Ventura Limoncello Manuela and James

Photo by Santa Barbara News Press

The Ventura Limoncello Company was founded in 2007 by James Carling and Manuela Zaretti-Carling. Our mission is to be the premier producer of limoncello liqueurs in the United States. We use the recipe handed down to Manuela from her Nonna in Italy. Ventura County, California, is home to some of the most amazing lemons in the world and their peels make a world class Limoncello. According to the US Department of Agriculture, approximately 80% of all lemons grown in the US come from Ventura County. Due to the year round lemon growing season, we produce Ventura Limoncello in small batches all year.

We have also released our Ventura Orangecello liqueur using blood oranges, also grown in Ventura County. Unlike lemons, blood oranges are seasonal in Ventura. Our Orangecello Blood Orange will only be produced seasonally.

We work direct with local Ventura County growers who pick tree-ripened citrus to our specifications.

Ventura Limoncello Originale was released in February, 2008 and was initally well received. Our Limoncello was awarded Gold Medal at the 2011 and 2008 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and the Platinum Medal at the 2009 LA SIP Awards. Ventura Limoncello Originale has been America’s highest rated Limoncello 4-years in a row. Ventura Limoncello Crema was relased in October, 2008. It was awarded Gold Medal at the 2010 LA SIP Awards.

Ventura Orangecello Blood Orange was released in May, 2011. It was recognized as Double Gold Medal, “Best in Class” at the 2011 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

Ventura Limoncello’s liqueurs are all natural and handcrafted. We hand peel all the fruit. This ensures only the top layer of peel containing the oils are used. No pith. Our natural processes produce aromatic and full flavor liqueurs. The true sign of an all natural Limoncello is “Il Collarino” (the little collar). This is formed by the citrus oils that gather at the top of the bottle. In our Limoncello Crema, milk fat may gather at the top. A quick shake before serving mixes everything back together in the bottle.

Thank you for learning about Ventura Limoncello. Please contact us if have any questions.

57 Responses to “About”

  1. paula rios says:

    I am looking to purchase some several bottles of limoncello crema and have it shipped to me by friday…. please get back to me as soon as possible

    Thank you

    Paula Rios

  2. James Carling says:

    Hi Paula,

    Thank you for your request. Unfortunately, due to CA state law, we cannot sell/ship direct to consumers. You must go through one of our retailers. This link takes you to the retailers that ship: You usually need to call them to get details. Hope that helps. –James, President, Ventura Limoncello Company

  3. Is it true that your limoncello doesn’t have any dyes? I had bought an Italian limoncello at TJ’s and was upset to find it had FD&C Yellow 5 in it. I’m looking for a limoncello without any artificial dyes in it.

  4. James Carling says:

    Hi Jason,

    Thank you for asking. I’m happy to say it is TRUE! Ventura Limoncello is all-natural and handcrafted. No artificial colors, no artificial flavors. Check the labels of many other limoncello brands and often you will find FD&C Yellow 5. –James, President, Ventura Limoncello Company.

  5. Thank you for replying. I’m going to try to find your limoncello, then, and dump the stuff that has dye in it.

  6. Does the Ventura Limoncello come in a wine and/or champagne? Or is it strictly a liquer? What is the difference between the origanale and crema? In Ventura County, where would your product more likely be stocked?

  7. James Carling says:

    Hi Lisa, Limoncello by nature is a liqueur only. Traditionally served cold with dessert. Ventura Limoncello can also be used as a mixer (including in Champagne, we call it a Limosa). Our Originale is produced in the classic Italian Limoncello style. Our Crema is the same recipe using whole milk. Think lemon creamsicle in texture and taste.

    In Ventura County, you can find our products at these locations:

    Thank you for writing us.


  8. Magge Royston says:

    What an amazing product! We can’t keep it on the shelves at BevMo in Santa Barbara. Whenever it comes in it sells out right away. I finally managed to buy a bottle for myself and now I know what all the commotion is about. Keep up the good work!

  9. James Carling says:

    Hi Magge, Thank you for the kind words and keep those shelves stocked! Limosas for New Years…

  10. Michael says:

    Hi James,

    I found your company from Rick Cole’s Blog about “Living Locally”, spending your money and time in the city in which you live, which for me is Ventura. I found it quite surprising that the link you give of stores to purchase your “VENTURA Limoncello, does not include a Ventura location? Why is that? When your lemons, oranges, and your business all come from Ventura?

    Just an observation.


  11. James Carling says:

    Ciao Michael,
    Thank you very much for taking the time to comment on our site and about Ventura City Manager Rick Cole’s blog that linked us.

    Ventura Limoncello is very much “proud to be local” and we consistenly ensure our message is “Made right here in Ventura County, using only citrus from Ventura County”.

