Ventura County's Support-Local Program

Bottling Local Gold

TLVC’s cameras bring you a behind-the-scenes look at Ventura Limoncello, maker of the nation’s highest-rated limoncello.

Since the time of antiquity, cultures throughout the world have revered those arcane arts by which otherwise ordinary ingredients are blended to create savory elixirs. From those who produce wines and ales to the more potent practices that bring us spirits and liqueurs, to the layman’s eye such artisans practice a sort of alchemy; the art shrouded in mystery, but the result coveted by refined palettes everywhere.

While those with a taste for such elixirs know well the places where such bottled wonders can be found, what they might not realize is that an eminent alchemist dwells and practices among us; Ventura Limoncello’s James Carling, in partnership with Manuela Zaretti-Carling.

Ventura Limoncello’s stated mission is “to the be premier producer of Limoncello liqueurs in the United States,” and armed with time-honored family recipes, the Carlings seem well on their way. Their handcrafted artisanal citrus liqueurs have been America’s highest rated for four years in a row, under such esteemed scrutiny as the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. And the lemons come from direct from Petty Ranch’s lemon grove.

Totally Local VC’s cameras were invited into the labs of Ventura Limoncello recently, where TLVC’s Kat Merrick talks with James Carling as he shares with us this glimpse of alchemy in action. Enjoy!

Kat Merrick interviews James Carling of Ventura Limoncello, maker of the nation’s highest rated limoncello.
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Learn more about author James Scolari

James Scolari

About the author

James Scolari is a writer and photographer. Though his seedling sprouted in other soil, after transplanting to the Gold Coast it has flourished and bears fruit in Ventura throughout the seasons. Late of local print journalism, Scolari edits TLVC content for publication and offers odds and ends from his own pen. He's also a staffer and advocate for Ventura's Rubicon Theatre, and teaches his own brand of image-making in the ongoing Mind's Eye photo workshops. Check out his website at


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