Napa Valley, CA
Happiness, Wealth, Longevity...
In Chinese culture, the numbers 6, 8 and 9 are considered lucky or positive numbers. 689 Cellars named their winery after these numbers in respect for and in tribute to the positive forces each represents.
The number “6” in Chinese culture represents happiness or fluidity. It allows us to flow through life with positive thoughts and energy and is also associated with luck and success in the business world.
The number “8” in Chinese culture represents wealth or prosperity. The perfect symmetry of the number implies limitless possibilities and evokes balance and enlightenment.
The number “9” in Chinese culture represents longevity or eternity. Traditionally associated with emperors, the largest single digit is believed to be the luckiest of numbers and inspires harmony and balance in life.
Like the interwoven numbers in their logo, their wines reflect separate elements coming together into one balanced and harmonious whole. 679 Cellars produces their Napa Valley White Wine; a balanced blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and Muscat that is aged in a combination of French Oak and stainless steel. In addition, 689 Cellars produces a Napa Valley Red Wine that harmoniously blends Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Sirah, Petite Verdot and Syrah.
Their inaugural release of OBEY is the culmination of fruit sourced from four distinct regions of Napa Valley. Calistoga, Oakville, Rutherford and St. Helena. Each play individual roles in OBEY, highlighting the distinct characteristics of these regions within the Napa Valley.
In 2001, a young oenologist named Juanma Álvarez Nölting dreamed of creating a bodega for the production of unique Spanish wines. He told his friends that he was going to start a winery. Juanma believed he had the knowledge and experience to make this happen. Nobody took him seriously. Some months later, Juanma suddenly died and it appeared his idea would die with him.
Instead, his friends and family decided to honor Juanma’s memory, as one who thought Valencia could produce the highest quality wines in Spain. In September, 2004, the first 2,200 bottles of ALVAREZ NÖLTING 2002 went to market and sold out in just a few weeks. Today, the property is comprised of 72 hectares, situated about 100 kilometers from the Mediterranean Sea at 700 metres above sea level, in the western part of the province of Valencia, Spain. The vineyards enjoy a unique continental climate influenced by the sea, the altitude, and the nearby Cabriel River.
Traditional winemaking sets Alvarez Nölting apart, in addition to their attention to detail, small batch winemaking, hard work and dedication to producing the highest quality wines. Their wines are made in 5,000 litres tanks with grapes from small plots across the estate. For both red and white wines, the grapes macerate for 24 hours under cold temperatures to extract maximum aroma. Fermentation begins in controlled temperature over 10-12 days. Red grapes are gently crushed in a small vertical press of 500 kgs. Second fermentation (malolactic) takes place once the wine is poured off the barrel. White grapes are pressed after the maturation time and fermented at low temperatures over 10-12 days. When the natural process is finished the “Blanc” is bottled, and the “Alvarez Nölting Chardonnay” is decanted to the barrel.
bacio divino cellars
Napa Valley, CA
Claus and Diane Janzen live where they work, on the sunny and vine-dappled peaks of Napa Valley, overlooking the town of St. Helena. Claus spent 12 years at Caymus, during which time his own viticultural ambitions were ripening. A chance acquisition of some practically discarded Sangiovese grapes in 1993 led to the first vintage of Bacio Divino and the realization of a family estate.
Claus and Diane envisioned something that could make an impression both immediate and lasting. A wine of unmistakable co-authorship: terroir by Napa Valley, style by cloudy-headed winemaker. A wine with a twinkle in its eye, promising equal parts mystery and mischief. They came up with two wines, each a proprietary blend. First and foremost, Bacio Divino, a divine kiss of predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon, with the added dimensions of Sangiovese and Petite Sirah. Then, in 1999, Bacio Divino's vivacious kid sister Pazzo: a Sangiovese-centric blend with undercurrents of Merlot, Syrah and a touch of estate Cab.
Twenty vintages into their small family-run venture, they are immensely proud of their wines, humbled by the acclaim, yet the desire to single out, blend, taste and create drives on. After making Bacio Divino for nearly a decade, and having found their voice through blending, they set to express that same voice through a single varietal. They introduced their Janzen Cabernet Sauvignons in 2004 to coincide with the first harvest of their own estate vineyards. Now comprising three distinct vineyard-designate Cabernets as well as an all Napa Valley Cabernet, the highly rated Janzen wines have developed their own following.
Also in 2004, they released the elaborate, brooding Vagabond, a Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah blend. More recently, Vagabond has evolved into two wines: small lot, single varietal Vagabond Syrah and Vagabond Petite Sirah, with production levels generally below 100 cases.
Lucie is the newest brand in the Bacio Divino portfolio and represents their take on Burgundian varietals from the Russian River Valley. The success of their first vineyard-designate Pinot Noir from Dutton Ranch encouraged them to add another; the Bacigalupi Russan River Valley Pinot Noir. They are currently producing a vineyard-designate Chardonnay from Dutton Ranch, as well.
Napa Valley, CA
Located at the top of Spring Mountain Road, Barnett Vineyards began as a 40-acre property founded by Hal and Fiona Barnett in 1983. The first Cabernet Sauvignon vines were planted the following year with the intent of producing small amounts of hand-crafted wines that would showcase the unique characteristics found in grapes cultivated on such challenging, high elevation terrain. Each wine produced at Barnett Vineyards is either estate bottled or from a single vineyard in another carefully chosen viticulture district. The wines, therefore, are inextricably linked to the vineyards from which they originate.
The estate vineyards are at an elevation of 2,000 feet and are planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc on steep terraces of 30 degrees or more. The original estate vines are over 30 years old and are planted on a 6x10 foot grid. In the past few years much of the original vineyard has undergone redevelopment and now vines are spaced at 4x4 feet. The topography is so steep and the plantings are so closely spaced that traditional farming methods such as tractors and disking are not possible. The vineyards are completely farmed by hand from bud break until harvest, when they are picked by hand, vineyard row by vineyard row, as optimum ripeness and maturity are reached. To preserve the integrity of each individual vineyard block, the grapes are fermented separately in small batches. Only French oak barrels are used, with a preference for between 65% and 100% new oak barrels, and one- to four- year old for barrels for the balance.
Both soil content and weather contribute to the uniqueness of the estate wines. The soils are poor in nutrients and contain much rock, the richer topsoil having washed down to the valley floor many years ago. This well-drained, poorer soil makes the vines work harder to produce fruit, resulting in smaller yields of one to two tons per acre, and smaller, more intensely flavored berries.
The location and elevation of the property contribute substantially to the depth, richness and character of the wines. The coastal fog, which covers the Napa valley floor many mornings during the growing season, seldom reaches the top of Spring Mountain thus giving the vineyards several hours of additional sunlight each day. The elevation keeps temperatures at an average of 8-10 degrees cooler all year which further results in later bud break and harvest than vineyards located at lower elevations.
Since the winery's first 232 cases of Cabernet were produced in 1989, Barnett Vineyards has grown to approximately 8,000 cases total production. Rattlesnake and Spring Mountain District wines, including Merlot and Cabernet Franc, remain the focus with total estate production varying between 5,000 and 6,000 cases annually. In addition, Barnett Vineyards produces limited amounts Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc sourced from single vineyards located in desired appellations.
David Tate has been the winemaker at Barnett Vineyards for nine complete vintages, beginning with 2007. Prior to working with Barnett, David was the assistant winemaker at Ridge Vineyards for five years atop Montebello in the Santa Cruz Mountains; his years with Ridge laid the groundwork for David's commitment to quality and understanding of what it takes to produce premium, world-class wine with a sense of place.
In addition, David has worked in the Barossa Valley, Australia; Provence, France; Canterbury, New Zealand and has traveled to every fine wine region in the world. David graduated from Brock University in 2002, with an Honors Degree in Enology and Viticulture. David's research work has been published and he is an advocate for wine education, helping to teach portions of the Wine and Spirits Education Trust in his free time.
San Juan, Argentina
Bodegas Callia was created with the goal of producing the best wines of San Juan and the best Shiraz of Argentina. Bodegas Callia crafts quality Argentine wines, while respecting and supporting the people, nature, and community from which the wines are created.
Among sand dunes, chañar trees, and the occasional bristle of a prickly pear, Bodegas Callia lives in harmony with the Valley of Tulum landscape. The bodega, painted the colour of sand, melds so naturally with its surroundings that arriving at Bodegas Callia—like standing before a desert oasis—inspires the unexpected exhilaration of discovery.
Bodegas Callia was not the first winery to rest in its place at the foot of the Pie de Palo. The original winery, built in the 1930s, was in need of extensive updating and earthquake retrofitting. Bodegas Callia—built with the world’s most advanced techniques for earthquake resistance—was designed to preserve the character and charm of the original structure, along with a new nave that houses 8,000 square meters of tanks with a capacity of 9,000,000 liters. The façade and second-story balcony of the old winery remains intact within the new facility.
The entire winery, including the storage area, is temperature controlled at between 10 C and 15 C to ensure the highest quality wine. Stainless steel tanks in a variety of sizes are used for fermentation and storage. Smaller tanks, which are wider than they are tall, are used to increase skin to juice contact during fermentation, resulting in greater complexity in the wine. The naves that comprise the winery house two laboratories, a high-tech bottling line and stainless steel pumps that prevent oxygenation of the wine.
While there are more than 100 wineries in San Juan, only a handful produce wines using the latest technology and on the scale of Bodegas Callia. “It’s not only our commitment to Shiraz that is unique,” says Enologist Fabian Miranda. “Our dedication to experimentation and quality is uncommon for wines at this price point.” Having devoted the last 12 years to winemaking in Mendoza and Salta, Miranda is confident that San Juan is capable of producing fruit-forward, good value wines and complex, character-rich Shiraz that rivals the world’s best examples.
