Charles Woodson Wines is a project that emerged from curiosity, friendship and a desire to spread good fortune.
Charles Woodson discovered his appreciation for wine in 1998 when he arrived in Napa with the Oakland Raiders for training camp. He was intrigued when he noticed that everywhere he went people were enjoying a bottle of wine. It didn’t matter if it was an opulent dinner, low key lunch, or lazy afternoon. He was drawn to the fact that people seemed to slow down and come together over a glass of wine. Being the curious type, he not only wanted to participate in this ritual, he wanted to learn how to create it himself.
In 2001 Charles, met Rick Ruiz who was working at Robert Mondavi Winery. Rick invited Charles to visit the winery and showed him around the cellar while explaining the winemaking process from start to finish. In that moment, Charles’ desire to actually make a wine was launched. The two worked together with another friend – who happened to be acclaimed international winemaker, Gustavo A. Gonzalez – to create the first barrel of Charles Woodson Wines. They produced a 2001 vintage Merlot that was used to support the various charities with which Charles is involved.