2019 Featured Wineries
Tête du Cuvée
Peju Province Winery, founded in 1982 by Tony and Herta Peju, is a family-owned boutique winery located in the Rutherford Appellation in the heart of the Napa Valley. Peju’s organically farmed Rutherford Estate Vineyard is home to 30 acres planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc and is ideally situated between Highway 29 and the west bank of the Napa River. Peju also produces wines from its sustainably farmed Persephone Vineyard (Pope Valley) and planting is underway at the Wappo Vineyard (Dutch Henry Canyon).
Visitors are welcomed into a magnificent 50-foot tasting room tower to sample Peju’s award-winning wines, including its flagship HB Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Provence, a proprietary blend of red and white varietals. Peju visitors can also enjoy pristine gardens, art exhibits and a full-working kitchen that hosts a variety of events and classes, all part of what earned Peju Wine & Spirits Magazine’s Top Artisan Winery of the Year.
There’s no such thing as a typical day for Lisa Peju. The oldest Peju daughter is always on the go, sometimes traveling to three different states during a week’s time to represent the winery at winemaker dinners, trade and consumer events and to meet with retailers.
The Peju’s Rutherford estate has been home to Lisa since she was six years old. It was then that she moved with her parents from Southern California to wine country to begin a life devoted to growing grapes, producing high-quality wines and finding new and innovative ways to market the family brand.
Lisa spent her childhood attending Napa Valley schools during the day and tending to the vineyard in the evenings and on weekends. It wasn’t uncommon to see Lisa and her sister Ariana driving the family four-wheeler along the property’s dirt paths with piles of grapes in the back bed.
After graduating from St. Helena High School, Lisa attended Marymount College in Palos Verdes and then U.C. Santa Barbara to study marketing and graphic design with plans of becoming a computer animator. But a summer trip to Paris in 1999 to study French at Sorbonne University with Ariana planted the seeds for another calling. In 2001, the French language came in handy as Herta took her daughters to VIN EXPO in Bordeaux, the largest wine Exposition in the World. Lisa enjoyed promoting Peju’s wines so much that she decided to change career paths and join the family business as a marketing and public relations ambassador.
Since joining Peju in 2001, Lisa has traveled throughout Europe and Asia, including Japan, Korea and Hong Kong, representing Peju. In the United States, Lisa has covered the map and led the charge to reach younger customers : Peju’s consumers of the future.
Found in 1998, Tom and Brenda Baldacci were entranced by the beauty of the Napa Valley and the timeless heritage of the Stags’ Leap District. The generations before had left a deep and abiding affinity for the land from which came not only their livelihood, but their legacy. The Baldacci’s felt that they could transfer that way of life to yet another generation and share this picturesque property with others who seek a refuge from the hectic pace of everyday living. The winery focuses on estate grown wines with an emphasis on Cabernet Sauvignon.
Michael Baldacci – President
Exceptional quality wine all begins with a passion. “My passion is one rooted in family,” Michael says, “a passion to produce honest wines that best embody my family’s love for great wine and the unique estate vineyards that Baldacci represents.”
Though he was born and raised in the Bay Area, Michael Baldacci spent many days as a young boy walking his family’s vineyards.
Struck early on by the delicacy with which man and nature must work together to make beautiful wines, Michael returned to Napa Valley as an adult to become part of the team at Baldacci Family Vineyards. New to the business but a veteran of the land, Michael took on a managerial role at the winery after four years of undergraduate study in Los Angeles with the same goal his father had had nearly twelve years before: to make wines that represent the character of the land, the grapes, and the family Baldacci represents.
A boutique winery, with their first vintage in 2000, Baldacci Family Vineyards focuses strictly on single-vineyard, estate-grown wines. The total acreage includes the original 17-acre estate in the heart of the Stags Leap District, as well as a 20-acre property in Carneros. The newest addition to the estate vineyard portfolio is an 8.5-acre property in Calistoga, a warmer micro-climate of Napa Valley whose lush fruit perfectly complements the Cabernet Sauvignon from Stags Leap. Total production approaches 6,000 cases each year, nearly all of which are single-vineyard, single-varietal wines expressing their respective terroirs.
Michael can be found all around the winery, from the cellar to the tasting room, behind a desk or in the vineyards he first walked as a child. “The Stags Leap District is an iconic area of Napa,” he believes, “and our family’s wines strive to show each and every consumer why it is truly the best area in the world to grow world class Cabernet.”
Barnett Vineyards’ first harvest was in 1989 and yielded 232 cases of Cabernet. The winery has expanded gradually since then, selecting outstanding vineyard sites for grapes in addition to those grown on the estate, and now produces approximately 8,000 total cases. 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, we produce limited amounts Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc sourced from single vineyards located in desired appellations.
Winemaking and viticulture practices at Barnett Vineyards are influenced by the artisan craft of creating wines by hand. Due to the estate’s low yielding vineyard, it is critical to hand-harvest the vineyard vine-by-vine to ensure each cluster is picked at optimal ripeness. This manual work is additionally challenging on a 35º slope that is not conducive to any normal farm equipment.
Fiona and Hal Barnett, Proprietors
Having grown up in Vancouver and Stockton respectively, Fiona and Hal Barnett became enamored with Napa Valley through frequent visits on the weekends. A vision began to form and they decided to purchase a 40-acre property located at the top of Spring Mountain Road 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.
For the next 9 years Fiona and Hal commuted between San Francisco and their property in St. Helena. Having attained her CPA license, Fiona focused on establishing and promoting the nascent winery, while Hal continued with his real estate development business. Together, they also raised three daughters on the property and remain involved with the day-to-day operations of Barnett Vineyards as active owners.
Purchased by Michael Polenske in 2003, Blackbird Vineyards (a former walnut orchard first planted with 5, 717 Merlot vines in 1997) is now an ultra-premium label in its own right. Fittingly, the word ‘Merlot’ is French patois for ‘little blackbird.’
An early harbinger of Blackbird’s potential arose when Mia Klein of Dalla Valle fame created a Blackbird Vineyard designate for her highly acclaimed 1999 Selene Merlot (no less than 95% of the fruit in the bottle must be from the named vineyard). Three of the top wine critics in the industry – Robert Parker, Stephen Tanzer, and Wine Spectator’s James Laube – scored this wine in the 90s.
Blackbird’s inaugural 2003 bottling, culled from a small crush of grapes that weren’t already claimed by other vintners was awarded 98 points by Vinfolio, proclaiming it, “the best Merlot nobody had ever heard of.” ACME FINE WINES news was equally enthusiastic, saying, “it is with wines like this that we never question why we are in this business.” Blackbird’s 2003 Merlot was also given a score of 95 points by Vintrust, which praised its complexity and richness, proclaiming it, “hedonistic in length,” and our Flocking Merlot was born.
Paul Leary, President
Paul Leary joined Blackbird Vineyards, LLC as President in 2006. In the fall of 2008, Mr. Leary was instrumental in the launch of Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley, an art, wine and design collective in Yountville, CA. Leary’s continuous charge is to build the company’s brand equity and financial returns by ensuring product and service quality while spearheading niche sales & marketing strategies that create consumer demand in the direct and wholesale distribution channels. Leary is a current board director of the Napa Valley Vintners and an active member of the San Francisco Bay YPO Chapter. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California. Additionally, he received a Certificate in eBusiness Strategy and Management from U.C. Davis Extension and a Certificate in Business Administration from U.C. Berkeley Extension. He began his career in the food and beverage industry as general manager for Napa Valley’s noted restaurant, Tra Vigne before segueing into the wine industry. Paul and his wife live in the Napa Valley with their son and daughter.