Napa Valley, CA
Perched high upon Napa's elusive Howell Mountain, among a dramatic hillside of Manzanita trees, CADE Estate is a unique, state-of-the-art winery. Awarded LEED Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, they are proud to be Napa Valley's first organically farmed, LEED Gold Certified Winery.
CADE Estate Winery produces four wines: CADE Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain (made from the 19 acres of Cabernet vines at the winery), CADE Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain (from grapes purchased from small artisan growers in the Howell Mountain Appellation), the CADE Napa Cuvee Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley (a Bordeaux style Cabernet Sauvignon), and a small production of CADE Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley.
CADE Estate Winery is located in Angwin, CA about 12 miles from PlumpJack Winery, perched on a 54-acre hillside at nearly 1,800 feet of elevation. Founded in 2005 as a complement to the valley floor terroir of PlumpJack Winery, CADE takes its name from Shakespeare, who used the term to refer to the wine casks—or cades—used to transport wine from Bordeaux to England in Elizabethan times.
CADE's philosophy of making luxury wine in harmony with the environment begins in the soil of the 21-acre estate vineyard, where the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot vines are farmed organically. CADE maintains a painstaking program of natural cultivation that will result in organic certification at the end of the required transition period.
Going organic in their vineyards makes for healthier soil, more biologically balanced and pest-resistant grapevines, and more natural and complex wines. Organic farming avoids synthetic fertilizers and insecticides, and encourages the use of compost and manure to create soil rich with natural nutrition and beneficial plant and animal life that help sustain the vines from year to year.
Planting a cover crop of grass, clover or mustard between the vine rows is an essential part of organic farming. In California, the cover crop grows during the rainy season of winter and spring. Growers rarely if ever harvest it, but usually mow it short for the summer. The cover crop encourages natural predators of the vines' insect enemies, increases the "tilth" or cultivating capacity of the soil, and when plowed under it adds oxygen and nutrients.
"Change is good, green is good, organic is good," says CADE partner John Conover about the estate's environmentally proactive approach to winemaking. "We're doing it because it's the right thing to do as stewards of the land."
Napa Valley, CA
Cain Vineyard & Winery is cradled in a spectacular bowl overlooking the Napa Valley from the crest of the Spring Mountain District. They are dedicated to the creation of three Cabernet blends, each drawn from its own unique vineyard sources, each with its own distinctive signature: Cain Cuvée, Cain Concept, and Cain Five. Founded in 1980 and currently owned by Jim and Nancy Meadlock, the vineyard is comprised of 90 planted acres on a 550-acre ranch and produces 20,000 cases per year.
Varying in elevation from 1,400 to 2,100 feet (450–675 meters), their vineyard clings to the sides of a bowl, sited spectacularly, and improbably, along the crest of the Mayacamas Range. The vineyard overlooks the Napa Valley and Saint Helena from the most southwestern corner of the Spring Mountain District. Here, the soils are almost exclusively of sedimentary (as opposed to volcanic) origin. Formed from decaying sandstone and shale, they contain significant amounts of clay, which holds on to water and nutrients, releasing them only very slowly. These soils contain little potassium and significant amounts of calcium and magnesium, resulting in low fertility.
The slopes tend to be fairly steep, so the soils are thin and water absorption is limited, leaving most of the rainfall as run-off down into the valley. The exposures can be significant, ranging through all the points of the compass, giving the extraordinary diversity that contributes to the complexity of the Cain Five. With their five grape varieties and the natural variation within the vineyard, harvest usually lasts about six weeks. The first grapes to ripen are usually east-facing Merlot, and the last picked are often some northwest-facing Cabernet Franc.
One other notable feature of the Cain Vineyard is that it consists of small areas surrounded by forest. They suspect that the trees—oak, madrone, bay laurel, and Douglas-fir—contribute to the unique aromatic signature of the Cain Five. Just to stand on their mountain and to inhale the scented air reminds you that this place is like no other–—and you can taste it in the wine.
cave des rois, marco & françois grognuz
The Grognuz family -- father and son team François and Marco, have owned and operated this Estate since 2002. Winemakers in the region for 4 and 5 generations respectively, the estate today is comprised of 17.5 hectares of vineyard, divided into four plots and spanning 3 appellations; Lavaux, Chablais, nd Valais. The vineyard plots are spread throughout the towns of St-Saphorin, Chardonne, Villeneuve, Fully et Les Évouettes.
The latter is the home of the Domaine, orignally purchased in 1974, and located on the left bank of the Valais. In order to expand, they had no choice but to purchase property across multiple vineyards and terroirs, since there simply wasn't land available. The diversity of their estate showcases the very complex differences of terroir throughout the main growing regions in Switzerland.
With attention to every detail, the wines from the Grognuz family are exciting and cutting edge. The vineyards are cultivated with philosophy and discipline by respecting the plant with limited yields and with respect for the environment. Their cellar at La Tour-de-Peilz, in the former cellars of the "Café Central", is located at the property in Villeneuve.
Loire Valley, France
Château de la Roulerie, or "La Roulerie", sits atop a predominant hill in the heart of the Layon wine region of the Loire, in the province of Anjou La Roulerie is comprised of 22 hectares of wide terraced, south and southwest facing vineyards that provide even ripening in this otherwise cool, northerly locale.
The Germain family purchased Château de la Roulerie in 1996. Winegrowers for six generations, they have found their true raison d'être in the cultivation of vines and the fermentation, aging and marketing of wines. The Château itself dates back to the late 19th century, though the property derives its name from the 14th century property owner, the Chevalier Raoul.
The estate wines are made from organic, sustainably farmed vineyards using only biodegradable products and minimal sulfites. The vines are planted at a dense 4,500 plants per hectare in mostly clay and siliceous soils. The vines are pruned every three weeks and the resulting wines are lightly filtered without use of chemicals. With limited intervention in their winemaking practices, La Roulerie wines reflect the natural elements specific of their terroir and grape varietals.
The Anjou region is perhaps best known for its production of sweet white wines, but there are increasingly more dry whites produced from the Chenin Blanc grape, for which the region is renowned. La Roulerie produces several single varietal and blended wines, including the Côteaux du Layon and Côteaux du Layon Chaume, Anjou Blanc, and Anjou Rouge.
clos du val
Napa Valley, CA
While the story of Clos Du Val is rich in history, and follows the rise of Napa Valley as one of the world’s preeminent winegrowing regions, it is also a living story that is still being written. Guided by an acclaimed team that includes President Steve Tamburelli, Director of Operations Jon-Mark Chappellet and Winemaker Ted Henry, Clos Du Val has experienced a renaissance in every facet of the winery. This period of revitalization started with the 2012 vintage, when Clos Du Val began a vibrant and vineyard-driven stylistic shift for its wines. It continued in the 2014 vintage, when Clos Du Val began focusing almost exclusively on making estate-grown wines, with an emphasis on the exceptional Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignons that first catapulted Clos Du Val to fame.
Clos Du Val was founded by the Goelet family in 1972, an era that wine writer Hugh Johnson referred to as “the turning point in modern wine history.” 1972 saw the founding of a who’s who of California’s most iconic wineries, and in the history of North American winemaking, the Cabernet producers of 1972 are legendary. It was a dynamic time, filled with energy and innovation that laid the foundation for Napa Valley’s rise to global prominence. Two years before, the family tasked talented French-born winemaker Bernard Portet with finding vineyard land capable of producing a world-class Cabernet Sauvignon. After traveling to five continents, this search brought Bernard to the Stags Leap District in Napa Valley, where perfect daytime weather, cool nights and ideal soils yield Cabernet Sauvignons of uncommon power and elegance.
In 1972, Clos Du Val acquired 150 acres of estate vineyards in the heart of the Stags Leap District, and made its first wines, including Clos Du Val’s legendary debut 1972 Cabernet Sauvignon—one of only six California Cabernets selected for the famous 1976 Judgment of Paris Tasting, where California defeated some of Bordeaux’s finest. Ten years later, Clos Du Val’s reputation for creating some of Napa Valley’s most gracefully age-worthy wines was solidified, when its 1972 Cabernet Sauvignon took first place in the Judgment of Paris rematch.
Today, Clos Du Val’s acclaimed estate program has evolved to include its 180-acre Grand Val Vineyard in the Carneros appellation of Napa Valley, and the 18-acre State Lane Vineyard in Yountville. With a viticulture program guided by master Cabernet Sauvignon grower Jon-Mark Chappellet, these vineyards include more than 30 different blocks of Cabernet, with a variety of soil types and exposures, dozens of unique clone and rootstock combinations, and an array of vine ages. This provides Winemaker Ted Henry, and Consulting Winemaker Tony Biagi, with a remarkable palette of estate fruit from which to make Clos Du Val’s wines. Taking advantage of this rich diversity, Ted ferments as many as 35 individual lots of Cabernet Sauvignon each vintage, with upwards of 70 total lots of Bordeaux red varieties—some as small as 1.5 tons.
Under President and CEO Steve Tamburelli’s direction, Clos Du Val has also instituted numerous changes, all with the goal of achieving the utmost quality. This includes restoring and modernizing the winery, harvesting later to achieve optimal ripeness, reducing crop yields, increasing dappled sunlight in the vine canopy, enhancing soil fertility, adding cold soaks to the Cabernet program to increase color and aromatics, instituting earlier pumpovers to create greater tannin integration, utilizing new filtration methods to limit oxidation, and revamping the barrel program to focus on only the best coopers—all to preserve vineyard character, while adding nuance and silky textural elements.
