Odyssey Winery and Vineyards is a family-owned winery located in the foothills north of Chico. The first use-permitted winery in Butte County, Odyssey Winery was originally conceived in 1979 by Norm and Janice Rosene when they were students at U.C.Davis. Following graduation, marriage, and professional school, the Rosene’s moved to Chico to begin Norm’s dental practice. At the same time they began looking for land upon which to plant a vineyard and build a winery. In 1987 they located and purchased the current winery site, which for many years had served as a lumber mill. After much site clean-up, they planted the vineyard in 1991. Building the winery and tasting room began in 1993, and continues today.
From the outset, Odyssey was designed as a small, high-quality, scientifically based, production winery. Great care is taken during wine production to control the many variables that affect wine quality. Temperature, acid levels, sugar levels, yeast strains, juice nutrient levels, barrel type and toast, and facility cleanliness are some of the many variables monitored during wine production. All red wines are aged in American or French oak barrels for at least two years. Selected white wines are also aged in oak barrels.
Two wine grape varietals are grown in the vineyards at Odyssey Winery. Cabernet Sauvignon is grown in the south vineyard. This classic French varietal does well in Chico’s warm climate. Symphony is the other grape varietal grown at Odyssey (north vineyard.) This white Muscat grape was created at U.C. Davis in 1948. Specifically bred for warm climates, Symphony handles the Chico summers very well, and produces beautiful fruit with excellent flavors and Muscat characteristics. Symphony is used to produce a sweet dessert wine. Both wine grape varieties are quadrilaterally trellised. Quadrilateral trellising has been utilized throughout Odyssey Winery’s vineyards. This type of trellis provides an umbrella-like canopy of foliage over the cordons and fruiting zones of the vines. This canopy shields the grapes from direct sunlight, thereby decreasing the observed temperature and preventing sunburn. Fruit quality is improved with this type of trellis system, especially in hotter climates.
The tasting room at Odyssey was constructed to showcase wine, art and food. The tasting room is open on Saturdays, May through December, from 1-6pm. A constantly evolving art show is always in progress. Special events are held at the winery by appointment. A meeting room and kitchen are available for corporate meetings and other gatherings. Each fall, Odyssey participates in the Sierra Oro Farm Trail Passport Weekend which showcases Ag Tourism venues in Butte County.