Tucked into the forest on a tranquil bench above our Grey Palm vineyard in beautiful Dry Creek Valley, Cast grows and produces wines in limited quantities highlighting the best grapes of Sonoma County. Cast makes estate Zinfandel and Petite Sirah, Bacigalupi Family Pinot Noir and Keefer Ranch Chardonnay, both from the Russian River Valley, and Cabernet Sauvignon from the Pyramid Vineyard in Alexander Valley. Our property’s spellbinding views and our seated tasting experience combine to offer an ideal setting for enjoying wines crafted by veteran winemaker Mike Gulyash. Annual production of approximately 3,500 cases began with the 2012 vintage.
Ann and Zack Seifrick, Founders:
Founded in 2012 by Dallasites Ann & Jack Seifrick with the help of numerous Texas friends and family, Cast celebrates a love of wine and beautiful places. On a 2011 visit to Healdsburg during harvest, a wrong turn on a bike ride turned into a delightful talk with a local winery owner, setting off a series of intriguing thoughts along the lines of “maybe this is our path…” Within six months the Seifricks found an incredible vineyard, teamed up with veteran winemaker Mike Gulyash, and launched Cast. Now splitting time between Dallas and the winery, they enjoy sharing Cast with wine lovers near and far.
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 the legendary debut 1972 Cabernet Sauvignon—one of only six California Cabernets selected for the famous 1976 Judgment of Paris Tasting. Today, Clos Du Val’s acclaimed estate program has evolved to include vineyards in Carneros and Yountville. From this diverse palette of estate fruit, Clos Du Val makes a small portfolio of 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 President & CEO
One of the most respected names in the Napa Valley wine industry, Steve Tamburelli has earned a reputation for helping to write exciting new chapters in the stories of some of the valley’s most iconic wineries, including serving as the COO for Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, and the general manager for Chappellet. Since being named president and CEO of Clos Du Val in 2014, Steve has guided a renaissance at the winery, beginning with the pivotal decision to focus exclusively on estate-grown wines, with an emphasis on the Stags Leap District Cabernets that first catapulted Clos Du Val to fame.
Pam Starr, Owner & Winemaker
Pam has been the co-owner, manager and winemaker of Crocker & Starr since its inception in 1997 when she helped resurrect the vineyards on the Crocker Estate in St. Helena and established a winery to create world-class wines. After toiling as a winery employee for 18 years, Pam’s transformation at a relatively young age into owner, manager, and winemaker was both rare and remarkable. It required a special mix of skill, passion, and dedication. All of which describe Pam Starr.
Initially headed down a different path, Pam, the daughter of an orthopedic surgeon, was planning to go to dental school, but quickly switched gears while in college at the University of California at Davis. While in school, she worked part time as a flavor technician for a mom & pop spice company in Sacramento, where she honed and perfected her innate proclivity for sensory nuance. She graduated from Davis in 1984 with a degree in Fermentation Science.
Pam’s love affair with winemaking began as a post-grad harvest intern for Sonoma Cutrer in Sonoma. Attracted by the fast pace, the pleasures of working the land and the wine itself, Pam knew she’d found her calling. “I was simply smitten – the way one is when falling madly in love. Winemaking is mysterious, it’s sexy, and it’s magical.” And it’s been her life since.
After the internship, Pam worked for Edna Valley Vineyard in San Luis Obispo stacking barrels for a season. Her dream of becoming a winemaker began to take shape. For the next six years she was an enologist and assistant winemaker for Carmenet Winery in Sonoma, a job that taught her how to run a winery from cellar to bottle. In 1991, she became the winemaker for Spottswoode Vineyard & Winery in Napa Valley where she worked until 1997, when she left to build the foundation of Crocker & Starr. At the same time Crocker & Starr opened its doors, Pam began consulting for Adastra Vineyard in the Carneros, Gemstone Vineyard in Yountville, and Garric Cellars of Calistoga, among others.
Known for her ability to translate terroir into wine, Pam ardently believes that great wine must taste of the sun, of the earth it comes from and of the place it grows. Pam is a member of the Napa Valley Vintners, Appellation St. Helena, Concierge Alliance Napa Valley and Wine Entre Femme, an international consortium of women winemakers.
Established in 2012, Crown Point is an estate winery dedicated to crafting wines of the highest distinction. Nestled in the eastern-most foothills of the east-to-west transverse valley of the Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara AVA, Crown Point is blessed with distinct climatic conditions and soil types that provide an ideal growing environment for Bordeaux varieties.
Roger Bower, the owner and visionary behind Crown Point, purchased the property after recognizing its potential to produce world-class Cabernet Sauvignon. Led by Winemaker Adam Henkel, whose career includes eight vintages at Harlan Estate, Bond Estate, Prom-ontory and Levy McClellan, Crown Point is a true vanguard in the region, crafting premium wines that rival the best throughout the world. Roger engaged Philippe Melka in 2017 as part of his commitment to constant improvement and excellence.
Crown Point Vineyards prides itself on farming and winemaking at the highest level to create limited production wines that reﬂect the unique character of the estate and growing region.
The origins of David Arthur Vineyards and the Long Family Ranch date back to when the Long family started visiting the Napa Valley in the 1950’s. Don Long, a butcher by trade owned a small grocery store in Portola Valley, near Stanford University and had long been interested in the California wine country. With a keen eye for business opportunities, Don began steadily investing in Napa Valley real estate leading to the acquisition of nearly 1,000 acres atop Pritchard Hill.
The winery and estate vineyards are located on the initial Long Family Ranch parcel Don purchased in the 1960’s.
Tanner came to the Napa Valley in the summer of 2013 to start a career in the wine world. A Kansas native, Tanner graduated from the University of Kansas with a film degree in 2007. After five years managing several large retail stores in Chicago, as well as, working for a top production company, he decided to head west where he could focus on his love for wine. Tanner is the first intern to be appointed at David Arthur, and he had the opportunity to assist winemaker Nile Zacherle during the 2013 harvest. Tanner is passionate about all aspects of the wine business, and is now involved with hospitality, sales, logistics, and compliance.
Domaine de Baronarques is located in Languedoc, in the commune of Saint-Polycarpe, near Limoux. The Domaine is a single 110-hectare (272-acre) estate, 43 hectares (106 acres) of which are planted with vines. Located
400 km from the Atlantic Ocean and 100 km from the Mediterranean, the vineyard is subject to the climatic influence of both water masses, ensuring optimum sunshine and balanced rainfall.
The vineyard is planted with 70% Bordeaux varieties (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc) and 30% Mediterranean varieties (Syrah, Grenache and Malbec) for the red wines and 100% Chardonnay for the white wine. Seeking the best possible quality, Domaine de Baronarques has opted for high-density planting: 7500 plants per hectare on 10 hectares (25 acres) of the estate and 4600 plants per hectare on the other parcels (most vineyards in the region are planted with a density of around 3000 plants per hectare).
For the red wines
The grapes are sorted above the vat room and thus fed into the vats by gravity, a process which helps to keep the fruit whole. The grapes are gently destemmed and lightly crushed, then fermented in stainless steel vats. Alcoholic fermentation lasts about eight days at a maximum temperature of 30° C. It is followed by a maceration period lasting two to four weeks depending on the wines and the grape varieties. After malolactic fermentation, the premium red wine is matured for 12 months in oak barrels, either new (25-50% depending on the vintage) or one to three years old. La Capitelle de Baronarques, the Domaine’s second wine, is oak-matured for up to six months.
For the white wine
After direct pressing or cold maceration on the skins, the grapes are fermented and the wine is matured in oak barrels (50% new, 50% one-year old) for a total of nine months. The three wines are bottled at the estate or, as they would say in Bordeaux, “mis en bouteilles au château”. Produced and vinified in the great Bordeaux winemaking tradition, the wines from Domaine de Baronarques set the standard for France’s Languedoc region.
Domaine Paul BLANCK
In 1610, Hans Blanck, the family’s Austrian ancestor, acquired the first vines in Alsace. Jacques Philippe Blanck obtained a medal for his work as a winemaker in 1846, and in 1927 found Paul Blanck and a handful of other winemakers being recognized as the driving force behind turning the site of Schlossberg into a pilot site for a future grand cru.