Unlike many of the other pioneering Napa Valley wineries, Clos Du Val has remained small and dedicated to making Napa Valley-designated wines—a focus that has become even clearer in recent vintages. In fact, as part of its transition to making almost exclusively estate-grown wines, Clos Du Val made the bold decision to significantly reduce production, with overall Cabernet Sauvignon production cut almost in half.
collovray et terrier
Like all good stories, the Collovray et Terrier one is full of twists and turns; but it began with the unfolding of a century in the vineyard in the Mâconnais, and four generations of the Collovray family. Since 1986, the Collovray & Terrier story is one of pairs: two families, two names, two men: Christian et Jean-Luc; two sisters, Brigitte et Florence.
Collovray et Terrier is comprised of two properties; Domaine Deux Roches in Burgundy, and Château Antugnac in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of Southern France. The first is dominated by the Rock of Solutré and the latter by the Rock of Vergisson. Collovray & Terrier wines are made in two regions: the Mâconnais and the Haute-Vallée de l'Aude.
Today, Christian and Brigitte Collovray and their son, Julien, along with Jean-Luc and Florence Terrier are the pillars of Collovray & Terrier. Around these pillars, other members of the family bring their support and expertise, some cultivating the vines from which Collovray & Terrier buy their grapes, ensuring a quality and consistency of supply and control over cultivation methods.
domaine balavaud, jean-rené germanier
It was in 1886 that Urbain Germanier planted his first vineyards and founded the winery in Balavaud, a small hamlet of the tiny village of Vétroz, in the very heart of the Valais. Years later, the torch passed to his three sons, Francis, Paul and Charles, whose wines claimed their place among the premiers crus, the best growths of the Valais. In 1945, Francis distilled the house’s first brandy from Williams pears and the Bon Père William was born.
Today two young oenologists of the 3rd and 4th generations, Jean-René Germanier and Gilles Besse, produce wines that have earned them a place alongside the best winemakers in Switzerland. They believe in cultivating their vines to produce the highest quality grapes possible while maintaining maximum respect for the environment. Yields are limited in order to obtain wines of concentrated character. The average age of their vines—35 years—consistently ensures the remarkable structure of their wines.
Their commitment to quality is reflected in the care of the vineyards, their state of the art viticultural practices, and a respect for the environment. Domaine Balavaud has been a pioneer in the introduction of integrated production, guaranteeing the sustainable use of chemical intervention. Today, they remain at the vanguard of viticultural practice in harmony with the environment; planting grass between the rows of vines, for example. For the last five years, they have maintained three estates that are cultivated according to the norms of the label Bio Suisse.
LES CLASSIQUES AOC VALAIS
Their “classique” selection puts the identity of the varietal in the forefront and is dedicated to the search for elegance in simplicity. Produced by traditional methods of vinification, the wines are a tribute to the respect for terroir and the characteristic features of each variety in fruit and freshness.
Assemblage allows for the creation of wines of exceptional harmony and appeal. The composition of each wine reflects the inspiration of the winemaker as a great recipe does that of a chef, according to the taste he seeks. These are wines dedicated to the pleasure of tasting, no holds barred, and for pure gastronomic adventure.
These are wines at their highest level of character and expression. Only the best vineyards, capable of yielding the most noble and concentrated fruit, are selected. Vinification in oak barrels lends them all the complexity and aging potential of wines worthy of the finest occasions.
The Domaine Chèze is a family estate picked up in 1978 by Louis Chèze. This domain is located on the top of the hill of the Limony County, on the right bank of the Rhône, 60 km south of Lyon, right in the Northern Côtes du Rhône vineyard. Mr. Chèze started the venture with one hectar of Sainte Joseph and some grapevines in lease. Today, the entire domain is 30 hectares and includes some highly esteemed appellations such as Condrieu, Saint Joseph and Vin de Pays. Louis Chèze’s resolve, curiosity, and meticulousness are applied regarding the vineyard monitoring and the winemaking process.
The vineyard is run according to the "viticulture raisonnée", or sustainable winegrowing, where the main concern is the respect of the grape vine. At the Chèze domaine, each vineyard is handled according to the specificities of each parcel. If the slope allows for it, grapevine trellising is used; and if not, grapevine stakes are used on the slopes.
Each vintage is a new challenge, with the purpose of producing the embodiment of the terroirs.
domaine des masques
The Domaine des Masques overlooks the Aix-en-Provence region and the tiny commune of Saint-Antonin sur Bayon from an elevation of 550 meters. The vineyards are south-facing, situated on the Cengle plateau, with a view of Sainte-Victoire, the vast, grey moutainside for which the region is renowned. The area has been home to olive groves since the Gallo-Roman Empire, in addition to medicinal plants and trees, as well as several generations of healers, herbalists and witches. The Domaine takes it's name from "Masco" - the local Provençale word for witch.
The first four hectares were planted with Chardonnay grapes in 1992. Carl and Sophie purchased the property in 2000 and began diversifying the plantings to include Viognier and Grenache in 2005. The Domaine des Masques now produces and bottles Syrah, Grenache - Syrah, Cabernet - Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, and Viognier.
Winemaker and partner Yves Cuilleron was captivated by the fabulous view, the extraordinary terroir and the location. He has taken pains to ensure that the construction, the vineyard, the olive trees, the planted vines, and lavender are all in keeping with the natural landscape, as well as with the cultural traditions of Provence. With this in mind, the olive groves, oaks, and fields of aromatic plants are being converted to organic farming treatment. In the vineyards, he has foregone the use of any insecticide or herbice and continues to treat the vines in traditional Bordeaux methods.
The wines are aged from 6 to 18 months in oak barrels, with particular attention paid to the type of oak used. After ten years of experiementation with various types of oak aging to determine the best complement to the wines, the barrels are now assembled using from oak from Hungary, from the Vosges and Caucasus Mountains.
domaine des nugues
This hillside site located between Morgon to the west and Fleurie to the east is the home of Gérard Gelin's 27 hectares of vineyards in the northern Beaujolais. Planted with Gamay, the vineyards are surrounded with the famed Moulin à Vent, Fleurie, and Morgon vieyards of the Beaujolais. Gelin has owned this property since 1976, where he carefully produces hand-harvested and whole-cluster vinified Beaujolais wines in partnership with his son, Gilles Gelin. The wines are produced using semi-carbonic maceration, as dictated by the AOC of Beaujolais.
domaine pierre gaillard
Northern Rhône, France
Pierre Gaillard is one of the most respected winemakers in the Northern Rhône. He worked for Etienne Guigal and Vidal-Fleury before producing his own first vintage in the late 1980's. When he was 12 years old he was caught plowing a nearby parcel with a horse. Pierre studied Viticulture and Enology in Beaune, and obtained a Graduate Diploma in Winemaking from Montpellier.
In 1981, he bought his first parcel of land, Clos de Cuminailles in Malleval. In 1987, he established his business in the upper part of the medieval town of Malleval. In 2002, he created the estate of Madeloc in Banyuls-sur-Mer. In 2007, he created the estate of Cottebrune in Faugères. Today, Pierre manages a total of 77 hectares.
Today, he produces 120,000 bottles a year from his vineyards in the northern part of the Rhone Valley, ranging from Cote-Rotie down through to Cornas in the South. Planted on steep slopes, the vines are located on the last foothills of the Massif Central, where he grows Syrah, Viognier and Rousanne. The vines are planted in light, well drained, warm soil made up of decomposing schist (Côte-Rôtie) and altered granite (Saint-Joseph, Condrieu and Côtes-du-Rhône).
At Malleval, Pierre's vines are situated on steep slopes plunging down towards the Rhône. At Cottebrune, the steep hillsides are at an altitude, with the Cevennes in the background and a panorama extending from the Pyrénées through to Montpellier. At Madeloc the parcels are situated on terraces overlooking the sea.
The wines must express clear and precise fruity aromas, with a profound color and refined tannins. Pierre finds his inspiration, all the while respecting the "raw material" of the grape harvest. At Malleval, Madeloc and Cottebrune the following measures are respected: optimal hygiene and controlled temperatures, handpicked harvesting, separate winemaking, parcel by parcel, and grape variety by grape variety. Cold macerations are used for the reds and the whites, as well as aeration to extract delicate and pure aromas.
Willamette Valley, OR
Since the first vintage in 1990, Domaine Serene has produced award winning wines, including Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir, recognized as the World’s #3 Wine of 2013 by Wine Spectator Magazine. Through the continuous pursuit of quality and innovation, Domaine Serene has garnered global recognition as an iconic quality leader of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Today, Domaine Serene produces Pinot Noir from six vineyard estates, spanning three Willamette Valley AVAs, and Chardonnay solely from high elevations in the Dundee Hills.
Grace and Ken Evenstad first arrived and settled in the Dundee Hills in the Willamette Valley in 1989. At that time, the couple had spent more than 20 years together in Minnesota building a successful business, a loving family, and a deep appreciation for the wines of Burgundy. The Evenstads had faith in Oregon early on, before there was a national market for domestic Pinot Noir. When the time came to pursue their longtime dream of growing and producing world class Pinot Noir, they invested in a 42-acre hilltop estate that had just been logged in the beautiful Dundee Hills of Oregon. With the support of their family - and to the surprise of many of their friends in Minnesota – the Evenstads established Domaine Serene, effectively creating Oregon’s luxury wine industry. They named the winery after their daughter, Serene, and their first vineyard on the estate was named after their son, Mark Bradford Evenstad.
