Chuck Mansfield, Winemaker
It seems that grapes, grape growing, and winemaking have been in Chuck Mansfield’s blood since the earliest days of his life. Chuck’s father is a grape grower in El Dorado County where he spent much of his youth working with his dad in the fields. With a bent toward science in high school, Chuck spent time in the chemistry lab, which ultimately led him to attend California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. As part of the inaugural class of 2006 to receive a Wine and Viticulture major, Chuck had the opportunity to help develop curriculum, explore internships and take time for independent study; all critical elements of his education. Along the way, Chuck spent a semester studying wine science and advanced viticulture in Geelong, Australia.
Through high school, Chuck spent seasonal time in Placerville with the Carron Corporation, learning about the care of vineyards including: pruning tactics, irrigation timings, plantings and developing new vineyards. From July 2006 to December 2006, Chuck was a research winery intern at E & J Gallo Winery in Modesto, California, producing wine to support research, marketing and development projects from fermentation to filtration.
In late 2006 through spring of 2007, Chuck became an assistant winemaker at David Girard Vineyards in Placerville. Influenced by the wines of southern France, the winery specialized in Rhone style wines, plus a limited amount of classic Bordeaux varietals. Chuck assisted with the day-to-day cellar work to facilitate the winery’s 3,500 annual case production and marketing of the wines.
In 2007, Chuck was called to join Hop Kiln by Vero Westside CEO David DiLoreto, who had previously purchased grapes from Chuck’s father. Chuck’s up-to-date perspective is a natural fit for the future of HKG Estate Wines. He will devote his skills to the burgeoning estate model of HKG Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Judging by his first vintages, which have received favorable press and high scores from the likes of the Wine Spectator and the Pinot Report, it looks as though wine lovers can expect a succession of high marks in Chuck’s long-reaching future.