In 1975, with the creation of the grand cru appellation in Alsace, Bernard and Marcel Blanck, the sons, played a determining role. Schlossberg was the first to be assigned this appellation. A new generation of winemakers—Frédéric and Philippe—entered the scene in 1985. Their main preoccupation is respecting the vines and the soil upon which they are planted.
The domain has increased its surface area from 24 to 36 hectares with five grand crus accounting for more than a third.
The Blanck Family
A dynasty of winemakers A dynasty of winemakers:
- In 1610 , Hans Blanck, the family’s Austrian ancestor, acquired the first vines in Alsace.
- In 1846 , Jacques Philippe Blanck obtained a medal for his work as a winemaker.
- In 1927 , Paul Blanck and a handful of other winemakers were recognized as the driving force behind turning the site of Schlossberg into a pilot site for a future grand cru.
- In 1975 , with the creation of the grand cru appellation in Alsace, Bernard and Marcel Blanck, the sons, played a determining role. Schlossberg was the first to be assigned this appellation.
- In 1985 came a new generation of winemakers : Frédéric and Philippe.
- Their main preoccupation is respecting the vines and the soil upon which they are planted.
- The Domain has increased its surface area from 24 to 36 hectares with five grands crus accounting for more than a third.
This is a reality for the Blancks. The proof is that two generations of Blancks work hand in hand. The sons, Frédéric and Philippe work incessantly under the supervision of Bernard and Marcel to improve their wines and move in new directions.
“Our main objective is to create authentic wines of pure pleasure for food and wine-lovers throughout the world.”
Bernard, Marcel, Frédéric and Philippe Blanck (Owners)
Dating to the 17th century, Domain Paul Blanck represents an exemplary synthesis of history and tradition flawlessly combined with innovation. The net result of which in an invitingly diverse range of stylish and lively wines.
The Blanck are Environment Conscious. The 36 hectares of the Domain are farmed with traditional cupper and sulphur treatment, and no fertilizer. All the vineyards are ploughed several times in the year. Indigene grass is growing to develop the biodiversity of the fauna.
The Blanck’s main objective is to create wines of pure pleasure for food and wine-lovers throughout the World.
The thirty different wines from the property can be separated into three main types:
- Fruit-driven wines which enable the wine-lover to discover the aromatic finesse of the Alsace grape varieties;
- “Terroir” wines with stony characteristics from the single vineyard’s wines and Grand Crus which express the plenitude of limestone, the sweetness and firmness of clay, the harmony of manganese an the racy bouquet and power coming from silica ;
- Nectars wines : Late Harvested and “Grains Nobles” wines, issued from over ripe grapes which are mysterious, opulent, complex and exhuberant.
Our wines come only from our own vineyards and are made in our own cellars.
- Pinot Blanc
- Pinot Auxerrois
- Pinot Gris
- Pinot Noir
- The Classic grape varieties of Alsace and Cremant d’Alsace
- The “Crus” Wines: Altenbourg, Patergarten, Rosenbourg,
The “Grands Crus” Wines:
- Schlossberg, Furstentum, Mambourg, Sommerberg, Wineck-Schlossberg.
Soil: Granite, limestone, clay and limestone, gravel, sandstone and sand.
Yields: 30 hl/ha for Grands Crus
60 hl/ha for Crus and AC Alsace.
200 000 bottles or 19 000 cases.
Distribution: 20% on the French market; 80% abroad.
In Europe as well as to America, South-Africa, Japan and Australia.
Bob Egelhoff is one of the heavyweights in the Napa Valley private client consulting industry, or “Flying Winemakers” as they are sometimes called. A 1981 UC Davis graduate, Bob worked vineyard management in the mid ‘80s at Beckstoffer and in 1988 joined Bill Harlan’s Merryvale Vineyards where he had the good fortune to work with Winemaker Bob Levy and Consultant Michel Rolland. Bob was given the opportunity to make wines for Harlan, Hartwell, Oakford, Pahlmeyer and Staglin amongst others. In the ‘90s, Bob expanded his private wine consulting to include Amizetta, Axios, Bella Vista, Richard Partridge and Robert Craig. His 1997 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon made for client David Arthur received 99 points from Wine Spectator making it the highest ranked 1997 California Cabernet. Bob currently manages winemaking for the Axios and produces private labels for Bonnell’s, Yao Fuzi, Vaquero C.C, and Nick & Sam’s Steakhouse, all in the beautiful State of Texas. Additionally, Bob produces wine for Table 301 in South Carolina (Bellalexis) and for the Cal Ripken Jr. Foundation (2131). Lastly, since 1999, he has produced his own labels: Egelhoff, Walton, Two Worlds and CODE RED.
The Ehlers Estate Story
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 certified organic and is cultivated using 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 1985, French entrepreneur and philanthropist, Jean Leducq, began acquiring small parcels of vineyard land in Napa Valley’s acclaimed St. Helena appellation. A dedicated vintner and wine lover, his goal was to found a contiguous Napa Valley estate—in the classic French style—capable of producing wines with the power, grace and sophistication of the great Bordeaux houses. By 2001, Leducq had joined the original 14-acre Ehlers Estate property with contiguous vineyard parcels to create a 42-acre estate. At the heart of this estate is the historic stone winery built by Bernard Ehlers in 1886. As a tribute to the site’s long winemaking history, Leducq and his wife, Sylviane, revived the original Ehlers Estate name beginning with the winery’s inaugural 2000 vintage Cabernet Sauvignon. The following year, Ehlers Estate produced its first Merlot, and with the 2002 vintage, the winery added its flagship, estate-grown 1886 Cabernet Sauvignon bottling to its portfolio of handcrafted Bordeaux-varietal wines.
Laura Díaz Muñoz, Winemaker
Born in Spain, Laura grew up sharing sips of wine with her father while watching the fishing boats during their family vacations in the North of Spain. Her first sip of Albariño solidified her love of wines and her first winemaking internship solidified her future as a winemaker. After completing her post graduate degree in enology at the Polytechnic University of Madrid Laura started her career in La Mancha and worked in different wine regions in Spain. A few years later, Laura left Spain and traveled to New Zealand and Chle learning as much as she could about winemaking and the influence of terroir in different wine regions. Finally, Laura took a job in the Napa Valley. For over a decade Laura has been making wine in the Napa Valley as the Associate Winemaker for Cardinale, Lokoya, Mt Brave, La Jota and Galerie. She joined Ehlers Estate in July of 2018 and is excited to continue the legacy of this special property.
The 16-acre Gemstone vineyard is truly a study in terroir. Situated on a gradual, west-facing slope along the Silverado Trail near the town of Yountville in the Napa Valley, the vineyard has gravelly alluvial soil over sandstone bedrock, avoiding the vigor of deep, rich soil. 18 different blocks within the vineyard are plant4ed to ten Cabernet Sauvignon clones, two Merlot clones, two Cabernet Franc clones and two Petit Verdot clones. All the vines are densely planted on a variety of rootstocks carefully matched to the soil; each clonal block is farmed separately. The blocks are fermented individually as well, yielding a distinctive palate of fruit and flavors from which Gemstone wines are born. Gemstone produces and Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and an Estate Red Blend. Meticulous farming of our exceptional vineyard gives us the potential to make great wines. Under the direction of winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown, grapes are hand-picked and placed in small bins in the vineyard. Once they reach the winery, the grapes are hand-sorted to make sure that only the best grapes get pressed. The juice is fermented in many small lots using native yeasts, which best preserves the unique character of each vineyard block. The wines are then aged for a minimum of 20 months in French oak barrels from some of the finest coopers in France including Ermitage, Taransaud, Francois Freres, and Baron. During the aging process, Philippe constantly evaluates the wines, ultimately selecting only the lots that best reflect the character of vineyard.
