For hundreds and hundreds of years, Lodi, California’s Appellation area has seen an amazing history that has added to the bountiful soil that is home to Essence Wines vineyards.
Miners hoping to strike it rich during California’s gold rush came to this area seeking their fortunes. Little did they know that the true riches were in the abundant soil that would come to be known as one of the world’s “perfect” wine-growing area.
In the early 1900’s, a seventeen year old boy from Greece came through Ellis Island with his twin brothers. When he stepped on American soil he had a dream and a new last name- Christ (kr-ee-st) Alexander, instead of his Greek name Alexandratos.
Over four generations, the passion for helping create truly unique and bounty flavors and wines has continued. At the heart of it all continues to be the focus on the care and cultivation of our cherished vineyards.
With the vineyards producing well respected harvest each year, it took a visionary leader to then branch out to other areas to enhance the wines being bottled and enjoyed throughout the world.
With the vision of producing a wide variety of grape natural juices and concentrates, in 1968 Dennis and Roberta Alexander purchased a small processing facility on 5 acres in the township of Acampo, California along the Mokulmne River and created California Concentrate Company (CCC). As pioneers of the Home Wine Making industry their grape concentrates were used to produce wine kits marketed widely in US and Canada. Even to this day, our varietal grape concentrates are still the bases for many Home Wine Kits. After years of perfecting the art of producing grape concentrates that hold their true varietal character, CCC began promoting the use of concentrates into the United States wine industry as a way of complimenting certain wines. Grape concentrates are now a widely used tool by winemakers all over the world; be it enhancing brix levels at harvest or additional sweetness and flavor at the time of bottling. Almost all of the top Enology programs coach new winemakers on the use of grape concentrates.
Over the years advanced technology has helped us achieve some amazing results, the use of enzymes to extract Hi-Colour from our red grapes colours in the 7000-8000 range without the aid of heat. Enclosed presses to preserve aromatics from some of our floral grapes. Mass energy balanced evaporators to produce concentrates at amazingly low temperatures. Learn something new every day and you can’t help but become better at what you do.
In the 80’s Dennis and Roberta teamed up with Dr. Michael Lewis Brewing expert to develop some of the first malt extracts which could be used in the home brewing industry which still thrives to this day. In the 90’s Thomas Alexander took this same innovative pioneering spirit to guide CCC in a direction of new products of sustainable processing.
With a global vision, Fruit Based Concentrates were developed along with some exotic products (Olive oils, Organic Vinegars, Grape Seeds, Unfermented Grape Skins) with the thought of environmentally safe processing, reduction of emissions, recycling of organic materials. California Concentrate Company has grown from a small 5 acres facility to well over 80 acres and millions of gallons of production endless processing capabilities.
At present, CCC still enjoys a strong relationship with the US wine industry, our Fruit Based Concentrates known around the world as PNF (Pure Natural Flavors) continue to be widely accepted in the Food and Beverage industry. Our Malt Extract Division which began as Alexander’s Sun Country Malt Extracts used by many of the beginning home brewers of the 80’s and 90’s, now Master Brewers around the world are still used by Breweries and Micro Breweries as base brewing materials. Our Grape Seed and Unfermented Grape Skin division was developed to produce products with a wide variety of uses with the goal in mind to reduce biomass and recycle organic materials.
Our pioneering and innovative spirit continues in a direction of safe healthy products, environmentally friendly production practices, sustainable growth and promoting good will and kindness for a safer world.