine— fuller-bodied and more fruit forward. What kinds of wine do you specialize in? At the moment we are producing Chardonnay, Cabernet and Pinot Noir; three varietals, across the different terrains in California. What is your favorite wine gadget or wine trick? I’m a big fan of using a glass decanter for heavy reds. Decanting really smoothes out the tannins and brings out the best in these wines. april/may 2019 Geoff and Chantelle Mace, Owners