In 2001, the Evenstads completed construction of the picturesque, state-of-the art, five-level, gravity flow winery specifically designed to make world class Pinot Noir. Their sustainable vineyard management and winemaking practices are intended to maximize the quality of the wines and to ensure complex, balanced and elegant wines that are age-worthy.
In April 2015, the Evenstads expanded upon their original vision of producing world class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay by purchasing Château de la Crée, a Burgundy wine estate in the Côte d’Or. Burgundy vintners have been buying vineyards in Oregon for the past 25 years, but now the Evenstads have flipped the trend. “Owning and farming legendary vineyards in Burgundy is a dream come true for us,” says Ken Evenstad. “We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to make our own wines from famous vineyards like Morgeot in Chassagne-Montrachet, Clos des Angles in Volnay, and La Garenne in Puligny-Montrachet where world class wines have been made for centuries.” This latest endeavor brings Grace and Ken a new opportunity to further develop their expertise with their favorite varietals and to “discover” a new terroir from the place that inspired their winemaking pursuit over 25 years ago.
Loire Valley, France
Sancerre is perhaps the most well-known of all of the wine regions of the Loire valley and of the world. Planted to both Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, the AOC is based around the village of Sancerre. Bright, crisp and refreshing, Sancerre's Sauvignon Blancs are some of the most renowned and imitated wines of the world. Sancerre also produces exceptional Pinot Noir used in the making of both red and rosé wines, in a lighter style than their close neighbour to the East, Burgundy.
The Vacheron family has been influential in Sancerre since the turn of the 20th century and their winery has always been family operated. Great-grandfather Maurice Vacheron tended a few vines in the silex-rich soils of his hometown back when Sancerre was but a forlorn stop on a village road. His son, Jean Vacheron, was the first of the family to specialize in wine production. Moving from cultivating grain to Pinot Noir, Jean is one of the main reasons why the family's Pinot Noir bottlings are some of the finest in the region. The Vacherons are one of the largest producers of Sancerre rouge. Today, you'll find two 9th generation Vacheron cousins leading the family business: Jean-Laurent and Jean-Dominique Vacheron tend to the 34-hectares of certified organic vineyards.
The region’s soils are rich with silex, a flinty rock that rests on a bed of clay and limestone. The family’s “Les Romains,” a single-vineyard Sauvignon, is grown on 100% silex soil. The Vacheron Sancerre rouge is 100% Pinot Noir and raised primarily in tank. The “Belle Dame,” comes from 40+ year old Pinot Noir vines that grow on a severe, southeast-facing hillside. With possibly the oldest vines in Sancerre, this vineyard produces some of the most concentrated Pinots in the region.
* Domaine Vacheron is the only Sancerre winery with equal parts of limestone and flint in its vineyards. Limestone contributes to balanced acidity, while flint provides good aroma and mineral cut.
* The cousins Vacheron farm biodynamically, shunning herbicides and pesticides.
* Yields are controlled; while the average Sancerre yield is 70 hectoliters per hectare, the average yield at Vacheron is 50 hl/ha for white wines, and much lower for reds.
Born and raised in France to a family of Calvados producers, Christophe Durand moved to Cape Town in 1995. Beginning as a supplier of premium French wine barrels and very much involved in winemaking, it was only a matter of time before he brought together his knowledge and passion for fines wines into creating his own.
To achieve perfect expression of the terroir, Christophe relies on unique vineyard sites, early picking and rigorous sorting to bring in,”beautiful, healthy berries which shape a more balanced wine with a low PH, higher natural acidity and lower alcohol.” Christophe believes strongly in true tradition, and his philosophy is to interact as little as possible with the grapes. All pickings are done manually in light boxes and brought to the cellar where a meticulous selection is carried out. Alcoholic fermentation occurs with the temperature closely monitored.
For the whites - all bunches are pressed, left for 24 hours to settle nicely, then racked straight into 225 litre Burgundian barrels where the alcoholic and malolactic fermentation will occur. For the reds - partially de-stemmed with alcoholic fermentation occuring in open-topped fermenters during a period of two weeks with punch down twice a day. Aging is done 100% in barrels, 11 months for the whites and 18 months for the reds. All whites are kept on clean lees with regular battonage and soft filtration before bottling. The reds are also kept on primary lees, with no filtration, with only a white egg fining done two months before bottling.
Dorrance Wines recently unveiled their new urban wine cellar and tasting room located in the Heritage Square, one of Cape Town’s most iconic buildings. The narrow doorways, exposed granite walls, dimly-lit rows of barriques and an old forge provide the perfect old world setting for a unique City Winery. Wine enthusiasts can now experience Dorrance’s winemaking philosophy and interact with the people behind the brand.
Walla Walla Valley, WA
For former NFL Quarterback Drew Bledsoe, owning a winery has been a longtime aspiration, combining his passion for fine wine and love of the Walla Walla Valley. Drew returned to his hometown in 2007 to plant his original estate vineyard, McQueen, in southern end of the Walla Walla Valley AVA. The following year, Drew launched Doubleback, an estate-focused winery with the goal to produce ultra-premium Cabernet Sauvignon. To make this dream a reality, Drew collaborated with his childhood friend Chris Figgins of Figgins Family Wine Estates. Chris consulted on all winemaking and vineyard practices while training current Winemaker, Josh McDaniels, who assumed the role in 2015.
Since the first release, the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Doubleback has received numerous accolades including a spot on the Wine Spectators Top 100 List. The vision for Doubleback remains to be a premium wine experience completely focused on quality. To further assist the production of high-quality Walla Walla Valley fruit for Doubleback, Drew acquired a second estate vineyard, Bob Healy, in 2011, and a third estate vineyard, Flying B, in 2016. Drew and Maura Bledsoe are committed to only using the best viticulture and winemaking practices to ensure that Doubleback will be one of the best bottles of wine you will drink.
Doubleback currently produces Bledsoe Family wine, a red Bordeaux style blend packaged in liter bottles, the Drew Bledsoe Signature Series, in addition to the Doubleback Cabernet Sauvignon.
Doubleback’s Vision – from Drew Bledsoe, Proprietor
"The vision at Doubleback has remained constant from the beginning - to make world-class wines that are the truest possible expression of the Walla Walla Valley, my hometown. Guided by Winemaker, Josh McDaniels, our estate vineyards- McQueen, Bob Healy, and now Flying B- produce fruit that is complex and rich, yet balanced and elegant. Being almost entirely from McQueen Vineyard, these traits are clearly shown in the excellent 2014 vintage of Doubleback, and we couldn’t be more excited. We can’t wait to have a successful year together in 2017." – Drew
Napa Valley, CA
The Ehlers Estate vineyard is located on an historic winegrowing site in the northern part of Napa Valley’s acclaimed St. Helena appellation. The property is located at the Napa Valley’s narrowest point, between the Mayacamas Mountains to the west and the Vaca Mountains to the east.
The story of Ehlers Estate is one of passion, patience, and hard work, intertwined like the tendrils of robust vines that have been part of the landscape since the mid-1800s. Ehlers Estate represents the unique fusion of an outstanding winegrowing estate, environmental consciousness and international philanthropy. The historic and diverse Napa Valley vineyard of Ehlers Estate is cultivated using organic and biodynamic farming techniques to produce a small portfolio of exceptional estate-grown wines. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sale of these wines go to support the Leducq Foundation, a highly regarded, not-for-profit foundation dedicated to funding international cardiovascular research.
In keeping with the winery’s marriage of quality and conscience, Ehlers Estate is at the forefront of environmentally aware farming practices. Guided by winemaker and vineyard manager Kevin Morrisey, the Ehlers Estate viticulture program embraced organic farming in 2004, and adopted biodynamic farming practices in early 2005. Ehlers Estate earned organic certification from the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) on July 1, 2008.
Their hands-on methods help to preserve the purity and character of the estate’s mosaic of 25 vineyard blocks, planted on 42 contiguous hectares. Each vineyard block is individually fermented and aged. Beginning with the 2005 red wine vintage and the 2007 white wine vintage, all Ehlers Estate wines have been crafted exclusively from this stellar palette of estate-grown grapes.
Ehlers Estate continues a proud tradition of farming with experienced vineyard and cellar teams that share a non-interventionist winemaking philosophy firmly rooted in the belief that terroir defines a wine, but passion, patience and hard work are needed to ensure that it is fully expressed in the bottle.
The Foppiano family is proud of their Italian heritage and their deep, 120-year roots in the Russian River Valley, where they've been producing wines of quality since 1896. The story of Foppiano Vineyards is a family epic and full of industry history. It is a tale which confirms the value of perseverance and commitment. The Foppiano Vineyards brand remains the best known and most admired by the industry and consumers. Petite Sirah, the family's favorite, has become the winery's signature wine, and is known nationwide as one of the country's top Petites year-in and year-out.
Foppiano Vineyards sits on a 160-acre estate in Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley, known as one of the most esteemed wine regions in the world. The family planted grape varieties that thrive in this temperate coastal region: Petite Sirah, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay, among others. Paul Foppiano, grandson of patriarch Louis J. Foppiano, manages the vineyard and maintains superior vineyard practices. With a great respect for the earth and old world family traditions, the Foppiano family farms their land sustainably by limiting pesticide use and providing the highest level of care. The goal is to nurture the vineyards so they continue to produce quality fruit now, and for years to come.
Winemaker Nova Perrill joined Foppiano Vineyards in early 2015 and embodies the essence of what Foppiano represents: a commitment to quality in the cellar and vineyard. He brings with him not only ten years of knowledge and experience gained from winemaking in Sonoma County, but also a strong desire to continue to enrich and expand the legacy of Foppiano Vineyards.
