The History | The Legacy Began...
Ely Reeves Callaway Jr. was born on June 3, 1919 in LaGrange, Georgia. His father worked for the family firm which owned eight textile mills in the town. Young Ely's success in business began at the early age of ten, when he used money he had earned from delivering magazines to lease an acre of land on which he planted peach trees. He made more than $700 from his first crop.
In his early teens, Callaway took up golf, inspired by the achievements of his mother's cousin, Bobby Jones, who in 1930 won the first "Grand Slam".
Upon graduation at Emory University, Callaway found the course of his life changed by World War II. He joined the US Army as a Reserve Officer and once his background in textiles was discovered, he was posted to Philadelphia where the Army had its main procurement facility for all its clothing. The contacts he had made in the post brought him a flood of offers from clothing manufactures, several of whom he worked for the next 27 years.
In the late 1960's, extensive research led Callaway to Temecula and to veteran viticulturist, John Moramarco, who believed that the area was ideal for growing premium wine grapes.
In the rolling hills, Callaway found what he believed to be the perfect spot
to plant his vines; a 1600 foot plateau, located below the peaks of a foggy
mountain range "where the sun shines through the
mist". In 1969, the Callaway vineyards were planted and by the early 1970's, Callaway said goodbye to textiles and hello to wine! He defied experts who considered Southern California unsuitable and put Temecula on the map as a serious wine producing region.
After selling the business in 1981 to Hiram Walker, Callaway enjoyed a brief retirement but came back "swinging" and became a leader in the golf industry. The success of the "Big Bertha" golf club made Callaway Golf the number one golf company in the world and Ely Callaway, an icon.
On July 5, 2001, Ely Callaway died at the age of 82. He left behind his legacy...one that continues to this day.
40 Years in the Making...
Callaway Vineyard & Winery has had some remarkable events and achievements throughout 40 years...
On July 9, 1976, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, and his Royal Highness, The Prince Duke of Edinburgh, toasted the President of the United States at a luncheon at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. The only wine served at this bicentennial event honoring the Royal couple's visit to this country, was Callaway's estate bottled 1974 White Riesling. Her Majesty, not known to be a wine drinker, requested a second glass! This was the first time in U.S. viticultural history that a dry table wine from Southern California was chosen to be served on the east coast at an international diplomatic event.
The American Cup...
When the America's Cup set sail for San Diego in 1992, Callaway Vineyard & Winery joined with the America's Cup and purchased a license to the name by the owners of the trademark. A special bottling of the 1989 Cabernet Sauvignon was created featuring a custom label with the America's Cup logo. The America's Cup is the most prestigious regatta and match race in the sport of sailing.
The Wall Street Journal...
Callaway Vineyard & Winery has won numerous award and accolades throughout the years. In an article written on October 26, 2007 in the Wall Street Journal, Callaway's 2005 Special Selection Muscat Canelli was named a favorite in the Dow Jones Muscat Canelli Index. This was a blind tasting of light, sweet American wines from the flowery Muscat Canelli grape and received national recognition.
And, the Legacy Continues...
Now privately owned, Callaway Vineyard & Winery was
purchased by the Lin family of San Diego upon the dissolution of industry
leader, Allied Domecq Wines, in late 2005. Callaway Vineyard & Winery wines are only available at the winery and are not available in any retail stores.