    Regarding our Where to Purchase page, I’m not sure I follow your comment. By design, the very FIRST listing under “Stores and Shops…” and “Restaurants Serving…” are links to “City of Ventura” locations, SECOND listed is “Ventura County” locations. Page link:

    Please let me know if your links show differently. Thank you again and we appreciate your input.

    President, Ventura Limoncello

  12. Is your limoncello gluten free?

  13. James Carling says:

    Ciao Denice,
    Thank you for asking. We are happy to say “YES”, Ventura Limoncello is gluten free. Our base alcohol is certified gluten free. Lemons and sugar by nature are gluten free.

    President – Ventura Limoncello

  14. I was shown the Sunset article by my daughter and was intrigued by how it’s made since it seems impossible that only two people are hand pealing the lemons. How do you produce enough to market the product in several stores and also, don’t you have that repetition problem called Carpel Tunnel? I’m thinking you have more than 2 hand-pealing. How many bottles can you fill yearly? Thank you, Sandy

  15. James Carling says:

    Ciao Sandy, Thank you for writing Ventura Limoncello. It may seem hard to believe, but it is true, 2 people do the peeling. Mostly it is Manuela and her mother Rossana. Sometimes Manuela and I or Rossana and I. Occasionally all three of us peel, but rarely. For us, peeling is not a 40 hour a week job. We make Ventura Limoncello fresh all year round (due to year round lemon availability in our part of CA) in small batches. Limoncello is not quite sold at the volumes Vodka or Tequila is, so we are able to maintain production based on demand. We are, however, growing quickly and will need another peeler soon. Interested?

  16. Happy to have discovered your website. We make our own limoncello with lemons from a tree in my backyard and I have been wondering about “Il Collarino” – now I know that’s a good thing! Looking forward to trying a bottle of yours to compare if I can find some in AZ. Keep up the good work – we all deserve great limoncello 🙂

  17. James Carling says:

    Ciao Wendy: Thank you for writing us, we appreciate hearing from Limoncello fans. We started with a lemon tree on our deck… You’ll be happy to know you can find Ventura Limoncello in Arizona: Let us know what you think. Happy Holidays and Salute!

  18. Hi,
    I am currently making my second batch of limoncello. My friend has a gorgeous tree and I know they are fresh and pesticide/wax free, which I think is very important with Limoncello.
    Do you use organic lemons?

    Also, my first batch seemed quite sweet and syrupy. What ratio of sugar and water do you use?

    Hope I can find your Limoncello here in St. Petersburg, FL

    Thank you so much!

  19. James Carling says:

    Hi Lisa, Thank you for writing the Ventura Limoncello Company. We appreciate hearing from you and that you make your own Limoncello.

    We do not use organic lemons because if we tried to make an organic liqueur (organic lemons, alcohol, sweetener), the cost is prohibitive. Our sugar/water ratio is a “family secret”, sorry…

    We hope to have Ventura Limoncello available in Florida soon. Please ask for it where you shop for liquor…


  20. john catalano-gould says:

    It’s very nice to see a small company taking off…

    As far as the product, it’s even nicer to have your company in the marketplace… I just ran out of my own limoncello due to giving it all away at christmas and the new batch is still 40+ days out.. Good to have yours!

    Your product is as good as any homemade/handcrafted in Italy!!

  21. James Carling says:

    Hi John, Thank you very much for your kind words about our product. We really appreciate it. Salute! James

  22. I’ve just enjoyed your videos, very informative. Do you have a place where we can come appreciate the process of limoncello making?

  23. James Carling says:

    Hi Katalina, Thank you for the note. CA state law does not allow us to be open to the public but please call us if you’re going to be in the Ventura area.

  24. Do you ship to the Lake Tahoe or Reno, Nevada area? I bought two bottles of your Limoncello in Ventura two weeks ago, it is a hit with my family and friends need to purchase more. Peggy

  25. James Carling says:

    Ciao Peggy, I replied directly to you through email. Did you receive it? Please let me know. Thank you.

  26. Giuseppe in Stati Uniti says:


    I’ve read that limoncello, like vodka, doesn’t freeze, so is it safe to put the sealed bottle in the freezer? I’ve had lemoncello served that way and it’s an incredible sensation: a colder-than-ice sip that warms you up on the way down while, surprisingly, bringing you back to life at the end of a big meal.

    Thanks in advance.

  27. James Carling says:

    Ciao Guiseppe: Yes, Ventura Limoncello (and limoncello in general) is traditionally stored and served direct from the freezer. It will not freeze due to the alcohol content. It also plays nice with the vodka in the freezer…

  28. Barbara Donato says:

    Manuela, I used to go to your parents resturant in Woodland Hills years ago. I can remember you and your brother helping out some evenings. I’ve often wondered about your family and Laura and Giancarlo. I hope you are all well. I certainly miss both resturants. Please answer if you can as I would love to catch up. Thanks

  29. Will you please tell me why my homemade limoncello is not as thick as the limoncello which is commercially available?

