At the age of 21, Miles immigrates to North America (Quebec), bringing his winemaking and distilling skills to the new world after receiving his degree in Enology and Viticulture from the University of Belgrade.
The Karakasevic family establishes Domaine Karakash, a family owned distillery and winery. It’s No. 177 craft distillery in the US and a pioneer of the California craft distillery movement. The inaugural collection under the family name includes an Alambic Methode Charentais Brandy, a Chardonnay and a Sauvignon Blanc.
The year ‘Charbay’, our Distillery’s name, is born. The name is inspired by an innovation crafted by Miles – a Dessert Chardonnay. The product is a barrel-fermented Chardonnay laced with Brandy liqueur. From the combination of Chardonnay and Brandy the name Charbay was created.
Release of the original 100% whole fruit extract Vodka. Domaine Charbay Meyer Lemon Vodka is the first, followed by Domaine Charbay Blood Orange Vodka. We also release the first ever California made Pastis, an anise/liquorice apéritif traditionally from France.
The Charbay Pilsner Whiskey Series is distilled. A breakthrough in the whiskey industry, it’s distilled from bottle-ready Pilsner beer. The 5 bottlings will be released in waves, as the flavor develops through aging and the product reaches its full potential.
The release of Charbay Tequila Blanco. Distilled in Arandas, Mexico by Miles & Marko. We believe we’re the first American distillers to distill their own tequila and possibly still the only. Charbay Pilsner Whiskey Release II, aged 6 years in new American White oak + 3 years in stainless is released to the market.In December Marko earns the title of Master Distiller with the release of his Doubled & Twisted Light Whiskey.
Charbay Brandy No. 83 is released to the market after 27 years of aging in new French Limousin and Nevers oak. On November 8, 2010 Miles Karakasevic earns the title of Grand Master Distiller, having distilled and released to market all the major spirit categories.
First shipment of Tequila Tapatío Blanco arrives in the US. R5 Whiskey is distilled from bottle-ready Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA. This first R5 Whiskey is clear. Miles honored with his first ‘Lifetime Achievement’ award by the US Bartenders Guild.
Our 30th Anniversary. A very active year…the arrival of Tequila Tapatío Reposado, Añejo, Blanco 110 and 100 cases of extremely rare Excelencia. Our own crafted releases include Pilsner Whiskey Release III, R5 Whiskey Lot 2, Stout Whiskey Lot S 211A, Brandy No. 89 and Distillers’ Port.
Charbay Double Aged Rum, distilled in 2005, then aged for 5 years in stainless steel + 3 years in used French oak, is released. Pilsner Whiskey V, aged for 14 ½ years in new American white oak is released, completely selling out to a wait list. Talks of Charbay Bourbon have begun! Ivan Fletcher Karakasevic, generation 14, second son to Marko and Jenni, is born.
Charbay celebrates 35 years of distilling in CA and 20 years of handcrafting vodka. Perfect timing to win the Food & Wine Best Pairing and 2 x Best Spirit Awards. Doubled & Twisted Lot 2 is released. Charbay assists Stand For Kindness with a Christmas program for 400 children who lost their homes in the devastating Camp Fire in Northern CA.
R5 Whiskey, Lot 5 (“Fire Relief Whiskey”) is released. Charbay will donate $10,000 to Stand For Kindness, a non-profit co-founded by Jenni Karakasevic for CA Fire Relief. Charbay and Marko nominated for Spirit Brand/Distiller of the Year by Wine Enthusiast in their popular Wine Star Awards.