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A BRIEF HISTORY OF BUTALA VINEYARDS

Butala Family Vineyards has been in existence continuously for over one hundred and thirty eight years.

Tony Butala's great-grandfather, Josip, owned and operated Butala Vineyards in Europe in the 1870's making wine for sale in the town of Skakavac in the area of Karlovac, Croatia, a small country in Eastern Europe along the Adriatic Coast. His son, Tony's grandfather, Miko, came to the United States by boat through Ellis Island at the turn of the century bringing with him his knowledge of viticulture and enology learned as a young man from his father Josip. Miko established vineyards in Sharon, Pennsylvania in 1913 from some native vine cuttings that he received from his father in Croatia. None of his sons, Tony's father John, or his brothers, showed no interest in grape growing or wine making so Miko imparted his knowledge of grape growing and wine making to Tony, a willing 5 year old, and as the years went by Tony became a teenage apprentice who helped his grandfather Miko try to improve the quality of his homeland Plavic Mali grape varietal grafted to native east coast American rootstock which in itself was a tremendous challenge. Besides the grapes Miko grew, he resorted to making wine each year from California grapes shipped by train to the eastern United States to European immigrants who could then make wine from grapes more similar to grapes grown in their home countries.

By the early 1950's, at 11 years old, Tony moved to California, however, continuing his tutelage in winemaking under his grandpa Miko with frequent return visits to Pennsylvania. Tony recalls back in the 1950's promising his grandfather, whose dying wish to his then thirteen year old grandson and apprentice viticulturist and winemaker, Tony, to "never, ever forget the grapevines".

A few years after his success with The Lettermen, in 1969, Tony bought a ranch in Chatsworth, California where he immediately planted an acre of twenty different varieties of grapes, which would become his experimental earth laboratory attempting to develop a grape that would grow in the hot southern California weather possibly making a decent wine. By the mid 1980's, Tony determined that if he wanted to really make world-class wines, he would have to go to where the big boys of the wine industry were to accomplish this task. In 1987, he bought a horse ranch along the southern Vaca Mountain Range, which is the eastern border of Napa Valley.

Tony made and released wine in 1992 & 1993 from his very young grapes under his "Castlebrooke" wine label. Due to his busy schedule and other business activities, he decided that he'd sell his grapes to Stags Leap Winery, which he did from 1994 through 2005. From 2006 to the present, Tony has been selling the majority of his grapes to Artesa, a fabulous European winery that expanded to Napa Valley years ago as Cordinu from Barcelona, Spain originally founded over five hundred years ago. In 2009, Artesa is going to release their 2006 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with a "Butala Vineyards" label designation, so his vineyard name will be exposed to wine drinkers throughout the world.

Artesa Label

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

You may now PURCHASE Butala Vineyards 2007, 2008 and 2009 Castlebrooke Merlot

 

INTRODUCING

2006 & 2007 Atresa / Butala Vineyards
Designation Label Cabernet Sauvignon wine made from Butala Vineyards grapes grown on Tony's vineyard

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TONY BUTALA BOTTLES 2007 MERLOT
FROM HIS NAPA VALLEY VINEYARDS

This will mark an important milestone for Tony Butala, the owner of Butala Vineyards in Napa Valley Ca.

This is the first time since the 1993 and 1994 vintages that Tony Butala has made his own wine out of the grapes from his vineyards rather than selling his crop to other wineries.

From 1994 through 2005 Tony sold his grapes to Stags Leap Winery which they included in their premium Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot wines. Since 2006 Tony has been selling his crop to Artesa winery.

In 1987 he transformed a forty-acre horse property to one of the most prestigious Bordeaux style vineyards located 800 feet above the south east border of Napa Valley in the Vaca Mountain Range.

Butala is best known for his 50-year career as originator and lead singer of The Lettermen. The vocal group had 26 chart singles in the 1960's and 1970's such as the "Goin' Out Of My Head/Can't Take My Eyes Off You" medley, "When I Fall In Love", "They Way You Look Tonight", "Theme From A Summer Place", "Put Your Head On My Shoulder"; 32 straight Billboard top 40 albums; 18 gold world-wide and 5 Grammy nominations. Visit www.TheLettermen.com

The unknown story of Butala's life is that he comes from a long lineage of wine makers.
(See the brief video History of Butala Vineyards above)

Tony Butala in the Butala Vineyards with his arms outstretched

Tony Butala is available for interviews. Please contact (412) 771-9881.

Tony is proud of the qualtiy of the grapes that produce his fine wines and is enthusiastic about sharing his secrets and wisdom of wine with others.

Tony's plan for the future is for Butala Vineyards to grow top quality Bordeaux type grapes that will be represented in some of the outstanding Napa Valley Wineries. He also plans to make Butala Estates Winery one of the premier Napa Valley Wineries with wines distributed around the world.

Castlebrook wine with cheese and grapes

At that time, very few wine growers had discovered that Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and the other Grand-Cru Bordeaux Varietals would thrive in this area. He was one of the first to plant these grape Varietals in that area of Napa Valley in 1989 with clones of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and rootstock no one else had tried before.

Castlebrook wine with cheese and grapes