Cantara Cellars–Heard It On The Grapevine–What’s up, What’s hot, Ventura County’s Local Wineries


Cantara Cellars

By Raven West


Owners-Mike and Chris

Owners-Mike and Chris

One of the first wineries in Camarillo, Cantara Cellars is truly a family affair. Owners Chris Brown, her husband and wine maker Mike, along with their son Jesse turned their family’s passion for great wine into a thriving commercial winery and tasting room located right off the 101 freeway.

The cozy tasting room and lounge is worlds away from the hustle and bustle of rush hour traffic, which is exactly what makes Cantara Cellars perfect for a quiet afternoon get-away or a business lunch. The contemporary venue can accommodate a wide variety of events



from a formal dinner for 20, to a full-blown wedding reception for 200.

And while the party is going strong in the backroom, guests can enjoy a relaxed and intimate wine tasting experience in the lounge area where you choose from their menu of delightful treats.

“We offer one white, a Chardonnay and five reds on our tasting flight,” Chris pointed out. “And we also serve a selection of light bites including cheese and meat plates, hummus & chips, artichoke dip and pretzels. You can order a single glass of wine, or share an entire bottle.”

Relaxing in the Lounge

Relaxing in the Lounge

All the wine selections are produced on the premises from grapes grown in the Lodi Appellation of Northern California. Each wine they make is an expression of both their passion for making fine wine, and their enjoyment of the distinctive flavors found in Lodi grapes.

“Mike grew up in Lodi, where his family has lived since 1847,” Chris said. “Our 2011 Chardonnay is produced from grapes grown in Ruth’s Vineyard, named after Mike’s mother. It’s a special 28 acre block of Chardonnay that we grow on what was once his grandparent’s farm.”

The Chardonnay is the only white that Cantara Cellars produces. Their selection of red varietals includes a 2010 Barbera, a 2010 Merlot, a 2010 Petite Sirah, a  2010 Sangiovese, a 2009 Tempranillo and a 2010 Zinfandel – from the Graffina Ranch just north of Lodi.

Like a mad scientist, Mike also likes to experiment with the ordinary to make something extraordinary and uniquely his own. He blended Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Zinfandel, Old Vine Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and Malbec to create the “not-so-scary” 2010 Franknvine  and the lovely 2009 The Bride, a blend of Barbera, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Sangiovese. There is also the 2010 Intrepid, a blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc. All the wines are available to purchase by the glass or full bottle in their tasting room.

Whether it’s a large party, a small intimate tête à tête, or you just want to stop in and say hello to the winemaker and his wife, or taste some wonderful wine and delicious cheese, there’s something for everyone at Cantara Cellars.

Welcome to Cantra Cellars

Welcome to Cantara Cellars

Cantara Cellars Tasting Room and Winery is open Thursday thru Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm.

Located at 126 N. Wood Road, #104 in Camarillo

For information on booking special events, call (805) 484-9600 or visit their website.

Next Week: San Vicente Cellars


Raven West

Raven West

Named in the TOP 50 Authors by

Raven West is a free-lance writer and published author who has lived in Ventura County for more than twenty years. She has an extensive knowledge of local wineries from Thousand Oaks to Ojai and will be covering special events which take place at the tasting rooms throughout the year.



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