An “appellation” is the statement, required by law, on a wine label declaring where the grapes were grown. No less than 85% of the grapes in that bottle MUST come from the listed appellation. Since the San Joaquin Valley is not known as a “prestigious” wine growing region, most of our wines simply read Appellation – California. As Paul Harvey would say, “Now you know the rest of the story!”
Our Tasting Room
Originally built as the family home for the Brown Family in 1928, our beautifully restored Spanish Colonial style tasting room is a magnificent example of architectural design. From the original hardwood floors to the arched stucco hallways, you’ll be transported back in time by its old world charm. Our beautifully landscaped gardens and expansive lawn area are shaded by a magnificent 100+ year old Valley Oak tree that watches over the vineyards. As you make your way up the steps, you’ll feel the history of ApCal surround you.
Darren Schmall – Proprietor
ApCal is a dream come true for me and my family. As a fourth generation wine grape grower, I wanted to create a place that would showcase the quality of San Joaquin Valley wines and give credit to the family farmers who have supplied 75% of California’s wine for generations. Bringing together the very best wines from our regions wine makers into one convenient location seemed to like the best way to introduce travelers and locals to the delicious wines produced in our own backyard. As a graduate of Fresno State University and the California Agricultural Leadership program, creating ApCal was a small token of appreciation to all the family farmers and ranchers that have gone before me. Salute!
Sean Spence – Tasting Room Manager
After working with Darren Schmall for many years, I thought "hey why not – it ought to be fun". I started out just pouring wine, not really knowing much about it. Working with a knowledgeable staff that really loved wine and had a passion to introduce others to it, made me think "I'm here, why not see what this is all about". I started listening, reading, and talking to wine makers, then all of the sudden, like with most other things, I threw myself into wine and I couldn't get enough. Wine is the perfect mix of chemistry, palette, and good people to share it with. After seeing all the interesting things Darren had planned for ApCal, it sparked my interest so much that I just had to be a part of it all.
Working at ApCal has given me an opportunity to not only learn about wine, but also to meet many interesting people. Standing behind the bar is probably the best wine class anyone can attend. When asked which wine I would recommend, I always respond - "The best wine, is the wine YOU like!" We have something for everyone here at ApCal and there is no wrong or right, there is only what tastes good to you. I couldn't imagine working at a more perfect place. Going to work every day knowing that you might meet someone from another part of the world or meet a winemaker that is going to shine a light on that one burning question you have, makes me ask, "How could it get any better than this?" I'm looking forward to meeting you and your friends here at ApCal.
Our Team of Wine Mavens
Our Team of lovely wine pourers was chosen based on their personality and hospitality skills - these Ladies are fun! We taught them about the wines of our region and instructed them to make a friend of everyone who walks through our doors. It’s not surprising that many of our customers know our Team members by first name and always have the nicest compliments about the service. Come meet our Team and see for yourself!