A rich history spanning 150 years, HALL St. Helena’s location was once the home of the Napa Valley Co-Op, producing 40% of Napa Valley’s wines. Today, the Hall family has meticulously restored the 1885 Bergfeld Winery and merged history and innovation with the completion of California’s first LEED® Gold Certified winery, in addition to a stunning new visitors’ center and state of-the-art gravity-flow winemaking facility. The Tasting Room & Winery at HALL St. Helena goes above and beyond the tasting experience of any winery currently in Napa. Featuring floor to ceiling glass windows that offer a unique sense of place in the valley, the Tasting Room, designed by local Napa architect Jarrod Denton of Signum Architecture, offers entertaining education, unique wine experiences, includes a fully-equipped demo kitchen and incredible art immersed throughout the property.
• HALL Wines is a family-owned, critically acclaimed premier Napa Valley vineyard and winery with five estate vineyards of classic Bordeaux varietals.
• The Winery & Tasting Room is located on the historic Bergfeld Vineyard at the base of the Mayacama Mountains and just north of Mt. Saint Helena.
• The Winery boasts a collection of over 30 pieces of both commissioned and collected 21st century modern art.
• HALL’s highly rated wines have included the 2008 ‘Kathryn Hall’ Cabernet Sauvignon selected as Wine Spectator’s #2 wine in the world in 2011, the 2010 ‘Exzellenz’ which received 100 points from Robert Parker in 2013, and the 2006 ‘Exzellenz’ selected as Wine Enthusiast’s #1 wine in the world in 2009.
• HALL’s Napa Valley estate vineyards are Certified Organic and employ cutting-edge vineyard technology to yield the highest quality grapes
• Established in 2005, HALL Wines remains a privately held, boutique company that employees over 100 people.
WALT is dedicated to the production of premier Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Pacific Coast’s most distinctive vineyard sites, spanning nearly 1000 miles and including Sta. Rita Hills, Los Carneros, Sonoma County, Anderson Valley, and the Willamette Valley. Our philosophy is that of precision, non-interventionist winemaking, thereby allowing the wines to naturally and honestly express the character of the site where the wines are grown. Under the artisanship of Director of Winemaking Steve Leveque and Winemaker Megan Gunderson Paredes, WALT Wines will continue to evolve and develop.
Bio Coming Soon!
In 1987 Jennifer and Herb Lamb purchased, cleared and planted their 7 acre hillside vineyard in Napa Valley near Howell Mountain and sold grapes to the cult Colgin label, first created by Helen Turley, for 15 years, establishing a reputation for the excellence of their vineyard and farming practices. A Napa Valley native, Herb’s Soil Science degree allowed him to managed an Agricultural Chemical business and work closely with all of the best vineyards in the valley. While working in Public Relations and Marketing for small wineries, Jennifer initiated and managed their iconic Herb Lamb Vineyards fledgling wine production, which began with only 50 cases of signature Cabernet Sauvignon in 1997.
Along with winemaker Michael Trujillo, and vineyard managers Mike Neal and Jim Barbour, Jennifer and Herb directed vineyard management and winemaking styles along while overseeing all production, marketing, public relations, direct to consumer and wholesales sales. The brand grew from 50 cases of the HL wine in the 1990’s to over 1,500 cases of 5 different wines, including the fun companion label Two Old Dogs wines of Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Rose. But the focus will always be on the exceptional, signature HL wines being produced from the cool climate, north-east facing hillside Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard, which now includes a Reserve HL Cabernet Sauvignon.
J. Bookwalter Winery
John Bookwalter is currently the president of Bookwalter Winery. Founded n 1983, Bookwalter Winery has successfully transitioned from the first generation into one of the most dynamic mid-sized wineries in Washington State with production reaching 30,000 cases and retail locations in Eastern and Western Washington along with a full service restaurant located at the Winery in Richland, Fiction@ J. Bookwalter. As the president of Bookwalter Winery, John is responsible for overseeing all operations as it relates to winemaking activities, vineyard management, sales and marketing initiatives and strategic planning for the company.
John is very active in his home state and local community. He currently serves on the executive board of the WTA (Washington Tourism Alliance) and the Tri-Cities Cancer Center. John is the past board chair for the Tri-Cities Visitor and Convention Bureau and the past board chair of the Washington Wine Commission. John has also served as vice chairman of the board for Wine America, the wine industries national advocacy group based in Washington DC and as vice chairman of the board of the Washington Wine Institute. John has also served as a board member of the local chapter of the American Heart Association, and the local Tri-City economic development council, TRI-DEC.
John joined the family Winery in 1997 following a 10 year career in sales and marketing in the beverage industry. Throughout his career he has successfully launched and developed brands within all major beverage segments utilizing multiple methods of sales and distribution.
Prior to joining Bookwalter Winery, John most recently served as the Northwest Business Manager for the Coors Brewing Company, the nation’s third largest brewer. He was responsible for managing all field sales personnel as well as the strategic sales and marketing efforts throughout a large beer and wine distributor network.
Before joining Coors, he spent 5 years with the WinterBrook Beverage Group a manufacturer of new age beverages. While at WinterBrook he managed the Western US Division, and was instrumental in successfully launching and developing the Cascadia, WinterBrook and LaCroix brands throughout the 13 western US States.
John began his career with the Gallo Wine Company in Southern California where he held sales and sales management positions in the grocery chain division. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in marketing from Arizona State University.
Joseph Phelps Vineyards
Joe Phelps became a vintner in the early 1970s, he’d built a successful career as a construction engineer. In fact, even before graduating from Colorado State University Joe had amassed quite a bit of work experience: as a newspaper carrier, print shop owner, filling station attendant, fishing lure purveyor, surveyor, and estimator. However, it was in construction that Joe first made his mark, building the company his father had founded, Hensel Phelps Construction Company, into one of the largest and most successful construction companies in the U.S. in little more than a decade.
When Joe Phelps established Joseph Phelps Vineyards, the fearless vision and gumption with which he’d built his construction company was now focused on the wine industry. He left no stone unturned, learning everything he could about grape growing and winemaking, mostly through trial and error, but also through early associations with people like Joe Heitz, Jack Davies, Louis Martini and Robert Mondavi. He surrounded himself with experts, experimented constantly and applied what he’d learned through traveling, reading and collecting to producing wines that could be counted among the finest in the world. In the early days, dividing his time between the winery and Hensel Phelps Construction Company, Joe worked tirelessly, routinely putting in fourteen-hour days.
After he sold Hensel Phelps Construction Company to focus solely on Joseph Phelps Vineyards, he was often the first one to arrive at the winery and the last one to leave. But Joe also liked to enjoy himself, and to share his love of wine, food, and life with his family and the many friends he made in Napa Valley. He cooked and entertained often and liberally opened bottles from his private wine collection. At the helm of Joseph Phelps Vineyards for over 30 years, Joe worked with other Napa Valley vintners on a host of issues and initiatives, generously offering his time and wise counsel. Joe quietly gave back, sharing his success with organizations and people who still feel the influence of his many gifts to this day.
JUSTIN Vineyards and Winery
At JUSTIN, we combine traditional Old World methods—like hand-harvesting and small-barrel aging in French oak—with New World technology. For example: the “Air Knife,” an ingenious process invented by our winemakers, boosts grape quality and efficiency. Once the grapes are harvested, our winemakers—some of the best in the business—gather to sort, select, age, taste, blend and decide what goes into every bottle.
Justin Baldwin, Founder
Inspired by the First Growth wines on the Left Bank region of Bordeaux, most notably Chateau Margaux, Justin Baldwin began his career in the wine industry in 1981. After an extensive land search, Justin was drawn to a parcel of land high up in the mountains west of Paso Robles. There, Baldwin found a combination of ancient calcareous soils, elevation to assist in achieving full ripeness on the vine and a stunning setting to settle his family and pursue his dream.
Baldwin purchased the 160-acre parcel and immediately planted three of the five principal Bordeaux grape varieties: cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and merlot. In 1987, grapes from the estate resulted in the first wine homage to Margaux, a wine that would later become ISOSCELES. Today, ISOSCELES is more than 25-years-old and remains the flagship wine of JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery and best defines our winemaking philosophy.
