2019 Featured Wineries
Tête du Cuvée
The love of farming and a passion for wine brought Tony Peju to the Napa Valley. A series of ideas – starting in his birthplace on the Caspian Sea, then France, England and eventually, Los Angeles — created the Peju’s Napa Valley winery. In 1982, Tony and his wife Herta purchased 30 acres of land in the Napa Valley with the magic ingredient – location. Neighboring vineyards in Rutherford included Robert Mondavi, Inglenook and Beaulieu. Situated between Highway 29 and the Napa River, the acreage included a 1900-era house and rambling vineyards, some 60 or more years old. Looking to the future, Tony and Herta have introduced their two daughters, Lisa and Ariana, to the workings of the wine business. Both of the young women are immersing themselves in all aspects of Peju Winery.
The oldest daughter of Peju co-founders Tony and HB, Lisa Peju is always on the go, sometimes traveling to three different states during one week’s time to represent Peju Family Winery.
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 the Napa Valley. During her childhood, 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.
Since joining Peju full time in 2001, Lisa has traveled extensively both internationally and domestically. While on the road she spends a great deal of her time introducing Peju to the next generation of wine drinkers and presenting at private wine dinners, trade and consumer tasting events.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Domaine Paul BLANCK
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 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 here since the mid-1800s.
It was the lure of winemaking that tempted Bernard Ehlers to buy a small, dying vineyard in the late 1800s and embark on a quest to create the winery that continues to bear his name. He replanted his newly-acquired 10-acre vineyard, established the olive grove that still thrives today and in 1886 completed construction of the stone barn that is now our beautiful winery building. His original Bale Mill Winery continued to operate long after his death, run by his wife until the 1920s and then by successive new owners who took advantage of its prime location and unique terroir.
A century later, another husband and wife team discovered the lure of this idyllic spot in the heart of the Napa Valley. French entrepreneurs and philanthropists Jean and Sylviane Leducq saw the potential for this region to produce wines with the power, balance and structure of the finest Bordeaux bottlings they knew and loved. Over several decades they patiently built a contiguous wine estate – common for French chateaux but increasingly rare in California.
With the help of renowned enologist, Jacques Boissenot, they gradually acquired individual local vineyards as they came up for sale and replanted with the most suitable clones and rootstock. By the turn of the century they had created the 42-acre estate we farm today, with Bernard Ehlers’ original stone barn and vineyard at its heart and the Ehlers name once again poised to grace wine labels. The 21st century began with the release of the very first vintage from the Leducqs’ new Ehlers Estate.
Developing the winery had become a passion project for Jean and Sylviane, one they shared long after the sale of their other successful businesses in Europe. Their legacy remains in safe hands today under the leadership of our current winemaker, Kevin Morrisey, who was favored by Sylviane because he shares the same passion for creating sophisticated wines with an old-world charm that capture the character and heritage of our land.
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.
Our organic vineyard practices leave a minimal footprint on the land and give us maximum flavor in the grapes. Taking advantage of the robust Estate ecosystem and carefully-chosen rootstocks, our vineyard crew coaxes the vines to fully express the numerous soil types and microclimates found on the estate. Once the grapes are harvested, the cellar crew knows when to be hands on and when to let nature takes its course as the wines ferment, develop and age.
We strive to be responsible stewards of our land and continue the legacy of Bernard and Anne Ehlers, and Jean and Sylviane Leducq, who saw the potential that today you can taste in every bottle of Ehlers Estate wine.
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!
Herb Lamb Vineyards is located in the foothills of Napa Valley’s Howell Mountain. Originally purchased by Jennifer and Herb Lamb in 1997, then cleared and planted in 1988, the seven-acre hillside Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard is sustainably farmed with minimum intervention, showing respect for the land and environment. Now owned and nurtured by Herb’s widow, this cool-climate, rocky vineyard consistently produces some of the most sought-after wines in the Valley.
The HL Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as its companion labels — Two Old Dogs Sauvignon Blanc and Two Old Dogs Cabernet Sauvignon — are primarily available on allocation to our mailing list.
Jennifer met Herb Lamb while both were studying at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. They moved to Napa and started careers in the wine industry, she in public relations and he in ag chemical supply and application. In 1987 they found a rustic, 7 acre, north east facing hillside property in the foothills of Howell Mountain, and terraced and planted it to Cabernet Sauvignon. After selling off the fruit from their vineyard for years, in 1997 they decided to make their own signature wine, and the HL Vineyards label was born. Overseeing all aspects of wine production and vineyard management, Jennifer has expanded sales of their 400 cases of HL from solely direct to consumer to include distribution in several key markets.
