Tuesday, August 26, 2008
(From Destination: Cache Creek magazine..photo by Cean Burgeson)
Native Americans have long had a connection with the Capay Valley. “For thousands of years the Wintun people dwelled in the oak forests, rolling hills, and grasslands along Cache Creek,” says Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians Tribal Chairman Marshall McKay. “They hunted, fished, cared for their families, and created eternal bonds with the land.” Today much of this land, including the place where the Rumsey Band chose to build Cache Creek Casino Resort, is planted with vineyards.
“Down on the 13th hole of Yocha-De-He Golf Club we have about five acres of grapes, and we have 10 acres out in front of the resort and across the street,” according to Randy Takemoto, Cache Creek’s General Manager. “There’s about an acre of Cabernet, six acres of Syrah, and three acres of Viognier just out front. On the golf course there’s Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc grapes.”
The tribal legacy of environmental respect and stewardship continues through the care and nurturing of these grapes in two new wines which were bottled for the first time in July. The first vintage, from 2006, is called “Tuluk’a” and is a Syrah, blended with 80 percent Syrah grapes, 10 percent Cabernet grapes, and 10 percent Viognier grapes. Shortly after that vintage, the second wine, a 2007 Viognier called “Chama” was bottled.
Look for them to appear on Cache Creek’s wine lists in the coming months. “A 2007 Cabernet and Syrah will also follow next year,” adds Takemoto.
Both the tribe and casino are excited to be able to take this first step into creating a signature Cache Creek wine. “The goal of the Tribe and the resort is to create a very nice high quality wine,” says Randy Takemoto, Cache Creek’s General Manager. “And I think that we’re on our way to doing that.”