Dakaro Cellars - California's Shasta Cascade

Dakaro Cellars - California's Shasta Cascade

Mon, 10/27/2014 - 17:00 -- johnk


Boutique wineries seem to be springing up in ideal locations for the grapes and the wines they produce. David and Kathy Roth have developed just such a vineyard and winery in Whitmore. They have been creating wonderful wines from their eight acres of chosen varietals that blend beautifully to please the palates of a growing number of fans. I have made several stops by Dakaro Cellars to meet with the owners and enjoy some conversation on the veranda overlooking the vineyard and appreciate some of their well-crafted wines as well.


The Roth’s got started years ago with a passion and a dream. They both went back to school to learn everything they needed to know to begin their new venture. Kathy studied sustainable viticulture and David the art of winemaking. In 2006 they began preparing their land where Big Spring Vineyards sits just off Whitmore Road. Up the winding gravel road is a garden area that looks back over the vineyard with the winery hidden just over the ridge above. David and Kathy planted their first grapes in 2007. A local spring feeds their vines through a gravity flow watering system; they look forward to adding another eight acres of vines to the eight currently in production.

David and Kathy’s vineyard are producing Rhone and Bordeaux varietals, both red and white, as well as a few Italian and Spanish varietals. While Whitmore has warm days, cool nights and mild fall weather help with producing the fruit needed for the Roth’s wines. The Roth’s’ ultimate goal is to create a flavor that is enjoyed as “a mouth full of wine”, and they have been pretty successful.

When I asked David Roth how he and got into winemaking to the point of producing for others to enjoy his reply was; “Well, I took a hobby that I really enjoyed and ruined it by making it into a job.”  I have to disagree. David and Kathy Roth at Dakaro Cellars produces some very nice wines and produces a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Counoise that is very impressive. If you can get your hands on a bottle take your time and experience the wine change and evolve as you enjoy it. Nice, layers that seem to unfold so nicely if you don’t rush through the wine.

David and Kathy belong to a loose-knit community of winemakers and viticulturists who have found unique and productive microclimates in the northern part of the state, “Shasta Cascade”. The Roth’s enjoy the exchange of ideas and information with other local entrepreneurs who are realizing that they are pioneering and growing a new viticulture area that competes with other well-known wine communities within the Golden State. The Roth’s along with a number of other wine makers in the Shasta Cascade area are looking forward to expanding their exposure as the North State embraces a growing agricultural industry of vineyards and wineries that have only now have started to be recognized throughout the industry for their quality.

When they first joined the winemakers of Shasta County, the Roth’s said, people didn’t know that wine was being made in the area. They were correct, awhile back I visited the Palo Cedro Wine Walk, just east of Redding and was surprised at how many locals were just learning of that their were wineries near were they live. Now locals and visitors find a better quality and less compromising among the growing Shasta Cascade wine makers. David and Kathy love the idea of promoting the wine culture of the North State and encouraging their neighbors near and far to “buy local.” Local stores more and more are seeing the value of stocking the shelves with local wines. David and Kathy’s wines can be found markets and special stores and restaurants from Chico to Redding.

Dakaro Cellars wines are found on the shelves of many North State markets and specialty stores and are served in restaurants from Chico to Redding. A list of their wines and distribution locations can be found on their website. Do I have a favorite among their wines? To pick one is a little difficult as each is unique and certainly has it’s own merit. As I lean toward The Reds, I guess I would have to say Shasta County Big Spring Obsidian. Big Spring Obsidian is a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Counoise. This complex wine has aromas of black cherry, anise and leather accompanied with plum, dark chocolate and jammy fruit flavors. Soft tannins on the finish make this wine delicious and enjoyable on its own or with hearty food pairings.  If you can get a bottle to enjoy, don’t rush the wine. Linger with it in the glass and you can detect the wine evolving as you enjoy it. Oh, I just thought of another that I happen to have laying down and waiting for me to pull their corks. 2011 Cabernet Franc is a 100% pure varietal selection which has red fruit and dried herb aromas accompanied by dried cherry, brown sugar, mild cassis and raspberry flavors. Mild tannins on the finish make this wine delicious with a variety of meat dishes. Last I heard the 2011 were sold out. I hear 2012 will be available soon and I plan to pick up a few.

The Roth’s are ready to welcome visitors and you will be glad when you decide to do so. What a wonderful gem from Shasta Cascade area. Dakaro Cellars is a little of the beaten path, not your typical California wine trail, but worth the drive if you are near Redding.  Dave and Kathy will enjoy sharing a glass of their best out on the veranda with you. If you drop in to tell them John at www.cacorks.com sent you. Will they treat you extra nice if you drop our name?  David will likely acknowledge and share with you about my visits. As to extra nice treatment, they won’t have to - the folks at Dakaro Cellars are friendly and love to spend time with people that stop in to try their wines.