Guest Post By Susan Cooper – Callaway Cellars Vintage Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2010: Wine

As some of you may be aware, I am fairly new to blogging and I recently came accross a group on Linkedin called Bloggers Helping Bloggers.  There is a section where bloggers are encouraged to share posts with the idea that they comment on as many other blogs as possible.

One of the bloggers, Susan Cooper from “Finding Our Way Now“, and I have been visiting and commenting on each other’s blog.  She came to me and suggested we swap posts.  Susan does weekly wine reviews and wanted to expand her section to include other drinks.  The cool thing is I originally wanted to do the same.  Susan’s wine posts are awesome.  I am not a fan of simple reviews that are nothing more than a tasting and a rating.  I want the whole story behind the wine.  Susan does just that which is why I agreed to swap posts.

After reading this post, I suggest you visit her blog  To call her blog dynamic is an  underststement.  To call Susan dynamic is an understatement.  Susan is passionate about her writing, and is quite diverse as you will see in her blog.  Wine, food, books, art, business, and life experiences.  She does it all.

So give it up to Susan Cooper from “Finding Our Way Now.”

Callaway Cellars Vintage Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

I had been given this bottle of wine as a gift. It has been in my wine chiller for quite awhile. To be honest, I had almost forgotten about it until I went in search of a w ine to taste and post for you. It was a pleasant wine and so I started my research. That was when it got interesting.

Callaway Cellars has such an interesting history. It all started in the 1960’s with Ely Reeves Callaway Jr. Ely originally came from the textile industry. After over 30 years in the textile industry, he made a decision to become a winemaker.

That’s when the story begins. Ely found himself in Temecula, California as a result of extensive research and the encouragement of John Moramaroc a veteran viticulturist. He strongly believed Temecula California was ideal for growing premium wine grapes. Temecula California is located roughly 50 miles east of the coast of California in what is known as the high desert. Temecula is next to California’s South Coastal Mountains. A break in the mountains to the west has allowed the cool morning fog to flow inland from the Pacific Ocean that will recede in the late morning. This cool coastal air combined with the warm air that comes from the east creates a microclimate that is ideal for producing wine grapes.

John Moramaroc believed he had located the perfect place to build a vineyard and from that the concept of the label was born stating;“Where the sun shines through the mist”. Ely Callaway and John made the land purchase to grow wine grapes, defying all the experts who long believed Southern California was unsuitable for that endeavor. Ultimately their efforts put Temecula on the map as a serious wine producing area. Temecula is now noted for being one of the great wine regions in California.

In the late 1980’s, Ely Callaway sold his operation to a UK based beverage conglomerate. By the early 1990’s, the original vineyard, in Temecula, ultimately was unable to produce all the wine grapes needed to make their wine. To accommodate their need for wine grapes, many of their grapes were being grown on California’s Central Coast and in the Central Valley.

So because many of the grapes where now being grown on the Central Coast it only made sense to add “Coastal” as a Callaway brand.  In time, Callaway Vineyards & Winery had successfully had become a nationally distributed wine.

Now is when you need to pay very close attention. In 2005, a French company absorbed the UK conglomerate that owned Callaway Vineyards & Winery. This resulted in the separation of Callaway Coastal from Callaway Winery & Vineyards as a different brand name altogether.  Callaway Coastal Wines was then relocated to Manteca, California. The Temecula Callaway Vineyard & Winery was then sold back to a new local Temecula operator.  Did you follow all of that?

Even though their origins are the same, they are, in fact, two separate wine producers with almost the same name and even similar labels. Callaway Coastal Wines has since dropped the Coast word from the label simply calling itself Callaway Cellars. The original Callaway Vineyard & Winery brand in Temecula remains a separate Southern California operation, limiting distribution in its own local marketplace.

To add more to confuse the wine buyer, Callaway Cellars has continued to call attention to its past origins on the back of its label saying:

“Introduced almost 40 years ago by Ely Callaway, inventor of the “Big Bertha” golf club, Callaway wines have always been known for their quality and style. Rooted in the fresh varietal character of coastal vineyards, Callaway wines offer fresh, fruit-forward flavors, full body and a crisp, clean finish. Careful winemaking under the guidance of acclaimed Wine consultant Robert Pepi, who pioneered the “Two Heart Canopy” trellising system, ensures wines that are the perfect compliment to today’s lighter yet flavorful cuisine.”

All of which continues to confuse all the wine buyers like me.

This is what the winemaker has to say about this wine:

“The aromas of this wine are reminiscent of baked apples. The smooth mouthfeel brings forward fruit flavors of apples, pineapple and lemon peel, which are highlighted by toasty oak and vanilla characteristics that lead to a silky finish.