The more than 100-year history of Foppiano Vineyards confirms that through the strength of the family and a commitment to quality, tradition can be maintained and can thrive.
Based in Napa, Ca., Gauge Wines offer the first ever wines crafted with the outdoorsman in mind. Gauge Wines are aimed at providing a well-balanced, affordable complement to nearly anything hauled home after a day in the wild.
Gauge Wines are blended for easy drinking and pair best with wild game and fish. Whether at the hunting lodge, at home, or at the steakhouse, these wines are best enjoyed over shared stories and experiences from the day’s adventures. Gauge Wines offer quality, value and familiarity in a 12-Gauge Cabernet Sauvignon and a 20- Gauge Chardonnay that come packaged in bold, camouflage case boxes with a shotgun shell emblazoned on each bottle.
Avid sportsmen John Putnam and Bjorn Larson came up with the concept of Gauge Wines one early morning in the duck blind. As a result, the Gauge Wines Brand was born. The two have created an affordable, food friendly wine that reflects the outdoor lifestyle they both enjoy. The duo has set their sights firmly on introducing Gauge Wines to their fellow outdoorsmen, a demographic that until now have been ignored by the wine industry.
Gauge Wines, LLC was formed in 2007 for the purpose of bringing affordable wines of character and superior flavor to outdoor enthusiasts across North America. Both founding partners are proud supporters of waterfowl conservation across the United States.
grace family vineyards
Napa Valley, CA
In the mid 1970's, after raising their young family in San Francisco, Dick and Anne Grace moved their teenagers to the country and into a run-down Victorian house just out of their price range. At the time, it was just another agricultural region where prunes and walnuts were as viable a crop as grapes, and pig farms dotted the landscape.
Planted with cuttings from the famous Bosché vineyard not far away, Grace Family vineyards started out as a family hobby. The first harvest was picked by family and friends in 1978 and taken to nearby Caymus Winery in the back of a station wagon. Charlie Wagner, the late Caymus patriarch, tasted a bunch of those first 1978 grapes and exclaimed, “You know, Dick, this is damned fine fruit!” And so one of the Napa Valley’s first vineyard designated wines came to be produced.
Grace Family Vineyards was on its way.
With interest in California wines blossoming, Grace Family Vineyards quickly became the first “cult” wine, which was just as much a surprise to Dick and Ann as to anyone else. That said, let’s not forget that Dick’s military experience, enhanced by a perfectionist attitude, ensured that no corners were cut. Even if this was to be just a hobby, it had to be done right.
It was most fortuitous and serendipitous that the family had settled upon a micro-climate and soil in St. Helena eminently suitable to making stellar Cabernet.
Winemaker Heidi Schrock gathered her winemaking experience gained in South Africa & Germany and brought it all back to her hometown of Rust. She took over the winery from her parents in 1988 and has since spent much of her time reviving traditional wines of her Austro-Hungarian forefathers. The family motto states that tradition should be honored but also mixed with progress; for it means keeping the fire alive, not adoring the ashes.
The estate vineyards sit on the western shore of Lake Neusiedl, the largest step lake in the area, on the slopes of the Ruster hills, in the Burgenland region of Austria along the Hungarian border. They are southeastern facing and enjoy the sunshine from morning until night. Loamy sands, limestone and primary rock make of the soil, where the Pannonian Sea once resided. Grape varietals include Welschriesling, Weissburgunder, Grauburgunder, Furmint, Gelber Muskateller, Sauvignon blanc, Chardonnay, Blaufränkisch, Zweigelt, and St. Laurent; with some vines as as old as 53 years in age.
The winery is a member of the "Cercle Ruster Ausbruch", which is an association of winemakers in Rust focused on the uniqueness of the Ruster Ausbruch, Rust's most famous export (pronounced rooster OUS-brook). The name refers to the traditional production method of adding juice to the fermented wine, which serves to enhance or bring out the residual sugar from the already botrytized, or "noble-rotted" grapes. The method can be likened to the production of Hungarian Tokaji, and the proximity means and methods means that the two regions share an affinity.
"High quality without compromise" is Heidi Schröck's motto at her boutique winery with 8 hectares of vineyards. 50,000 bottles of elegant, fruit-driven wines go to wine aficionados, specialty shops, and demanding restaurants that appreciate the symbiosis of high quality and honest tradition.
Napa Valley, CA
Vintner Agustin Huneeus has been discovering great vineyards of the world throughout a career in wine spanning five decades and 15 countries.
Agustin and his wife Valeria founded the Quintessa estate in the renowned Rutherford District of Napa Valley in 1990 after years of running global wine companies. Together, they established a family portfolio of wines that represent the finest vineyard estates, appellations, and wines in both North and South America. In addition to the Quintessa estate, Agustin's current vineyard and winery projects also include Faust Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
In 2009, the Huneeus family forged a partnership with Joan and Walt Flowers of Flowers Vineyards & Winery, pioneering vintners who in 1989, established two extraordinary vineyards dedicated to world-class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the extreme Sonoma Coast. In 2010, the Huneeus family took ownership of The Prisoner, a Napa Valley red blend, and Saldo, a Zinfandel from some of California's most revered vineyards.
Their son Agustin F. Huneeus has worked in the family business for more than 20 years and extends the family tradition as head of the wine portfolio in the U.S. and abroad.
kōloa rum company
Kōloa Rum Company produces the finest, award winning, premium, single-batch Hawaiian Rums at their distillery near the town of Kalaheo, on the beautiful Garden Isle of Kaua`i, Hawai`i. Established in Kōloa Town in 1835, the Kōloa Plantation and Mill's first harvest in 1837 produced two tons of raw sugar. Talking story with old timers reveals that rum production began around this time.
Today, Kaua`i’s distinctive “tall cane” continues to thrive in rich volcanic soil, nurtured by the pure waters of Mt. Wai`ale`ale, one of the wettest spots on Earth. It is from this proud heritage that Kōloa Rum Company handcrafts their single-batch, premium Hawaiian Rum.
Kōloa Rum Company is the first and only licensed distillery on the Island of Kaua`i, where sugarcane production has been a traditional way of life. Their first batch of premimum Hawaiian Rum was distilled and bottled in September 2009, which coincided with the opening of their Tasting Room & Company Store at Kilohana Plantation. Their rums are twice distilled using a 1,210-gallon copper pot still with a copper column and condenser, built by Liberty Coppersmiths in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1947 and later refurbished for use in their distillery. Kōloa Rum Company proudly produces Kaua`i White, Gold, Dark, Spice, Coconut and mostly recently, Kaua`i Coffee Rum.
Kōloa Rum Company is focused on the development and sale of superior value-added products from a wide variety of locally-sourced agricultural ingredients. Kōloa Rum Company fully promotes sound and sustainable agricultural practices and believes that the eventual success of its products will provide meaningful support and diversity to Hawai`i's agricultural industry and serve to stimulate employment, increase cultivated acreage, and preserve open space.
Napa Valley, CA
Larkin Wines is a small producer of Napa Valley Cabernet Franc and Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2013 vintage marks the 15th Anniversary of Larkin Wines. These wines, which have already earned raves from the critics, are available for purchase, though production of these ultra boutique wines is extremely limited.
Owner Sean Larkin is considered a true bon vivant in local Napa wine circles and is considered a modern day pioneer in the truest traditions of Napa Valley. He arrived from Scotland with little more than his energy and dedication and has literally made something really special from the grapes, following his winemaking philosophy that dictates:
Source good grapes, blend the best wines, and enjoy life.
Locations is a simple concept made complicated that ultimately became a great deal of fun.
• The Simple: Make the best possible wine from a given country or location.
• The Complex: Going out and tracking down the vineyards which are capable of delivering the quality of wine needed.
• The Fun: Travelling the world to visit incredible sites and meet amazing people that challenge each other to make the best wine possible.
Locations produces wines from grapes sourced in Spain, Italy, France, and Argentina, in addition to locations in the United States.
"E" is for Espana: Priorat, Jumilla, Toro, Rioja, and Ribera del Duero are among the most noble growing regions on the Iberian Peninsula and purposely chosen for the second release of Locations' Spanish red wine. Super concentrated fruit from old vines with low yields are accented with a judicious oak program for a balanced and distinctive wine.
"I" is for Italia: Locations second act, with over 2,000 indigenous grape varieties to select and compose a blend, an exhaustive search was undertaken to pay homage to this historic region. Maintaining the integrity of the land was paramount while simultaneously considering the end result of a dynamic and innovative wine. Powerful and rich fruit from Puglia (Torricella and Manduria) serves as the base with a lively vein of acidity from Barbera (Alba) that stabilizes things in just the right way.
"F" is for France: Seeking a true representation of site and appellation is what inspires Locations. Frequent vineyard analysis and farming scrutiny is fundamental to their quest for making the finest blend possible, incorporating some of the best regions of France. For "F", they have drawn upon the Rhone, Roussillon, and Bordeaux for this third release of Locations, "F" that features some exceptional old vine blocks from revered sub-appellations. With an ever-refining barrel aging program, Locations has achieved a more sophisticated and elegant version of their French offering to the portfolio.
"AR" is for Argentina: AR-5 is comprised primarily of Malbec, with a small percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the mix. The unique climate of the Uco Valley in Mendoza produces Malbec with concentrated berries that reflect the brilliance, depth, and intensity of the neighboring Andes themselves. The Cabernet Sauvignon increases complexity and adds dimension, bringing the blend around full circle.
long meadow ranch
First settled in the late 1800s and abandoned during Prohibition, Long Meadow Ranch was revitalized in 1989 by proprietors Ted, Laddie and Chris Hall, who set out to produce world-class wine using sustainable, organic farming practices. They have built an organic, integrated farming system, certified by CCOF, that is centered around wine making, estate-grown olive oils, fruits & vegetable production, hand-tended bee hives and a herd of grass-fed Highland cattle.
