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Our Winemaker

Deepak Gulrajani

Deepak Gulrajani is the owner and winemaker of Chanticleer. He began his winemaking career in his garage making home-made wines in the early 1990s. Deepak planted Nicholson Ranch vineyards in 1995 and he has been the winemaker for Nicholson Ranch since 2009. In 2020 he acquired Chantcleer Estate Wines from George Grodahl.  Deepak was born in Mumbai, India, and came to California for a job in the computer business in 1988. From his first introduction to wine he has been a fan of California Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs and Cabernets, a love that continues today.

Chanticleer  Winemaking Process

The fruit is gently destemmed and partially crushed just minutes after harvest and fermented in small, open-topped tanks. A gentle pumpover, juice over skins, three times per day, for thirty six days allows full extraction of color and flavor to be released from the skins. After fermentation, the wine is lightly pressed and placed into 75% new and 25% used, small French oak barrels, where it is allowed to age and mellow for 24 months. It is bottled without fining or filtration.


Vineyard Management

Chanticleer Vineyard is carefully managed to produce high quality grapes required to produce a premium wine. The low, 2-3 tons per acre yield is achieved by careful pruning coupled with the natural tendancy of a rocky hillside vineyard to produce low yields. The vineyard is carefully monitored to insure that each hand-harvested cluster is at optimum maturity. Chanticleer Vineyard fruit has a characteristic cherry-plum aroma, typical of the great Cabernet growing region of Napa Valley.