Manton winery: success wasn't without struggles


MANTON, Calif. - Napa valley may be known as the premier wine region, but Manton wine country is quickly gaining notable recognition.

Indian Peak Vineyards in Manton is celebrating their ten year anniversary of award winning wines. The quaint winery is tucked away in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains.

"We don't have a dress code and you can drive here on motorcycles and you can talk to the winemaker here," says vintner Fred Boots.

Offering a laid back atmosphere with breathtaking views, owner Fred Boots says it's hard for guests not to have a good time.

"They love me because I give them free wine," says Fred.

Ten years ago, Fred and his wife Donna decided to turn their wine making hobby into a business.

"We spent a year looking for the property where we would have the high daytime temperatures and it would cool off when it got dark," says Fred.

The Boots family chose the location because it sits at 2,200 feet in elevation and the slope faces the west which is ideal for Cabernet and Merlot grapes. Since taking on this venture, Fred says it hasn't always been easy.

"We're struggling as a business we're surviving and we're having fun doing this but we're certainly not getting rich," says Fred.

They've had many setbacks including the Ponderosa Fire.

"The entire 2012 crop is in these barrels behind me and it tastes like smoke," says Fred.

Fred says they'll need to spend thousands of dollars getting it treated to fix the problem. It's a major hit to their business because there isn't as much money flowing in these days.

"We have the same customers coming and they used to have a lot more money," says Fred, "job losses for some of them, so but we're surviving."

The dry conditions haven't helped either, but Fred remains optimistic.

"What I've learned as a farmer is don't worry about things you have no control over so I'm not worried about it I'll take what I get," says Fred.

Letting the fruits of his labor speak for itself.

"We're really blessed and we have wonderful people that come here and support us and drink our wine and we make good wine too, "says Boots.

Indian Peak Vineyards is located at 31559 Forward Rd in Manton. They are open seven days a week from 11a.m. to 5p.m. For more information call their office at (530) 474-5506.