Focused on Bordelais-style wines, Long Meadow Ranch Winery continues a proud legacy of crafting elegant, food-friendly wines and handcrafted extra virgin olive oils utilizing “full-circle farming” methods.
At their origianl 650-acre Mayacamas Estate winery and caves, they cultivate 16 acres of mountain vineyards to produce estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc wine. Additionally, they farm and mill premium extra virgin olive oils from the oldest olive grove in Napa Valley.
Once a riverbed, their benchland Rutherford Estate features 74 acres of Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot vineyards, and is dedicated to organic grapegrowing, fruit and vegetable production, hand-tended beehives, and a growing flock of egg-laying poultry.
Their Anderson Valley Estate is located in the west or “deep end” of the valley in Mendocino County, and has 70-planted acres of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris vineyards. With the Navarro River to the southeast and close proximity to the Pacific Ocean, a natural marine layer blankets the vineyards and creates terroir ideal for our estate-grown Burgundian varietals to mature slowly and ripen to the peak of their varietal character.
Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch is the destination for food & wine in St. Helena, the heart of Napa Valley. Their estate-grown wines, organic produce, grass-fed beef and lamb, extra virgin olive oil, Cabernet Sauvignon red wine vinegar, grappa, honey, and more are proudly incorporated into the seasonal, ingredient-driven American farmhouse cooking of Executive Chef Stephen Barber.
Napa Valley, CA
The first winery built in Napa Valley following the repeal of Prohibition, Merryvale is located in the heart of America's premier Napa Valley wine region. Beautifully landscaped gardens, accented with an elegant fountain greet guests at this historic winery, ideally located in downtown St. Helena.
Merryvale Vineyards’ Cabernet-centric portfolio includes wines that are complex and rich, balanced and expressive of Napa Valley’s fruit but also reflective of classic styles. Winemaker Simon Faury’s meticulous attention to detail calls for handpicking grapes in small batches and using custom-made Rieger tanks tailored specifically for the character of the grapes in each vineyard block.
The process for selecting vineyards that are worthy of the Merryvale Vineyard label is an intense, rigorous, and exacting process. Careful attention is paid to microclimate, soils and sustainable vineyard management practices. Sites with unique aspects and characteristics coupled with their estate vineyard sources allow Merryvale to create rich, balanced and truly expressive Napa Valley wines. The commitment involved in growing grapes for Merryvale — specified by vineyard blocks or even row-by-row selections — result in wines with intense flavors and soft, supple tannin structure.
In this celebrated location at the southern entrance to St. Helena, passionate winemaking thrives in the care of the Schlatter family, along with winemakers Sean Foster and Simon Faury, and viticulturist Michael Costley. The winery continues to capture the elegance and charm of its historic beginnings, with their enchanting historic Cask Room for private events, unique wine club events, seasonal dining, and Weekend Wine Events. The winery also features a winemaking cellar that showcases the latest equipment to craft boutique wines.
By maintaining their vision -- turning exceptional Napa Valley grapes into world class wine -- Merryvale has earned international acclaim for wines of outstanding quality.
miner family winery
Napa Valley, CA
Miner Family Vineyards is a dynamic, family owned winery tucked into the eastern hills of the Oakville appellation, squarely within the heart of Napa Valley. Founded in 1998 by Dave & Emily Miner, along with his parents Ed & Norma, Miner is defined first and foremost by a sensational portfolio of wines, wines consistently characterized by and committed to individualistic style and uncommon quality.
In only a few short years, Miner has identified, sought and secured a number of California’s finest vineyard sites to produce and showcase a wide array of varietals. Each wine is crafted in a style to encapsulate the distinctive elements and the indelible fingerprints of their respective vineyards. This combination of excellent vineyard sites, coupled with passionate and thoughtful winemaking, injects the necessary components for creating profoundly joyful wines.
Miner is also very much about people. The Miners have surrounded themselves with the very best in the business. From the uncompromising talents of winemaker Gary Brookman and his companions in the cellar, to the fine folks in the tasting room, sales department and beyond, Dave & Emily have assembled a youthful and serious team of passionate and dedicated players. Just as faithfully committed are the numerous distributors, restaurant, retail partners and loyal fanatics that also faithfully share in Miner’s vision and commitment to quality, matched by a burning passion for great food and wine. It is this level of determination, trust, passion and the occasional bit of hedonism that serves as the driving force behind each and every bottle of Miner.
The Miners believe their wines are almost eighty percent complete before they harvest the season's first grape. The importance of site, climate, soil, drainage and a myriad of other points relative to vineyard selection simply cannot be overstated. This overwhelming priority serves as the backbone of all their wines, usually resulting in a multitude of vineyard-designated bottlings. These labels are born out of equal respect for both the land and those who care for it.
Napa Valley, CA
Moffett Vineyards traces its legacy to the Livingston Moffett Winery, which was founded in 1976 in the heart of the Napa Valley by Trent Moffetts’ parents, Diane and John Livingston. For 22 years Trent helped grow the family winery from the cellars to the marketplace. Upon their retirement and sale of the winery in 2005, a generational transition took place, with Trent as successor at Moffett Vineyards. In the heart of Napa Valley, Moffett Vineyards proudly carried on their family's tradition of viticulture — using a hands-on approach to farming, winemaking, sales, and customer service to create their finely crafted Napa Valley.
For 9 years, Trent's estate winery continued to flourish atop Howell Mountain, above the Napa Valley. Here, the seed of his love for the Pinot Noir grape germinated. With a new dream of pursuing the ultimate Pinot Noir, Trent and Colleen Moffett relocated in 2014 to the northern Willamette Valley. With the help of Drew Voit at Harper Voit winery, Trent is making 4 different Pinot Noirs from 3 different Willamette Valley sub-appellations. At the same time, the connection with Napa Valley still plays a major part in Moffett Vineyards production.
As second generation vintners dedicated to producing top notch wines in limited quantities, Trent and his wife Colleen proudly produce the Moffett Vineyards heritage label with its conspicuous M graphic, and are co-producers of Screenplay Wines and C&T Cellars, delivering a diverse mix of classic, cutting edge, and affordable wines.
Napa Valley, CA
The Pahlmeyer story is a tale of international intrigue, passion and Hollywood stardom… Of Jayson Pahlmeyer, friends and family… Of French clones, legendary winemaking and iconic wines...
Jayson Pahlmeyer was a man with a bold, irrepressible spirit – a trial attorney called to the profession by its fast and furious nature. While successful in his career, a hypnotic captivation with wine soon eclipsed his legal ambitions. He had an insatiable thirst for adventure and a certainty that Northern California (his native soil) held considerable winegrowing potential.
Following his dream, Jayson partnered with the owner of a 55-acre site in south-east Napa Valley. The two shared a devotion to Jayson’s audacious dream of creating a “California Mouton,” and began imagining the vineyard’s potential. The key, they were sure, lay in planting the finest French clones of the red Bordeaux varieties - a considerable roadblock since importing clones is an international offense. After "importing" the necessary clones, and planting the French cuttings in 1981, they produced their first vintage in 1986. Anointed 94 points by Robert Parker, the first release, the 1986 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red, launched Pahlmeyer’s astonishing track record of critical acclaim.
In 2012, Jayson named Kale Anderson director of winemaking for Pahlmeyer's Napa Valley vineyards and production, and Bibiana González Rave consulting winemaker for the winery's Sonoma Coast vineyard and operations. Both immediately went to work meticulously optimizing the estate vineyards and continuing the legacy of Pahlmeyer winemaking.
Some of the best views in Napa Valley are from Waters Ranch, situated on the ridge of Atlas Peak. From the top you can see the Golden Gate Bridge on a clear day. Every acre is micro-managed and farmed individually according to its unique conditions by our viticulture and vineyard management teams. It is rocky, desolate, low vigor, with good drainage and perfect for growing Bordeaux varieties for their signature Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red.
The Wayfarer Vineyard, located in the Fort Ross-Seaview AVA, is extraordinary and unforgiving – 30 undulating acres hidden beyond rising fog and redwoods on a remote reach of the Sonoma Coast. This distant landscape is the provenance of their wildly beautiful Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Pacific's most dramatic appellation.
Pahlmeyer’s viticultural practices demand low yields while commanding maximum flavor intensity. Farming in one- to two-acre blocks with a palette of as many as 12 clones for each variety, Pahlmeyer’s world-class pedigree of artisanal winemaking continues to rise to astonishing levels as Kale and Bibiana push the envelope on clone and vineyard management, and cellar and winemaking equipment and practices. Magnificent terroir, winemaking soul and masterwork fill each bottle of Pahlmeyer wine.
"We start with our relationships in the vineyard and we pro-actively build very strong relationships with the growers themselves. Our goal is to help our growers produce grapes of a caliber that we can be proud to use in the creation of Pahlmeyer wines."
Napa Valley, CA
Gavin Newsom and Gordon Getty established PlumpJack Winery in 1995, inspired by one of Shakespeare’s most memorable characters, Sir John “PlumpJack” Falstaff. PlumpJack’s down-to-earth, fun-loving, irreverent nature is rivaled only by his fierce loyalty to Prince Hal (Henry V), with whom he shares more than a few goblets of sack (wine) at the local tavern.