When Baldwin first planted cabernet sauvignon grapes in the Santa Lucia Mountains, Paso Robles was not even on the wine lover’s map. Since JUSTIN’s founding, Paso Robles has experienced a true renaissance and attracted dozens of world-class winemakers seeking a similar dream. Now, 35 years later, JUSTIN is recognized as the pioneer of award-winning Bordeaux-style wines on California’s Central Coast.
Knights Bridge Winery
Knights Bridge General Manager, Debi Leal, has worked in the Napa Valley wine industry since 1992. After a Public Relations career in Washington, DC, Debi found the perfect fit as General Manager of several small wine brands. Working at a small, ultra-premium Estate winery such as Knights Bridge suits Debi’s style perfectly. She believes that there is nothing more important than developing and enriching the relationships between the vineyards, the winery, the winery team, and the customers. This essential partnership is the foundation of her success – a multi-layered approach, much like the wines that she enjoys.
In 2014, Debi joined the team at Knights Bridge Winery, managing the two winery brands, Knights Bridge and Huge Bear, as well as the 100-acre Estate vineyard. Working with a team of skilled and enthusiastic professionals, Debi has created a strong atmosphere focused on success, personal enrichment and brand awareness.
In 2009, Debi founded a non-profit organization called NOTES for EDUCATIONTM. Comprised of Napa Valley wine industry professionals and Nashville music professionals, NOTES hosts fundraising events to support music education programs in local communities. To further the fund-raising effort, Debi puts her winemaking experience to use by making a small amount of Napa Valley Zinfandel called Harmony. All proceeds from the sale of this wine benefits NOTES.
La Ferme du Mont Rhone
Continuing the traditions passed down from his mother’s side of the family, 3rd generation winemaker Stéphane Vedeau is creating beautifully handcrafted wines in the Rhone Valley.
Stéphane Vedeau is the proprietor and winemaker of Ferme Du Mont, a 50 hectares estate spanning the sub-appellations of Côtes du Rhône, Côtes du Rhône Villages, Vacqueyras, Gigondas, Châteauneuf and Châteauneuf Vendanges d’Octobre, all situated within the Rhone valley.
His success of making great wines stems from his naturalistic view of ensuring that natural balance trumps over technology (including not using pesticides or organic fertilizers) and the fact that he is a talented business man.
Prior to the establishment of Ferme Du Mont, Stéphane was involved in two ventures, both located in the Languedoc-Roussillon region in the southern France: the formation of Terre a Verre by partnering up with Claude Serra and then in 1992 establishing Maison Maurel Vedeau by joining forces with Philippe Maurel, which he sold upon Philippe Maurel’s retirement.
Loring Wine Company
Loring Wine Company is a small winery dedicated to the production the finest Pinot Noirs from California. The brother and sister team of Brian and Kimberly Loring act as co-owners and co-winemakers. Along with their assistant winemaker, Rachel Silkowski, and their 83-year-old Mom, they’re able to produce 9,000 cases of extremely yummy Pinot Noir each year. They source fruit from arguably the greatest Pinot Noir Vineyards in California. Vineyards such as Keefer Ranch, Rosella’s, Garys’, Clos Pepe, and Cargasacchi. They’ve been featured in numerous articles and have received over 100 90+ point scores from Wine Spectator.
After the untimely crash of the Llama Farming Industry in the mid-90s, Brian decided to place his remaining nest egg (about yoke size) in a much safer investment – a winery. He chose to make Pinot Noir since that was pretty much all that he liked to drink – except for Champagne. The smartest thing Brian did was to brazenly copy everything that Adam and Dianna Lee did at Siduri. After all, isn’t imitation the sincerest form of flattery?
He kept a day job writing military software as the winery grew. Torpedoes, Missiles, and Pinot – oh my! Brian likes to think that he was keeping the world safe for Pinot Noir. After securing incriminating photos of some of the top reviewers in the country, the winery rocketed to fame. So much so that he was able to quite his day job and go full time wine in 2005. Today, Brian lives the life of the gentleman winemaker… while his sister, Kimberly, does all the work.
The Macauley Vineyard label was originally established in St. Helena in the early 1980s by Ann Macauley Watson and for several years produced a very well received, late harvest Sauvignon Blanc with help from renowned winemaker, Ric Forman.
In the late summer of 2000, Ann’s son, Mac, went to work for Rudd Estate in Oakville. After several months of winery work and education he was inspire to revive the family label, and, working with winemaker and childhood friend Kirk Venge, crushed his first grapes in October 2001.
Mac and Kirk have one goal: to source the highest quality fruit in Napa Valley and make wines of extraordinary depth and personality. The grapes they choose showcase the terroir of the vineyards and crate a remarkable wine-drinking experience.
Kirk Venge – Winemaker
Second-generation winemaker Kirk Venge grew up in the Napa Valley. At his father’s side, he learned about farming and winemaking, feeling at home in the cellar at an early age. While pursuing his enology degree at the University of California at Davis, Venge worked at Mumm Napa Valley for five years in their experimental division. Upon graduation, Venge sought to expand his winemaking knowledge by traveling to New Zealand and working harvest in the southern hemisphere. Equipped with a broader sense of viticultural techniques, Venge returned to Napa to partner with his father in the creation of Venge Vineyards. Today, Venge brings his skill and passion to Macauley Vineyard. Those who know Kirk Venge will attest to his acute palate. His wines reflect balance and finesse. Because Kirk believes that wines are made in the vineyard, he is relentless in his quest to find the very best vineyard locations and sources of fruit.
Margerum Wine Company
Margerum Wine Company produces limited quantities of wines made from grapes grown both our Estate Vineyard and grapes purchased from other top vineyards from in and around Santa Barbara County. The 18-acre Estate Vineyard is planted exclusively to Rhône grape varietals. The acreage is divided between limestone hillsides and gravelly alluvial flatlands along Alamo Pintado Creek. The wines are now made at their state-of-the-art winery located on Industrial Way in Buellton. Margerum carefully selects the vineyards with meticulous attention to detail in all factors influencing the ultimate quality of the wines, including pruning, soil, climate, and farming methods.
Margerum primarily produces M5 (a Rhône varietal red blend), single vineyard Syrahs, a co-fermented Syrah called ÜBER, SYBARITE Sauvignon Blanc, M5 White (a blend of Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier, and Picpoul Blanc) and RIVIERA Rose. Doug works with the top vineyards from the warm, eastern end of the valley in Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara to the cold vineyards of Sta. Rita Hills towards the western end of the valley.
Doug Margerum, Owner/Director of Winemaking
Doug Margerum has been involved in the Santa Barbara food and wine scene for over 35 years. Upon graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1981, his family purchased WINE CASK. In 1994 the WINE CASK became one of 74 restaurants in the world to earn the Wine Spectator Grand Award. Doug sold the WINE CASK in 2007.
Doug launched the Santa Barbara WINE CASK Futures Program in 1984, which elevated the exposure nationally of Santa Barbara Wine Country. From 1986 to 1998, Doug owned VITA NOVA winery with Bob Lindquist (Qupé) and Jim Clendenen (Au Bon Climat). In 2001, Margerum Wine Company began in a tiny 240 square foot cold room behind Brander Vineyards. The philosophy: return wine making to its previous form of production – handcrafted and personal.
Merry Edwards Winery
One of California’s first woman winemakers, Merry Edwards began her career at Mount Eden Vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains in 1974. She went on to become the founding winemaker at Matanzas Creek in 1977 and remained there until 1984. For the next decade, Merry consulted for numerous wineries, large and small, in Oregon and many diverse appellations of California.
