Friday, February 12, 2010

Introducing: Albeno Munari

Here's an update on yesterday's posting concerning changes involving the iconic Calaveras County winery Stevenot: Brothers David and Jon Oliveto of Oliveto Distributing Inc. in Sutter Creek have bought the Stevenot brand, the winery's secondary tasting room in Murphys, and its club and inventory.

Al Munari of the Paso Robles family that bought Stevenot Winery in 2006 said today that the Munaris will retain the original facility and 161 adjoining acres (including 25 acres in vineyards), which henceforth will bear the name of his grandfather who immigrated to the United States from Italy in 1916 - Albeno Munari. Those wines, which began to roll out yesterday, include such varietals as cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, pinot noir and barbera.

Neither Munari nor the Olivetos are disclosing financial terms of the arrangement, though Munari acknowledged that the family sold the Stevenot name to facilitate its "financial stability" as it copes with foreclosure and bankruptcy issues. The outlook for the family to remain active on the Calaveras County wine scene is "positive," he says, anticipating annual production to settle in at around 6,000 cases. The Munaris are retaining the Red Rover brand it introduced after buying Stevenot and already is starting to build a new wine club for the Albeno Munari label, says Munari. Their tasting room at the winery remains open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.

Kevin Barnett, marketing director for the new era of Stevenot wines, says some of the wines acquired by the Olivetos in the deal were made by Chuck Hovey, the winery's former longtime winemaker, who the brothers have brought back aboard. Hovey is working on a new sparkling wine and a merlot, the latter expected to be released this summer as the first wine under the new regime, says Barnett. For at least the time being, the Stevenot label will remain unchanged in design.


  1. I have fallen in love with Stevenot wines. There is no other I have found to even come close to a comparison, your Chardonnay is simply delightful. I am glad you have taken the time to inform the public about these major changes and also that you are keeping the "Stevenot" name. Keep up the good work and I promise I will stop by your wine store every chance I get. Thank goodness for the wine club.

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  3. We are pleased that Chuck Hovey has returned to work with you. He is highly respected in local circles for his expertise and character.

  4. I would like to clarify that wines from the old Stevenot property are now being bottled under the Albeno Munari Wines label. The same great wines are still being produced at the historic winery. Only the name has changed.

  5. We visited the Munari tasting room and facilities after the change and found their reds to be very balanced and approachable. All fruit used for the Red Rover & Munari labels is estate grown. Continued success.