PlumpJack Winery sits squarely in the heart of Napa Valley’s renowned Oakville region, surrounded by a 42-acre estate vineyard highly regarded for the quality of its Cabernet Sauvignon. Both the winery building and vineyard date back to the 1800s, when winemaking pioneers first took advantage of a unique position on the valley floor. The east side of the vineyard lies along the foothills of the Vaca mountain range and yields grapes with the kind of bold fruit character that comes from well-draining hillside soils. To the west, the estate lies in the Napa River flood zone, where vines take root in rich, deep clay soils, for grapes with softer, more supple varietal character.
From their oldest, rockiest section—the “I” Block where Plumpjack sources their Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve—to more recent plantings, Plumpjack strives to maintain balanced vines. Thanks to the full, expressive range of their estate, PlumpJack wines have become known for their intriguing complexity.
Today, winemaker Aaron Miller and his team create the full-bodied, elegant wines that have earned PlumpJack high critical acclaim, including an Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve Chardonnay, Napa Valley Syrah and Merlot. For each wine, Aaron selects methods that allow the vineyards to shine through. He monitors vines for peak ripeness, chooses fermentation in oak or stainless steel, and ages the wines in a variety of oak barrels from distinctive cooperages
A key marker of success for the company is their ability to invest a portion of PlumpJack's profits back into the community. Committed to numerous environmental, charitable, social and civic causes, PlumpJack often challenges their businesses to raise funds and promote many worthy organizations in the community. From the opening of the first PlumpJack Wine Store in San Francisco in 1992, PlumpJack has made it a priority to support regional charities through various means. Having grown from one to 14 PlumpJack businesses, the PlumpJack Organization has donated to hundreds of Northern California charities.
raats family wines
Stellenbosch, South Africa
Originally a partnership between brothers Bruwer and Jasper Raats, with their late father Jasper Senior as viticulturist, the Raats family mission is to consistently produce Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc of outstanding quality from South Africa and to establish these wines as international benchmarks. The Raats family lives for and dreams about these two varieties and passionately produces wines they believe are truly distinct from old vineyards in the Stellenbosch area east of Cape Town. They have earned a reputation internationally as a New World leader in the production of Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc.
A great deal of effort has gone into sourcing specific soil types and old, low-yielding vineyards located in the Stellenbosch, Paarl, Durbanville Hills, and the Paardeberg area. “The best viticultural soil for Chenin Blanc in all the land is undoubtedly located in and around Stellenbosch. They source from vines on average 25 years old, grown 250 m above sea level. All grapes are handpicked and the wines made with his extensive knowledge and attention to detail. The result is a truly distinctive showcase for South African wine and soil."
Cousin Gavin Bruwer Slabbert joined Bruwer Raats as Winemaker and Viticulturist in 2009 and this relationship has seen Raats Family Wines flourish. Bruwer travels to the US and Europe each year to visit top restaurants and loyal customers, and believes that personal relationships with the sellers of his wines are vital. “Because our wines should essentially be enjoyed in the company of good food by people appreciative of the passion and dedication that go into the making thereof.”
All the efforts have paid off. Raats Family Wines are enjoyed in the UK, USA, Canada and Europe and their wines are consistently top-rated by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Decanter, Wine & Spirits, Wine Spectator and Wine Advocate magazines.
Napa Valley, CA
Kent Rasmussen Winery produces two different lines of wines, all beautifully made by winemaker Kent Rasmussen. With a combination of superior Pinot Noir fruit and Kent's winemaking prowess dating back to 1986, their Pinot Noir has earned its reputation as one of California’s finest. Kent Rasmussen Winery is their flagship label, and Pinot Noir is the wine that has made Kent famous. Since its modest beginnings, the Kent Rasmussen Winery has evolved into one of the most important Pinot Noir producers in the Carneros region.
Ramsay is a companion label to Kent Rasmussen Wines, offering superior quality at a wonderful price. Restaurants love these wines because their style goes so well with a wide variety of foods. Kent chooses grapes and blends with great care to achieve stylistic continuity, year in, year out -- producing Ramsay Pinot Noir, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay wines.
After years of successfully producing Pinot Noir, Kent and his wife Celia launched Ramsay Wines in 1989. "Ramsay" - Celia's maiden name - was originally intended to focus on some 'less-than-usual' varietal wines. But as time passed, the Ramsay brand has taken on an entirely different identity, that of a true 'second label'. Best known for its high quality, but lower-price, Ramsay wines are often poured by the glass in wine bars and restaurants.
red cap vineyards
Napa Valley, CA
Tom and Desiree Altemus planted Red Cap Vineyards on a beautiful site near the summit of Howell Mountain in the Napa Valley. The vineyards have a distinctive, volcanic, brick-red soil which helps to produce fruit of incredible depth and richness. This growing environment is the inspiration behind the name Red Cap. The image of the boy on the swing is the Altemus family's way of expressing the feeling of this special place: carefree, happy and excited to be alive.
The rocky, volcanic soils and the uniqueness of the Howell Mountain microclimate produce fruit of exceptional character and quality. Planted on virgin land in 2003 at an elevation of 1900 feet, the deep red Aiken loam soil is peppered with fractured rock. The terrain is a rolling plateau at the top of the mountain. The vineyard yields about two tons of grapes per acre. Cabernet clones 4,7 and 169 were used on 101-14 rootstock and the vine spacing is five feet by seven feet. The grapes are organically grown and hand farmed. Alfonso Elena manages the vineyard. He has been farming grapes in Napa Valley for over 35 years with extensive hillside experience.
Red Cap sources the fruit for its Sauvignon Blanc from the McGah Family’s Alsace Vineyard located in Rutherford, an appellation widely considered to be one of the premier sources of Napa Valley fruit. Nestled just north of Oakville and bordering the Silverado Trail, the estate produces beautiful Sauvignon Blanc, as well as other varietals. The vineyard soils from this upper east-side bench are a mix of red and brown gravelly loam with excellent drainage. The Rutherford AVA provides the perfect amount of heat to ripen the Sauvignon Blanc but also provides cooler evenings necessary for uniformity and full maturity at harvest.
Williamette Valley, OR
In 1987, Rollin Soles purchased a breathtaking hillside property down a gravel road in the Chehalem Mountain Range. The property’s perfect combination of elevation, soil type, natural springs, and geological aspect were the seed of a dream that would eventually become ROCO Winery.
At ROCO Winery, wines of great presence are about mastery and finesse in the cellar. Rollin Soles, co-founder and winemaker, has been making acclaimed Oregon wines for nearly 30 years—transforming the raw material provided by soils and seasons through the art and science of barrels and bottles. The results, critics say, are world-class. At ROCO Winery, craft is king.
In 2001, Rollin and his wife Corby planted Wits’ End Vineyard and began bringing the idea of ROCO to fruition. Two years later, they produced their first vintage of Private Stash Pinot Noir—showcasing the very best of Rollin’s small-lot winemaking skills in a bottle that was eventually served in the White House. Building on their success, in 2009, the Soles built ROCO its own winery and added a tasting room in 2012. In 2013, Rollin expanded Wits’ End Vineyard and transitioned to full-time focus on ROCO to keep pace with its growing prestige and demand.
Today, Wits’ End Vineyard remains the heart and soul of ROCO wines. ROCO Private Stash and Wits’ End Vineyard Pinot Noirs derive exclusively from these vines—and serve as Rollin and Corby’s testament to the beauty of place, their devotion to family and friends, and their commitment to Oregon winemaking at its finest.
ROCO also sources grapes from a diverse set of distinguished vineyards dotting the Willamette Valley to produce their celebrated Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Every vineyard has its own microclimate, soil composition, slope, and relationship with the sun. When people speak of “terroir,” these unique attributes are what they’re talking about—the essence of a place captured in wine. At ROCO, they are keen on delivering the pleasure of place through the prism of vineyard-designated wines from the distinguished Knudsen Vineyard, Clawson Creek Vineyard, and Roserock Vineyard, in addition to Wits' End Vineyard.
round pond estate
Napa Valley, CA
Round Pond Estate, owned and operated today by the second generation of the MacDonnell family, is a Rutherford farm and winery that specializes in the creation of pure, expressive wines, artisan foods and unforgettable experiences—all from the heart of Napa Valley.
Home to some of the most famous American vineyards, and some of the most coveted Cabernet Sauvignon fruit, Rutherford is widely recognized as one of the great viticultural regions of the world. Round Pond pays tribute to the personality of their estate vineyards by crafting wines that reflect the charm and sophistication of this extraordinary appellation. Made from select blocks of their best estate fruit, their wines embody the essence of a terroir-inspired, Californian winemaking philosophy.
To make their own highly-rated, handcrafted wines, they have combined two generations of winegrowing experience with the same artisan attention to detail they've learned are essential parts of crafting world-class olive oils and red wine vinegars. Their goal is simple – by remaining true to time-honored traditions, they strive to bring produce the best the Napa Valley has to offer. Alongside these artisan techniques they also employ cutting-edge technology, like their custom-built fermentors, which continuously regulate temperature to within a fraction of a degree ensuring control and quality. Adding additional layers of depth and nuance, their barrel-aging program utilizes the very finest French oak coopers.
From their commitment to vine balance to their gentle winemaking approach, the wines of Round Pond Estate benefit from loving attention that includes small lot fermentation and patient aging. In the vineyard they harvest at peak ripeness, hand sorting and de-stemming the fruit before applying a gentle press and cold soak. In order to extract rich colors, aromas and flavors, they emphasize extended maceration of the grapes.
