We’ve been a distilling family for centuries.

It’s in our blood and continues to this day.

Below you’ll find all the amazing spirits we’ve crafted and launched since opening as an original distillery in California in 1983.

Illustration of the Karakasevic family crest

The House of Karakasevic (Karakash) is recognized by the Austrian-Hungarian Imperial court of Empress Maria Theresa as makers of fine wines and brandies.

Vintage photo of Novi Sad, Yugoslavia, where Miles Karakasevic was born

Novi Sad, Yugoslavia – Miles Karakasevic becomes the 12th generation, continuing his family’s 300-year-old profession of winemaking and distilling.

University of Belgrade logo

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.

Traverse City in Michigan. Vintage postcard.

Miles, now a professional winemaker, moves to Traverse City, Michigan, USA.

Photo of Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon, 1972 vintage

Miles moves to Napa Valley to become Assistant Winemaster at Beringer Vineyards.

The first name of our family owned business was Domaine Karakash. The first products were a Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.

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.

Diagram of the alambic pot still to be installed at the Charbay distillery

The Karakesevic family install their first Alambic Charentais pot still. It’s a custom-made 660 gallon copper pot still crafted by the Pruhlo family, makers of the finest pot stills in Cognac, France.

Miles Karakasevic standing next to a smaller alambic pot still at charbay distillery

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.

Domaine Charbay sign for their winery and distillery

We change our business name to Domaine CHARBAY.

Bottle of Charbay Nostalgie walnut liqueur being poured at the launch event

A portfolio of handcrafted spirits, Nostalgie (Black Walnut Liqueur), Grappa di Marko and Calvad’or (California Apple Brandy) are released.

A black and white photo of the alambic pot still designed by Miles and made in America

Miles designs a new 25 gallon pot still, the first true Alambic Charentais pot still to be made in the US.

Pachanga, the unique spirit distilled from sunroots.

Pachanga, distilled from sunroots (tubers of the sunflower, indigenous to America) is released. Miles created this innovative spirit in celebration of his move to America.

Miles with his son Marko Karakasevic on making Charbay Brandy no 83. The original pot still is in the foreground.

Marko officially joins Charbay full-time, as the family’s 13th generation of family Distillers.

Miles and Marko Karakasevic standing on the alambic pot still at Charbay distillery

As a salute to Marko carrying on the family tradition of distilling, the first barrel of Distillers’ Port is released.

Marko sitting with his Dad, Miles, with their first pot still in the background. They are holding the first edition of Charbay whole fruit vodka.

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.

Charbay pilsner hopped whiskey all 5 releases in a line

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.

Miles pouring a glass of Pilsner Whiskey I. Sitting on a bench in front of his own designed alambic pot still in the Charbay distillery

The first of the Pilsner Whiskey series, the Charbay Pilsner Whiskey Release I hits the market. Distilled in 1999, aged for 2 years in new American white oak.

Bottle of Charbay Tahitian vanilla bean rum with a beach scene in the background

Time to push into another spirit category… Rum. Charbay Clear Rum and Charbay Tahitian Vanilla Bean Rum are distilled.

Food & Wine article written about Marko Karaksevic as a vodka visionary

Charbay Clear Rum is released, earning accolades and high scores from industry experts. Food & Wine Magazine praise Marko as America’s own Vodka Visionary.

Charbay whole fruit vodka range in a lineup on a wood table in the Charbay Distillery

The introduction of innovative vodka flavors continues with the release of Charbay Green Tea Vodka and Charbay Red Raspberry Vodka.

Miles karakasevic holding a pomegranate to make pomegranate whole fruit vodka

Another new vodka flavor excites the market, Charbay Pomegranate Vodka. The research to distill Tequila begins…

Marko Karakasevic in an article on him becoming a Master Distiller at Charbay Distillery

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.

Miles Karakasevic, grand master distiller, is dressed in a suit and holding a glass of his Charbay Brandy No. 83

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.

Karakasevic three generations, Miles, Marko and youngest son, Milo

Milorad (Miles) Harvey Karakasevic, the 14th generation is born. Distilling whiskey from bottle-ready beer continues with Lot S 211A Stout Whiskey, from Bear Republic Big Bear Black Stout. 

Miles Karakasevic holding an award given to him from the US Bartenders guild for his dedication to the art of distilling

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.

Spirit collection handcrafted by Charbay on a table in their family owned distillery

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.

Marko Karakasevic at the Charbay distillery with the alambic pot still in the background

Marko moves to Ukiah to be at the Distillery full-time. R5 Whiskey Lot No. 3 released. Lucky to receive a second 100-case allocation of Tequila Tapatío Excelencia.

Charbay Pilsner Whiskey Release IV bottle

Pilsner Whiskey IV, aged for 13 ½ years in new American white oak is released. Sells out in 2 days! The next batch of Pilsner Whiskey is distilled and barreled for future releases.

Ivan Karakasevic, second son of Marko and Jenni. Sitting on Marko's shoulders in the Charbay distillery

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 distillery wins 3 awards at the Food & Wine Tahoe event. Marko and Jenni are holding the awards given to their family owned distillery.

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.

Wine enthusiast distiller of the year nomination

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.