    Is it thickened during the processing (how) or is another ingredient added?

    Many thanks

  30. Can people visit and taste & purchase there?

  31. James Carling says:

    Ciao JB, unfortunately, CA state law does not permit us to have a tasting room or direct sales… Yet. Please visit our “where to purchase” page to find out where you can taste/ buy Ventura Limoncello. Grazie e Salute!

  32. While reading the “Food Lovers Guide to L.A” edition in the November 2012 LOS ANGELES Magazine, I came across “ORANGECELLO”-I definitely would like to try some of that!

  33. Are there any corn-based ingredients in Ventura Limoncello? Thanks in advance for your reply.

  34. Linda Pettersen says:

    Hi. Can I buy your products in Europe? I live in Norway..

  35. Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up.
    The words in your article seem to be running off the screen in Ie.
    I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let
    you know. The style and design look great though! Hope you get
    the problem solved soon. Cheers

  36. Hi,
    I read that your lemoncello is gluten free but I need to ask if it is made with whole grain alcohol and if so, it is really gluten free? I am dying to taste some but do not want to be sick.
    Thanks for answering this important question.


  37. James Carling says:

    Ciao Sharon,

    Yes, our base alcohol is certified gluten free. Please enjoy Ventura Limoncello.


  38. Darren Winkley says:

    Do you have or do you plan to open a tasting room?

  39. James Carling says:

    Ciao Darren,
    CA State law currently allow us to have a tasting room or have direct sales to consumers. We are hoping this will change in the near future.

  40. I have taste tested your Limoncello side by side with a fancy bottle I brought back from Positano (a magical place) and they taste exactly the same! You have succeeded in bringing us a little bit of Italy, at US prices, ease and convenience. Delizioso!! Thank you so much 🙂

  41. James Carling says:

    Ciao Debra,

    Thank you for your delightful comment about Ventura Limoncello, we really appreciate it. Our mission is to be America’s best Limoncello and to compare favorably against Italy’s top brands. Grazie e Salute!


  42. Brought a bottle of your blood orangecello from K&L and LOVED IT! Just ordered two bottles of your limoncello. I am planning on buying every bottle I can get my hands on to give as Christmas gifts. Thanks

  43. James Carling says:

    Ciao Tania, Thank you for letting us know you LOVED our Blood Orangecello and hope you’ll enjoy our Limoncello Originale as much!

  44. Katherine Beckett says:

    I love making my own limoncello and was wondering what you use for your base liquor?


  45. James Carling says:

    Ciao Katherine, Thank you for writing. As a manufacturer, we use a very high proof neutral grain spirit. Our base spirit is what gives Ventura Limoncello its clean, smooth finish.

  46. What ABV is your Lemonchello? How do you test each batch of your cream version?

  47. Love the product. I’ve always wondered what you did the citrus that remains after zesting. Is there some secondary market?

  48. James Carling says:

    Ciao Jimmy, Great question that we get a lot. Due to health department rules, because we’ve “handled” the fruit, it cannot be sold for baking/ juicing/ etc. We cannot even give it away to food charities… So, we give it back to the earth for composting or give it to our friends that want to make lemonade. We eat as many blood oranges as we can cause they’re SO GOOD!

  49. Jimmy L says:

    Are the type of lemon or blood oranges critical to the process?

  50. James Carling says:

    Ciao Jimmy, the varietal of citrus used is an important to all companies that produce Limoncello or Orangecello. Being one of the four key ingredients, which varietal is a part of each recipe.

  51. I’ve tried making limoncello at home and it turns out rather cloudy. Do you filter your final product as it isn’t very cloudy compared to mine or other commercial products? Do you filter the grain alcohol before infusion?

  52. Hi. When does your Blood Orangecello get produced? Having a hard time finding it in the stores.



  53. Kathy From Mendocino County says:

    Hi I just tried some Italian Limincello at Gold Mirror / Taraval street, in San Francisco and researched and found yours to purchase . Could you please consider making a certified organic limoncello from organically grown citrus ….I would greatly appreciate a gmo free organicaly grown limoncello for that special nightcap – thank you for your good work – creating a Ca certified apres dinner liqueur now if it could be certified organic that’s be grrrreaat..!!

  54. You touched on the variety of lemons, which lemon do you use. Also, do you sell in Arkansas. Thanks, I’m would love to find a location here so that I could get a taste.

  55. I would like to buy some ventura limoncello, but I am in Florida. Hope you can get whole foods as a distributor – they carry very high quality, upscale foods and beverages.

  56. How should the limoncello crema be stored? What is its shelf life?

  57. This design is incredible! You most certainly know how to keep a
    reader amused. Between your wit and your videos, I was
    almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Excellent job.
    I really loved what you had to say, and more than that,
    how you presented it. Too cool!

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