Wine, gold, history and heritage are all part of the rich and
colorful tradition that is Stevenot Winery. Located in the Sierra
Foothills of Calaveras County in the heart of California’s Gold
Country, Stevenot’s beginnings hark back long before their first
release of wine in 1979.
The first Stevenot’s came to the area during the great Gold Rush of the mid 1800’s. During that time vineyards began cropping up throughout the region as miners from France, Germany, and Italy were creating a demand for wine on an unprecedented scale. At one time the Sierra Foothills rivaled the areas of Napa and Sonoma combined in vineyard acreage with over 100 wineries established.
Although the industry eventually declined with the advent of prohibition, it wasn’t long before a 5th generation member of the Stevenot family took up where his family had left off and established the winery in the late 1970’s. Recognized as one of the pioneers of the rebirth of wine production in the Sierra Foothills, Stevenot Winery quickly secured its reputation for producing world class wines and for their innovative and award winning style.
On February, 10 2010 Oliveto Distributing, Inc. became the proud
new owner of Stevenot Wines and will operate the Stevenot Tasting
Room on Murphys’ Main Street, as well as the Stevenot Wine Club. Jon
and David Oliveto, owners of the well-respected and long-standing
distribution company based out of Sutter Creek, have great plans.
“We are very honored and excited to have this opportunity,” exclaims David. “We want to carry on the tradition of Barden Stevenot and grow the business. Stevenot has always been a quality brand, well respected in the community and has always sold very well. This compliments the wine in the bottle.”
The Oliveto family has distributed Stevenot wines since the early 1980s, when White Zinfandel was their best seller.
“It’s all about quality,” adds Jon. “We have been in the distribution business our whole lives, and now we want to also have a new focus on wine production.”
“We are also very excited to bring Chuck Hovey back as the Stevenot winemaker,” adds Jon. Chuck devoted 24 years to Stevenot before leaving in 2007 to start his own label Hovey Wines.
Born and raised in Jackson, Jon and David began working at very
early ages, with their father, Ross Oliveto’s, milk distributing
business which opened in the late 1960s. With close to 50 years in
the industry serving the region, the Oliveto family knows the
business and the community well.
In 1979 the milk distribution company was sold, and the Oliveto family went into the beer and soft drink distribution business serving Calaveras, Amador and Tuolumne counties. In the early 1980s a wine division was added. The company was honored with the Miller Masters award in the early ‘90s, placing them in the top seven distributors in the United States. They were also awarded the High Life Achievement by Miller Brewing Company in 2002 and 2003, given to the top 40 distributors out of a roster of 450 companies.
The community is coming out to greet Jon and David with open arms. “It surprises us how excited people are about our new venture,” Jon said. “We are receiving overwhelming support.”
Jon is now living in Murphys, as well as in Jackson. David has lived in Calaveras County for 17 years and resides in Hathaway Pines with his wife, Lorraine. The Oliveto family welcomes and encourages your comments, suggestions and input.
David, Lorraine, Elizabeth,
Ross, & Jon.