Apr 19, 1929 - Mar 31, 2015
Charles Myers, local winemaker and college instructor, died from natural causes on March 31, 2015. Charles was born in Nebraska in 1929 and moved to California as a boy. His family settled in Monterey, where he worked at Ford Ord and on Cannery Row as a teenager. A lifelong lover of books, he believed that those who can read can do anything. Proving the point, as a teenager, Charles built his own house from handmade adobe bricks on his mother’s property. As a young man he enjoyed acting at Monterey’s historic First Theater before joining the U.S. Navy in 1950. He served in the Korean War where he was awarded a Commendation Ribbon for “outstanding courage and steadfast devotion to duty” during enemy gunfire. After his discharge, Charles returned to California where he graduated from San Jose State with a BA in English and U.C. Berkeley with an MA in English. While at Berkeley, Charles picked up a book again and decided to try his hand at winemaking when he realized he couldn’t afford to buy good wine. Thus began a devotion to wine and food that lasted throughout his life. In 1957, Charles relocated to Sacramento to accept a position as English teacher at Sacramento City College, where he taught for 40 years. During one of his classes, a student Illa Corti, suggested that Charles meet her brother Darrell, of Corti Bros., since they shared an affinity for wine. Darrell and Charles became close friends and Darrell encouraged Charles to expand his home winemaking operation into a commercial enterprise. In 1972, Charles began Harbor Winery as one of the very few small wineries of the time. He is renowned for rekindling interest in Mission del Sol and is often noted as rediscovering Amador County zinfandel grapes. As a home winemaker, Charles was unwilling to pay the cost of Napa Valley grapes, and purchased instead from the then-obscure Amador County. After being introduced to Charles’ wine by Darrell Corti, Bob Trinchero of Sutter Home, purchased 20 tons of Amador zinfandel from Ken Deaver, whose vineyards Charles bought from. The resulting wine was so popular that interest in the region exploded. In addition to winemaking, Charles enjoyed growing his own vegetables, Italian cooking (he was known to translate recipes from Italian to ensure they were authentic) and collecting obscure antiques. He was an avid reader, able to quote most anything he had ever read. Charles was known for his intellect, his outspoken opinions and his unique character. The world will be a less-interesting, and quieter, place without him.
Charles was pre-deceased by his brother Don “Fritz” Myers and is survived by his sister Carolee, children Chris Myers (Noi), Sara Myers and Margaret Myers (Anthony Passarell), 8 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild. A service will be held at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery in Dixon on April 17 at 11:30.
Andrews & Greilich Mortuary
3939 Fruitridge Road