In 1997, family and friends joined Merry to found Merry Edwards Winery, with a focus on producing Pinot Noirs with a sense of place from Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast. In 2008, she and her husband, Ken Coopersmith, completed their winery on the site of Coopersmith Vineyard. It was then expanded in 2010. In this venue, tastings are hosted to educate visitors about Merry’s handcrafted wines and site-specific viticulture.
Along with two regional blends, six vineyard-designated Pinot Noirs are bottled. In 2001, a barrel-fermented Sauvignon Blanc was added to the portfolio. Merry is also now making a single-vineyard designate Chardonnay from the venerable Olivet Lane, as well as an occasional late harvest Sauvignon Blanc and late-disgorged-style of sparkling wine.
In 2013, Merry’s 40th year as a winemaker, she was not only inducted into the Culinary Institute of America’s Vintners Hall of Fame, she also won the coveted James Beard Award for Best Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional in the United States, just the fourth woman to be so honored. This past year, Merry’s winery was ranked the No. 2 top-selling brand in America’s finest restaurants in Wine & Spirits Magazine’s annual poll, as well as No. 1 selling Pinot Noir.
Modus Operandi Cellars
Growing up in Dallas, as a 24 year old kid, winemaker wasn’t exactly the most obvious career path that springs to mind, but after working as a waiter in several of the city’s finest restaurants, acquiring a love for all things wine, getting the go-ahead from his bride to be, and selling everything that they owned, Jason Moore was off to California where yes, he had the lofty aspiration and dream of becoming a Winemaker.
Completely self-taught thru diligent self-study and the utilization of winemaking mentors, he knew that true learning when it comes to such a stylistically artistic yet mind blowingly organic and mystifying thing such as winemaking can ONLY be accomplished through hands on experience MAKING WINE. There is absolutely no substitute. Jason honed his craft in the garage of an elderly vineyard owner in Napa. He grew the grapes, made the wine, and they split the product on bottling day.
In 2004 at the age of 26, Jason officially started his professional career by launching Modus Operandi Cellars with 200 cases of Napa Cabernet. 2006 brought a new chapter where he was hired to manage the custom crush winery where I made Modus. Here Jaso was responsible for over 1000 tons of grapes and literally hundreds of fermentations, working closely with 14 of the winery’s clients… a perfect crash course for the current chapter of my life. Now, he is currently the Consulting Winemaker for 5 small wine brands spanning Napa, Sonoma, Monterey, Sierra Foothills, and the Agoura Hills of Malibu.
It has been Jason’s great honor to have his wine poured at a historical State Dinner at the White House. Author Michael Connely has also written Modus Operandi into the bestselling novel The Black Box. This wine was hand selected to be paired with food prepared by Celebrity Chef Tom Coliccio at the 2013 Aspen Food and Wine festival.
Jason is so thankful to God that at such a young age, he found his passion and was fortunate enough to be able to enjoy it as a career. He believes that winemaking is an art that is supported by science however a solid conceptual understanding of the science is also necessary.
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…
Once upon a time, there 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. Was it destiny that Jayson Pahlmeyer’s world was turned happily upside down? Who can say?
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 months of sleuthing in elite French vineyards, Jayson’s partner sought the assistance of the venerable viticultural professors at the University of Bordeaux. The professors analyzed soil samples, exposure, rainfall and temperature data from the land and recommended the Californians grow corn.
Undaunted, Jayson and his partner persevered until after three years the professors isolated the exact Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec vines with the greatest intensity, depth of flavor and character.
Jayson’s partner smuggled their “suitcase clones” to the U.S. through Canada. All went off without a hitch until their final truckload, when the border authorities uncovered the French vines. Ordered to surrender all their contraband, they kept their French clones hidden and instead turned over to the unwitting patrollers clones purchased from U.C. Davis.
Planted in 1981, the French cuttings adjusted to their shock at a snail’s pace. Catching wind of these crazy guys and their Bordeaux vines, one of California’s foremost winemakers, Randy Dunn, visited the site and warned, “Don’t screw it up.” Clearly they didn’t because in 1986, seeing unparalleled promise, Randy asked to purchase the entire crop. Jayson agreed – on one condition: that Randy make Jayson’s “Pahlmeyer” Napa Valley Bordeaux blend
Anointed 94 points by Robert Parker, the first release, the 1986 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red, launched Pahlmeyer’s astonishing track record of critical acclaim.
In 1989, Jayson invited rising star winemaker Bob Levy to produce the first vintages of Pahlmeyer Chardonnay. The 1991 Chardonnay sold out immediately, giving Jayson good reason to decline a screenwriter’s request for samples to use in a Hollywood movie. In the end, though, he acquiesced, and to his great surprise, the wine’s big role in the battle-of-the-sexes blockbuster Disclosure helped further the frenzy surrounding Pahlmeyer.
In 1993, Helen Turley took the winemaking reins, beginning her own rise to prominence. She and her team – including protégé Erin Green – furthered the work of Dunn and Levy, improving the quality and consistency of Pahlmeyer wines through winegrowing, grape sourcing and winemaking innovation.ITo push quality to even greater heights, Helen urged Jayson to develop estate vineyards. She was instrumental in finding Pahlmeyer’s high-elevation Napa Valley estate vineyard, planted in 1998 to red Bordeaux varieties and Chardonnay. In that same year, a stone’s throw from her famed Marcassin Vineyard on the extreme Sonoma Coast, she found the Wayfarer estate ideally situated for growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Both estate vineyards were planted by viticulture legend David Abreu in 1998 and 2002, respectively.
In 2012, Jayson named Bibiana González Rave winemaker for Wayfarer, to oversee his new wines from the estate vineyard, then ten years old and perfectly poised for a solo bottling. She immediately went to work meticulously optimizing the vineyards and realizing his dream to create world class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In 2016, her role expanded across all of the Napa Valley operations and Pahlmeyer winemaking.
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 new heights as Bibiana pushes the envelope on clone and vineyard management, as well as cellar and winemaking equipment and practices.
In 2008, Jayson’s daughter Cleo joined the team, bringing the next generation into the Pahlmeyer legacy and launching the Wayfarer brand. In 2017, Cleo was appointed President.
And so it is that vintage after vintage, Pahlmeyer continues to live up to Jayson’s audacious dream – producing phenomenal wines of power and finesse.
Daughter of Jayson Pahlmeyer, Cleo grew up with the family business but never visualized herself actually joining the winery. Her education took her to the East Coast where she received her BA in Art History from theniversity of Virginia and went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Connoisseurship of Fine and Decorative Art at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London. After landing a job at Bonhams auction house in London, she discovered that it was not only the art auctions that interested her, but the wine auctions as well. “Seeing our wine in London auctions, I realized for the first time what a respected name Pahlmeyer is in the wine world,” she admits. “It was an awakening for me and I began to consider how I could help propel the company my father had built.”
With Napa’s exceptional cuisine and world-class wines in her DNA, Cleo comes by her love of wine and the wine industry naturally. In 2008 Cleo joined the family business in sales and customer service, and with characteristic Pahlmeyer exuberance infused the winery with new energy. She moved on to manage direct to consumer sales and marketing, and later directed the company’s communications and public relations. Cleo was instrumental in the development and launch in 2014 of the Wayfarer Pinot Noirs and Chardonnay from their estate vineyard in the Fort Ross-Seaview appellation, planted in 2000. In 2017, Cleo was appointed President.
“My father’s vision and passion have driven our success for more than thirty years,” said Cleo Pahlmeyer. “With the support of an incredibly talented and dedicated team, I am honored to continue Pahlmeyer’s legacy of iconic wines and be a steward to our exceptional estate vineyards.”
A mother of two, Cleo is devoted to her family. And when she has time, she is also an avid cook. Cleo and her husband Jamie Watson love to entertain friends and family and spread the Pahlmeyer story all over the world. “I meet people everywhere who share wonderful experiences they have had with our wines, and often hilarious stories about my dad,” she says. “It has been an incredible journey so far but what really excites me is the future of Pahlmeyer.”