Our Coastal Chardonnay is a wonderful companion to a wide variety of foods. Try it with stuffed pork chops, lemon herb chicken, pasta Alfredo or sea scallops prepared in just about any fashion.”

Callaway Cellars is an inexpensive wine and well worth the price. It was great as a casual drink with a light dinner of salad and lemon chicken breast. Would I buy it for myself? I do believe I would.

You can find the Callaway Cellars Vintage Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 at,,,, and many grocery stores or wine markets.

What are some of your favorite wines? I would love to hear and showcase your suggestions.

Happy wineing…

Be sure to comment and let Susan know what you think and check out my review on “Dogfish Head Bitches Brew.”

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and hang out with me on Facebook.


43 comments on “Guest Post By Susan Cooper – Callaway Cellars Vintage Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2010: Wine

  1. Pingback: Craft Beer and Tis The Season To Celebrate - Finding Our Way Now

  2. Pingback: Guest Post by Patrick Huff/Beer & Football – A Thanksgiving Pairing: Beer - Finding Our Way Now

  3. Great post as always, Susan. You have a knack for bringing out very interesting information about the particular subject you choose to write about. I did not know anything about the Callaway family or their interest in the wine business…did know about the golf clubs. I had the “Big Bertha” clubs when I was first starting to hit golf clubs.

  4. The information about the wine’s background always works to intrigue me as much as the potential of the wine itself. Thanks so much Susan for another great post!

  5. I can always count on you, Susan, to give a great feedback on the wine and the insightful background you give about it. It really helps a lot when you know a little bit more about the wine’s background–so to speak–to appreciate it. Thanks so much, and great job on this guest post.

  6. Hi Patrick, This has been allot of fun. It was as much fun creating a wine review for you as it was getting and reading your beer review. I am now in search of that beer to serve on Halloween with my guest as we greet the trick or treaters.

    WOW, my readers certainly have enjoyed visiting you and your beer recommendations. They are always so much fun. 🙂

  7. Interesting story. I would think the two companies would get together to figure out how to differentiate themselves. Or at least one of the companies should decide to brand themselves a little differently? It’s pretty sad that the majority of their story is based on confusion. Sounds like it was a tasty wine though!! That’s good! 🙂

  8. I’m not much of a wine drinker, but Susan seriously makes me reconsider. If nothing else, her posts are always interesting and full of fun. Swapping posts is a great idea, Patrick. May you and Susan’s blogs have a long history together.

  9. Love the image of “where the sun shines through the mist.” The description of this wine sounds delightful. I found myself wondering if the name Callaway had anything to do with the golf company, and once I read “inventor of the Big Bertha” it clicked- thats the driver almost everyone I know uses! Love the history that comes along with the review of this wine. Its making me want to try some this weekend!

  10. I think it’s fantastic you two guest posted on each others sites. The associations with this particular vineyard were really interesting Susan- and good for the original owners to take a chance on a vineyard in a new region of California . One of my favorite wineries is Ravenswood – not a small one I realize, but I do like their Zinfandel when I’m in the mood for a full bodied wine.

  11. Smells – I mean – sounds terrific. But I can smell the cab’s apple and pineapple flavors! I’m not sure we’d have that in Virginia but I’ll be on the look out. Our state has some strict import laws so we don’t get to ship in a lot of wines. Maybe that is because we have so many wineries in our state. My favorite wines these days, after a quick calculation of spending close to $10K a year on wine, is anything $5 or less! Yep; we go through a lot of wine.

    Thanks Susan. And thanks Patrick and Sarah for guesting Susan.

  12. Interesting how a simple bottle of wine comes alive when you hear the story behind it – or stories as in this case! Lovely review Susan, I tried lots of Californian wines when I was in Arizona last year – but none particularly stick in my mind – of course I’m not likely to forget the Calloway labels on my next visit to the USA 🙂
    Pleased to meet you too Patrick

  13. With such a rich history I am very impressed and will be trying Callaway wines on my next wine purchase. Thanks for a great post again Susan, as always I always learn something from your posts.

  14. I love Susan’s wine posts because it is a little bit of history in every sip…. I was on her site and was reading your great post. As with you, your passion shows in the writing. I will admit I am not a beer drinker and my oldest son and husband realize this when I sent an picked up a six pack of beer for them. I will admit I know nothing and bought the beer cause the label looked interesting. Ok there I said it. Thank you for show casing Susan and in turn I have found a new site to brush up on my beer choosing methods.

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