It all began when Pierre Pourroy went to work for a local vineyard, owned by Jean Narcisse Aubry. Pierre fell in love with one of his daughters, Marie Louise and the two were married in 1891. Pierre and his brother, Eloi worked for Aubry and eventually saved enough money to purchase and plant their own estate in 1901.
The brothers along with their wives planted the Zinfandel vines in 1910, and built our Tasting Room barn in 1912. Not deterred by Prohibition, they planted the Cabernet Franc in 1920, and the Carignan in 1924. Work was finished In 1923 on a large family home, designed after architecture in northern Paris. The Villa was to be named after the hill where the brothers grew up in Paris, but the craftsmen misspelled the name and left off the first 't', giving it the name Monmartre which can be seen today on the side of the building. In 1955 Pierre would retire from winemaking.
The winery, villa, and vineyards were sold in 1971 and renamed Congress Springs Winery. Production was increased and many events were held on the property. Then in 1996 our current owners Michael and Kellie Ballard bought the property and named it after their 2 daughters, Chanel and Savannah. Today Mike and Kellie are involved in all aspects of the winery and use the Villa as their vacation home. The Ballard Family is dedicated to the wine legacy of the Santa Cruz Mountains and the solemn stewardship of the Pourroy Ranch.
Meet Our Team
Anthony Craig, Head Winemaker
Before joining Savannah-Chanelle in June of 2003, Tony Craig gained a wealth of experience in learning how to do a lot with a little. Like all creative endeavors, the challenges and limitations that Tony has experienced often resulted in inspired solutions. Tony confronts all aspects of the winemaking process with the confidence of his experience. He has acquired the good sense to know when to act – and when not to. So if you are waiting for Tony to deliver a soliloquy on the trendiest thoughts in the world of wine-making today, you may be waiting a long time. His wine-making style might best be described as practical dogma; he prefers results over ideology. Tony is also perfectly comfortable allowing problems to naturally sort themselves out before intervening.
Marc McGinnis, Cellar Master & Assistant Winemaker
Marc is a Bay Area native who fell in love with the art of distillation, especially that magic elixir Rum. Marc worked on a yacht in the West Indies to further his Rum education, visiting Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago. Marc came home and promptly bought a second-hand still and named it “Carl.” After searching for a location that held the proper license to make distilled spirits, Marc struck a deal with the Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards. After more than fifteen years Marc and Carl continue to produce the brandy used to fortify the winery's Syrah-based Port. Marc also assists Head Winemaker, Anthony Craig in all facets of wine production.
Marc also has a need-for-speed; he can be seen grinning wildly behind the wheel of his Dodge Challenger while enjoying the mountain roads of the region.
Chelsea Beytin, Tasting Room Manager
Chelsea comes to Savannah-Chanelle with years of experience in both the service and apparel industry. After working full time for a few corporate brands, she decided it was time follow her passion and transition into the wine industry full time. After managing a wine bar in New York City, she moved back to the Bay Area to get her Sommelier Certification and dive head first into winery life. Being a Bay Area native, the Santa Cruz Mountains have been a perfect place to call home again. When not at the winery, she is spending time with her rescue pup on the hunt for a great glass of wine.