Michael Beaulac knew he wanted to be a winemaker after reading a single interview with winemaker Christian Moueix of Bordeaux’s renowned Château Pétrus. From then on, the Burlington, Vermont, native likes to say, he learned about winemaking from the school of hard knocks, starting as a cellar rat and working his way up.
As a wine buyer in a Portland, Maine, jazz dinner club, Michael met Tim Murphy, co-founder of Murphy-Goode Winery, during a sales visit. Tim was impressed by Michael’s palate and jokingly offered him a job. The following year, Michael moved to California and joined the team at Murphy-Goode Winery. There he spent the next eight years—four as assistant winemaker—and ultimately took over the development of new varietal programs for Pinot Noir and Zinfandel.
In 1997, eager for a new challenge, Michael crossed the Mayacamas Mountains and began making wine from the Bordeaux-style varieties that first inspired him. He spent four years as winemaker for Napa Valley’s iconic Markham Vineyards in St. Helena, the fourth-oldest continuously operated winery in Napa County. After Markham, he moved to Rutherford-based St. Supéry Estate Vineyards and Winery to serve as vice president and winemaker. St. Supéry has roots in Southern France, and Michael began blending, tasting, and consulting on wines destined for the American market from vineyards in Languedoc-Roussillon, Corsica, and Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
Michael joined Pine Ridge Vineyards, in the Stags Leap District, at the beginning of 2009 as winemaker and general manager, overseeing winemaking from 160 acres of estate vineyards in Napa Valley’s best appellations.
Going into his third decade of harvests, he can’t imagine doing anything else. “I get to make wine in one of the most prestigious grape growing areas anywhere, and then I get to share and enjoy that wine with everyone I meet. I have the best job in the world.”
When he is not making wine, Michael, his wife, and their two children can be found skiing in the mountains surrounding Lake Tahoe.
After working for four years as assistant winemaker at Paradigm for Heidi Barrett, one of the world’s renowned winemakers, Anne Vawter opened her winemaking consultancy with support and encouragement from Heidi, whose referrals now make up Anne’s client list. Shortly after, Anne began her own venture with Partner Jim Striegel – Red Mare Wines.
An avid horse woman, Anne named her wine label in honor of her red mare, Paradigm, who was a bonus given to her during her time at Paradigm Winery. The inaugural release of Red Mare Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2007 vintage, sold out in just two months. In addition to her Cabernet Sauvignon, Anne also produces a Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc and added a Sonoma Chardonnay in the 2011 vintage.
Red Mare Wines sources fruit meticulously from very small, well-respected vineyards throughout the Napa Valley, from a cool enclave of the Carneros to a hill top in Coombsville, and northward on the Valley floor in Oakville, Rutherford and St. Helena. Our 2011 Chardonnay hails from a choice location in the famed Russian River Valley of Sonoma. We look for vineyards with unique qualities and distinctive character that will come together in the blending process to produce layered and beautifully balanced wines.
Jim Striegel began his love of wine at an early age while making wine with his father. They shipped a variety of grapes from Napa Valley, California to their hometown of Carbondale, Illinois and enjoyed red table wine with family and friends. He enjoyed summers in the Napa Valley area with childhood friends when there were only ten wineries in the area, including Stag’s Leap. They would hang out in the vineyards and the cellars, experiencing the rich traditions that come along with it, including the annual “blessing of the grapes”.
With over forty years of experience in sales and marketing, Jim has built many successful businesses in the apparel, automobile and real estate industries. He worked for Izod Lacoste in Paris in the eighties and was able to further his wine education in both the Burgundy and Bordeaux regions of France.
When he was ready to begin his own brand, he called renowned winemaker Heidi Barrett. In addition to being a huge, longtime fan of Heidi’s winemaking, he worked with her on a wine dinner in the Dallas area and trusted her advice and guidance. It was through Heidi that he met winemaker and partner Anne Vawter and the rest is history.
Saint Helena Winery
Saint Helena Winery is a small, private winery specializing in estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignons. The winery was founded in 2000, and is situated in the St. Helena appellation of Napa Valley. Winemakers Aaron Pott and Lindsey Wallingford guide the creation of three estate Cabernets and one Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay.
The estate is not open to the public, rather by invitation only. It is a working vineyard and winery in a serene country setting with accommodations for a relaxing wine tasting in the estate house, or on the veranda overlooking the Valley floor and Mayacamas Mountain range.
The winery was founded with the 2000 vintage of Sympa Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, with one barrel only made by famed winemaker Mark Herold. The winery estate is near the historical center of Napa Valley winemaking, adjacent to the properties of early vintners Charles Krug and Jacob Beringer. The founding family purchased the twenty acre vineyard estate in 1994 and proceeded to build a home followed by the winery and guest cottages. They sold fruit to notable neighbors including Opus One and Quintessa and slowly made more wines under the Saint Helena Winery label. Today they make fewer than 1,500 cases of estate Cabernet Sauvignons and one Chardonnay from a special vineyard on Sonoma Mountain.
The winemakers are Aaron Pott, a St. Helena based Napa Valley consulting winemaker recently named “Winemaker of the Year” by Food & Wine Magazine, and the notable rising star, Lindsey Wallingford. Lindsey also manages the estate vineyards with a small full-time crew. The vineyards are hand-tended throughout the year – truly farmed one vine at a time.
The estate contains 13 acres of vines. The soils are variations of Bale Loam with a wide ribbon of gravel from an ancient riverbed running through the north blocks. These are the blocks where Sympa and Grand Reserve Cabernet Sauvignons originate.
The Saint Helena Winery team makes a Chardonnay from the Scopus Vineyard high upon Sonoma Mountain, farmed by the highly respected viticulturist, Ulises Valdez. Just over 300 cases of this wine are produced each year. Aaron Pott earned his Master’s degree in Burgundy and makes this wine with the traditions of that region in mind.
Saint Helena Winery is run by a sm
Silver Ghost is a complex Cabernet Sauvignon made from some of the finest vineyards in Napa Valley. The perfect combination of lush valley-floor fruit with the structure of high-elevation grapes gives balance to the wine. One-third is sourced from an historic east Rutherford vineyard. The other two-thirds are from a hillside site in Calistoga and a celebrated west Yountville vineyard. The presence of clone 7 gives the wine a classic and elegant character, while clone 337 lends a lush texture with luxurious fruit and fine-grained tannins. The wine is then aged 22 months in French Oak. Luxury balanced with accessibility – this is the beauty of the Silver Ghost Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Winemaker Weston Eidson has always had an entrepreneurial spirit and a devotion to quality. His great-grandfather, John Montagu, was an automobile pioneer at the turn of the last century. Being a British Lord and a Member of Parliament, he was instrumental in much early automotive legislation and was friends with Charles Rolls and Henry Royce. His assistant served as the model for the Rolls-Royce hood ornament, the Spirit of Ecstasy, which we still see on Rolls-Royce cars to this day. Silver Ghost gets its name from John Montagu’s favorite car, the 1909 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost.
Weston’s Silver Ghost Napa Cabernet is a result of passion, hard work and an appreciation for fine wine. Family get-togethers and celebrations were never complete without it. While attending graduate school in the UK, he traveled around the world visiting as many wine regions as he could, from Chile and South Africa to Bordeaux, Alsace and the Veneto.
Weston’s travels eventually took him to Napa Valley where he met Jason Moore of Modus Operandi Cellars. Under Moore’s guidance, Weston worked the 2012 harvest and quickly garnered invaluable winemaking skills. Weston has since learned from mentor Russell Bevan and developed a conviction for making rich wine with minimal intervention – allowing the fruit to express its full potential while crafting wine that naturally reflects its distinct terroir.
TATE wine was founded in 2011 in St. Helena, CA and produces small-lot wines from micro-vineyards dotted along the valley floor and hillsides of the Napa Valley. Husband and wife team, David and Suzanne Tate work hand-in-hand with local farmers to produce 1,000 cases annually from single-vineyard sites on Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Yountville and St. Helena.