Offering a unique mix of microclimate and soil composition, Rutherford has proven ideal for the cultivation of Cabernet Sauvignon. Situated at the main Rutherford crossroads, between Beaulieu Vineyards and Caymus Winery, Round Pond has been growing premium winegrapes since the early 1980s. Cultivated with meticulous care, their grapes have been sold to several of the most preeminent wineries in the region. Using a small selection of extraordinary grapes from the vineyard’s 362 planted acres, Round Pond has established an acclaimed estate wine program focusing on world-class Cabernet Sauvignon produced in extremely limited quantities.
Napa Valley & Sonoma, CA
For 40 years, Silver Oak has been producing exceptional, food-friendly Cabernets that are extensively aged to be drinkable upon release. Perfect for big dinners or impromptu celebrations, their Alexander Valley and Napa Valley Cabernet wines are as distinctive as they are delicious, and are crafted with a single-minded focus on Cabernet excellence.
Silver Oak complements winery-owned fruit with grapes from top independent growers throughout the Napa and Alexander Valley appellations, giving their winemaking team access to the highest-caliber fruit to make Cabernet of the finest quality.
"We have yet to make our best bottle of wine.” This is a saying at Silver Oak that embodies their commitment to quality, continuous improvement and excellence. this year, Silver Oak became the sole owners of a Missouri-based cooperage proudly named The Oak Cooperage. Located in Higbee, Missouri, The Oak Cooperage has been producing American oak barrels since 1972. Silver Oak saw full ownership as an opportunity to maintain exacting barrel-making standards and secure a consistent supply of aged stave wood.
In 2007, Daniel Baron was named Director of Winemaking for both Silver Oak and Twomey Cellars; where he mentors winemaking teams at four facilities – and true to his roots in the vineyard – oversees approximately 280 acres of vines. In the space of four years, 1974–1978, Daniel earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in viticulture and enology at UC Davis. Daniel began is career at Navarro Vineyards and moved on to the prestigious Château Petrus, and then on to Dominus from from 1982 to 1994, when a quirky newspaper ad placed by Justin Meyer of Silver Oak Cellars caught his attention.
Sustainability has been a way of life at Silver Oak for 40 years, recognizing that the ivelihood and the livelihood of future generations depend on the ecological viability of their land. Using earth-friendly practices lead not only to healthier vineyards, but to higher quality grapes and wine.
See also Twomey.
starmont winery & vineyards
Napa Valley, CA
The Starmont story began over 25 years ago, starting as an integral part of the Merryvale brand. Led by the Starmont Chardonnay and delivering high quality Carneros and Napa Valley wines at approachable prices, Starmont complemented the more mature Merryvale portfolio. For a decade and a half, these two brands shared space at their venerable St. Helena winemaking facility. It was a perfect partnership, but as Starmont grew from a single wine into a full-fledged brand, they acquired just shy of 50 acres of prime Carneros vineyard, a portion of the Stanly Ranch Estate first planted in 1872, and broke ground on the new winery the same year.
Merryvale’s 49 total acres are comprised of 35.4 acres of Chardonnay, 9.4 acres of Pinot Noir, 3.5 acres of Syrah, and one third of an acre of Viognier. The vineyard surrounds the state of the art Starmont winery at the end of Stanly Lane in the Los Carneros region of Napa Valley. Established as a wine growing region over 150 years ago, Carneros is world renowned for its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. With foggy mornings and cool afternoon bay breezes creating the perfect conditions for these varietals, Starmont wines are expressive, food-friendly, and distinctly Carneros.
Honoring the heritage of the vineyard, Starmont constructed a state-of-the-art, certified Napa Green Winery on the Stanly Ranch Estate. Among other steps taken towards sustainability, the Starmont Winery recycles 100% of winery process water, diverts over 98% of waste away from ending up in a landfill, and generates enough electricity each day to power over 250 homes. Starmont ensures that the surrounding area will remain pristine for future generations to enjoy.
Having begun as a single Chardonnay wine, the Starmont portfolio now encompasses the best of Carneros and Napa Valley with the addition of Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Rosé wines.
Napa Valley, CA
The Duncan family, of Silver Oak renown, established Twomey Cellars to pursue the discovery of varietals in California beyond Cabernet Sauvignon. They use the same philosophy that has guided Silver Oak since its founding in 1972: make exceptional, food-friendly wines that are deliciously drinkable upon release.
With a team that draws on more than 75 years of experience from California to Oregon, Burgundy to Pomerol, they hold a deep and abiding respect for tradition, combined with a spirit of innovation to create their Pinot Noir, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc. With a focus on excellence and sustainability, they source fruit from some of the best appellations and outstanding vineyards and growing regions from California to Oregon.
Continuous improvement – or the notion that their best wines are still ahead of them – has always been the driving force at Silver Oak. With a winemaking career that spans nearly forty years, winemaker Daniel Baron has made wine in both Bordeaux and California, and has been Director of Winemaking at Twomey’s sister winery, Silver Oak Cellars, since 1994.
Erin Miller is Twomey’s Pinot Noir winemaker, a specialist in the varietal who has worked in France, Oregon and California. She embodies the French concept of “vigneron,” the idea that the winemaker should also be intimately involved with the vineyard, and believes in crafting vineyard-driven wines that express an unmistakable sense of place. With Erin’s encouragement, Twomey “stuck a toe in the water” in 2014 and made their first Oregon Pinot Noir bottling from two acclaimed vineyards in the Willamette Valley. Scheduled for release in spring of 2016, these wines represent an exciting next step in the Twomey Pinot Noir program.
Twomey wines are food-friendly, which means versatile wines that balance modest alcohol and tannin with perfectly ripe fruit and crisp, mouthwatering acidity. At their wineries in Calistoga and Healdsburg, they work to create unique, approachable wines that you will enjoy with friends and family. Twomey single vineyard and AVA Pinot Noirs are produced at their winery in lovely Sonoma County, located just two miles from Healdsburg Square on one of wine country’s prettiest byways, offering expansive views of Mount St. Helena and Geyser Peak.
Napa Valley, CA
Venge's farming experience spans nearly a half-century in the Napa Valley and three generations of purveying, farming, and producing fine wine. It is a journey that began when Knud Venge migrated from Denmark to the United States in the early 1900’s. Knud's son, Per Venge, found his passion in the wine and spirits industry and started Vencom Imports, focusing on the importation and selling of Western European fine wines and spirits. It was Per's son, Nils Venge, who left the family business, moving to Davis, California, in 1968 with a vision to study viticulture at UC Davis and establish the family namesake as an icon within the winegrowing community.
The Venge family's viticultural roots flourished in the heart of Napa Valley - the Oakville District - where they purchased and planted 17 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in 1976. This estate vineyard has served as the backbone in the production of their Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and Family Reserve Merlot bottlings.
In addition to their estate plantings, Venge developed long-term farming relationships with many growers throughout the Napa Valley, developing decades of farming expertise, and refining their knowledge of reputable vineyard sources in one of the world’s foremost winegrowing regions. In addition to their more than 20 acres of Estate grown vineyards, plus an additional 11 ultra-premium, micro-acreage sites throughout the Napa Valley from which they farm fruit, Venge seeks vineyard locations that possess the requirements for producing fruit of stature and compelling consistency: a temperate climate of warm days and cool nights; porous alluvial, hillside and mountain soils with balanced nutrient deposits, and ample degree days to promote prolonged hangtime, for optimal maturation.
Early recognition began with legendary winemaker, Nils Venge, who passed the dynasty on to son, Kirk Venge, profiled by Food & Wine magazine as “One of 26 Winemakers—the Scions of of Great Wine Dynasties from Around The World—to Watch.” Venge wines have received more than forty-one reviews of 90+ points, with their 2007 Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon receiving 98 Points from Robert Parker.
Napa Valley, CA
Whitehall Lane was founded in 1979, but the history of the soil cultivation dates back two centuries. In the mid 1800's, Napa Valley settlers were drawn to the deep, loamy soils and ideal climate, planting high quality grape vines at the Whitehall Lane Winery site. A barn constructed in the early 1900's for equipment storage is still used today. In 1979, two brothers started the winery and directed their winemaking efforts successfully to Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. They named the winery after the road that runs along the south border of the property, Whitehall Lane.
In 1993, the Leonardini Family of San Francisco took control of the estate and it remains a small, family owned winery in Napa Valley's historic Rutherford appellation. The Leonardinis are committed to making the finest Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Reserve wine.
Whitehall Lane has grown to include seven prime vineyards that are the cornerstone on which the wines are made and include the Whitehall Lane Estate Vineyard, Millennium MM Vineyard and Bommarito Vineyard in the Rutherford Appellation, the Leonardini Vineyard and Fawn Park Vineyard in St. Helena, Oak Glen Vineyard in the Oak Knoll District and Rassi Vineyard in Sonoma. The Estate Vineyard is 25 acres of "Rutherford Dust" offering beautiful Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc grapes. The Leonardinis take full advantage of these properties and their Napa Valley climate to grow grapes that are ripe and loaded with varietal flavors.
Five of the vineyards are situated on the floor of the Napa Valley, primarily in the Rutherford sub-appellation. The soils tend to have lots of gravel and the rootstocks, grape varieties and clones were selected for each specific block in every vineyard. The sixth vineyard is nestled at the base of the eastern hills in St. Helena and also offers world class Cabernet Sauvignon.
The winery continues to receive accolades and awards for producing some of the greatest wines in the world. In Wine Spectator Magazine's year-end ranking of wines, Whitehall Lane has been honored an unprecedented three times in five years for producing wines rated among the top five in the world. The winery has also been voted Winery of the Year from the Quarterly Review of Wines and Wine and Spirits Magazine.