David Tate – Winemaker
David Tate, a native of British Columbia, Canada, is the Proprietor and Winemaker of TATE. For nearly 20 years, he has worked all over the world in many facets of premium wine production. As well as hand-crafting TATE wines, David is the winemaker and manager for one of the most renowned boutique wineries in the Napa Valley, Barnett Vineyards, where he has produced multiple vintages of critically acclaimed wines.
Prior to his work 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.
Torii Mor Winery Donald Olson Bio:Torii
Torii Mor Winery started with a vision: the pursuit of elegant, Old World style Pinot Noirs. Dr. Donald Olson moved to Oregon to pursue this vision and purchased an older vineyard in the Willamette Valley, planted in 1972, and renamed it Olson Estate Vineyard. High in the Dundee Hills, the ten acres of old vines produce high-quality Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay year after year. After the first vintage in 1993 with just 1,000 cases, Torii Mor now produces 10,000 cases annually under the direction of Burgundian winemaker Jacques Tardy.
Originally from Wisconsin, Dr. Donald Olson, made the quest to Oregon in the 1980’s to acquire prime vineyard property in the emerging wine region of the Willamette Valley. He purchased an existing vineyard and Japanese garden outside the town of Dundee and officially became a vineyard owner, selling fruit to local wineries. In 1993, he decided to produce his own wine and created Torii Mor Winery. The name derives from the “torii” gate in the property’s Japanese garden and the ancient Scandinavian word for “earth”….the perfect combination of Dr. Olson’s passion and heritage.
Torii Mor Winery
Donald Olson Bio:Torii
VHR, Vine Hill Ranch
The legacy Napa Valley growers—Hopper, Whitton, Hahn, Taddei—have farmed Vine Hill Ranch since 1884, documenting their annual plantings of grapevines, plums, pears and other crops in hand-scribed reports. Following the footsteps of those pioneering families, our maternal grandfather, Bruce Kelham, purchased the land in 1959. He was a dedicated preservationist who moved to Napa to cultivate winegrapes after playing a role in establishing the Point Reyes National Seashore. The old grower records inspired our wine label’s ledger-style listing of vineyard blocks, vine count, harvest dates and grape yields—a tribute to the agricultural history of Vine Hill Ranch.
Bruce Phillips – Owner
Third generation Napa Valley winegrape grower and vintner at Vine Hill Ranch, Bruce Phillips carries forward the Phillips family’s 60-year tradition of producing singular Cabernet Sauvignon from Vine Hill Ranch. A 30-year veteran of the food and consumer product industry, Bruce has participated in the successes of a variety of consumer product ventures, from Odwalla to Constellation Brands Inc. Past president of the Napa Valley Grapegrowers, Bruce currently serves on the boards of the California Association of Winegrape Growers and the Land Trust of Napa County.
Françoise Peschon – Winemaker
Françoise Peschon was raised in California’s wine country with family roots in Luxembourg. Françoise received an enology degree from UC Davis. After post-graduate work at the University of Bordeaux and an apprenticeship at Château Haut-Brion, Françoise returned to the Napa Valley. In 1993, Françoise joined Araujo Estate, soon stepping into the role of winemaker. The reputation of the Phillips family’s determination to craft a wine of place from the estate vineyard drew Françoise to VHR in 2008. She collaborates closely in the field with vineyard manager, Michael Wolf, to cultivate a wine that is dynamic, powerful and elegant—a soulful expression of the site.
William Cole Vineyards When William and Jane Ballentine bought a nineteenth century ghost winery in St. Helena in 1999, little did they know it would take them years to open its doors which had been shuttered since prohibition. They enthusiastically began an extensive renovation of the 1873 stone wine cellar on the bottom level of the historic three-story building while they moved their family into the top two floors. Throughout the project they began to uncover the incredibly rich history of the property and it became their goal to restore the original integrity of the winery and incorporate modern winemaking techniques. The property was deemed so important to the history of the Napa Valley, that the county wrote a special historic ordinance to allow it to be reopened as a winery. By 2004, they had completed restoration and opened as a fully operational winery. In honor of tradition, they named it William Cole for “William” and their son “Cole” and dedicated their Cabernet Sauvignon, Cuvée Claire, to their daughter, Claire. Winemaker and Owner: William Ballentine Bio
Fourth generation winemaker and owner, William Ballentine started working at a young age with his father in the vineyard. His love of growing grapes matured into making wine for several large wineries in the Napa Valley. After quite some time and much experience, he decided to open his own winery in 1997, William Cole Vineyards. Ever since he has been perfecting 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.
William Cole Vineyards
When William and Jane Ballentine bought a nineteenth century ghost winery in St. Helena in 1999, little did they know it would take them years to open its doors which had been shuttered since prohibition. They enthusiastically began an extensive renovation of the 1873 stone wine cellar on the bottom level of the historic three-story building while they moved their family into the top two floors. Throughout the project they began to uncover the incredibly rich history of the property and it became their goal to restore the original integrity of the winery and incorporate modern winemaking techniques. The property was deemed so important to the history of the Napa Valley, that the county wrote a special historic ordinance to allow it to be reopened as a winery. By 2004, they had completed restoration and opened as a fully operational winery. In honor of tradition, they named it William Cole for “William” and their son “Cole” and dedicated their Cabernet Sauvignon, Cuvée Claire, to their daughter, Claire.
Winemaker and Owner: William Ballentine Bio
W&J Graham’s Port
Graham’s was founded in 1820, and now has earned an unmatched reputation as the leading producer of premium Port wines. The company has been owned by just two families in its entire history; originally founded by the Graham’s, it was acquired by the Symington family in 1970.
The Symingtons can trace their ancestors as Port wine producers back four generations to Andrew James Symington who came to Oporto in 1882, but back thirteen generations through their great grandmother, Beatrice Atkinson, to Walter Maynard who shipped 39 pipes of Port in 1652. A unique record in the history of Port.
Today, five members of the Symington family work in the company —Paul, Johnny, Dominic, Rupert and Charles. The family personally manages all aspects of wine making from the vineyard to the final bottling of the wine.
Graham’s owns five vineyard properties. Quinta dos Malvedos, Graham’s flagship property, has always been the heart of Graham’s Vintage Port, where most of the grapes are sourced. Quinta da Vila Velha and Quinta do Vale de Malhadas (both privately owned by a member of the Symington family), as well as Quinta das Lages, have contributed to the Graham’s unique style. The latest acquisition, Quinta do Tua, perfectly complements Malvedos and adds a further dimension to Graham’s Port wines. John Linklater works with Premium Port Wines. He represents Symington Family Estate brands such as Graham’s, Dow’s and Cockburn’s.
Moët & Chandon Nectar Imperial
The legendary Moët & Chandon is celebrating 270 years as the world’s most loved champagne. For over a quarter of a millennium, the renowned French winemaker has been sharing the magic of champagne across the globe. Every glass overflows with the House’s hallmark values of history, generosity, savoir-faire, success, boldness and elegance—values still at the heart of its global appeal.
Toward the end of the 18th century, Jean-Remy Moët, grandson of founder Claude Moët, became famous as the man who introduced champagne to the world. The important figures of the era, from the Marquise de Pompadour to Talleyrand to Napoleon quickly fell in love with the House’s effervescent wine. Moët & Chandon was soon the icon of success and elegance that it remains to this day.
The pioneering spirit has always defined our brand, in every arena from viniculture to new ways of celebrating with champagne. It all began with our founder Claude Moët’s vision of transforming a prestigious but little-known regional wine into a favorite of cosmopolitans and courtiers throughout Europe. His grandson Jean-Rémy Moët set out to conquer the market and soon transformed Moët & Chandon into an international symbol of celebration, accomplishing his lifelong goal of “sharing the magic of champagne with the world.” Innovation has been our watchword ever since, making the world’s most glamorous wine new and exciting for each generation