Herb Lamb Vineyards
Founded by legendary grape grower Jerry Bookwalter in 1983, Bookwalter Winery has a long, rich history of producing exceptional wines from some of Washington States finest vineyards. The Winery is owned and operated by second generation winemaker John Bookwalter. John and his winemaker, Caleb Foster, focus their efforts on high quality small production red wines.
John Bookwalter is the President and CEO of Bookwalter Winery. John holds a BS in Marketing from Arizona State University and has an extensive background in sales and sales management with companies such as the Gallo Company, WinterBrook Beverage Group and the Coors Brewing Company. John is very active in the wine community and his local community and has chaired or served on the executive boards of the following organizations; the Washington Wine Commission, Washington Tourism Alliance, Visit Tri-Cities, the Washington Wine Institute, Wine America, the Auction of Washington Wines, Tri-City Cancer Center and the American Heart Association. John and his wife Gretchen live in Richland Washington and have two wonderful daughters, Taylor and Jessa.
JUSTIN Vineyards and Winery
Located in Paso Robles, JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery was founded in 1981 and is known for crafting world class wines using Bordeaux grape varieties. Widely recognized for its iconic ISOSCELES Bordeaux blend, the wine that arguably put Paso Robles luxury winemaking on the map, JUSTIN is also known for its Cabernet Sauvignon. The property at JUSTIN features a tasting room, luxury suite accommodations and a restaurant – making it the only winery on the Central Coast to offer all three options. In addition to its stellar hospitality offerings, JUSTIN consistently receives top honors and awards around the world including being named Wine Enthusiast’s 2015 American Winery of the Year and being listed three times in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of the World list. JUSTIN wines are available through discerning fine wine retailers and restaurants throughout the United States, or directly from the winery via JUSTIN’s tasting room, on-line store or to members of the exclusive JUSTIN Wine Society wine club
Justin Baldwin, Founder
Justin Baldwin founded JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery in 1981 when he purchased 160 acres west of Paso Robles on California’s Central Coast and planted his estate vineyards. Since its inception, Justin has focused his efforts on producing world class Bordeaux style blends from the estate vineyards for the JUSTIN label. Justin is a pioneer in producing this style of wine on the Central Coast and his efforts have been rewarded with past and present vintages earning 90+ points by the major wine trade publications.
More encompassing recognition has come from awards such as the Grand Sweepstakes award winner, Best of class, Best of Region, the coveted Pichon Lalande trophy for “World’s Best Blended Red Wine” and Wine Spectators Top 10 Wines of the World. Vintages have received numerous accolades by capturing Decanter Magazine’s “4 Stars”, Restaurant Wine’s “3 Forks” and Connoisseurs Guide’s” 3 Puffs”. Justin has consistently earned the praise of the wine press with recognition from the likes of Robert M. Parker Jr. naming Justin Baldwin one of his “Wine Heroes of the Year” and the “Star of Paso Robles”, the James Beard Foundations “Great American Winemaker Award”, Quarterly Review of Wine’s “Top 3 Cabernet Producers of the Year”, and Wine Enthusiast’s “Top Cabernet and Blended Wine Producers List” for seven years running.
Food and JUSTIN wines go together. In fact, JUSTIN is the only winery on California’s Central Coast to retain a full-time chef whose kitchen works daily to pair acclaimed JUSTIN wines with fresh seasonal and vineyard grown offerings. Justin is an active participant in the wine world. He is a frequent panelist at prominent food and wine events worldwide, is a board member of the Family Winemakers of California, board member of the Wine Institute, board member of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, vice-chair Paso Robles AVA committee, co-founder of the West Side Grand Crew, the Far out Wineries of Paso Robles and The Wellness Community Central Coast. For his contributions Justin has been named the Paso Robles Wine Industry person of the year and has been made a Commandeur d’ Honneur De L’Ordre Du Bontemps Du Medoc.
“One sip of first Growth Bordeaux, and I knew I had to make my own.”
“The rewards of pioneering are greater than the risks.”
– Justin Baldwin
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 story of Macauley Vineyard’s founding is one of the more heart-warming in Napa Valley. A young woman named Ann Macauley Watson, who died unexpectedly three years after her first vintage, began the brand in 1984. Her son, who was only 13 at the time, ultimately followed in his mother’s footsteps, returning to Napa Valley and resurrecting the brand over a decade later. Today, Macauley Vineyard and its proprietor Mac Watson enjoy increasing renown, yet they still remain something of an insider’s secret.
Though Macauley’s original intention was to make the wine himself, he soon conscripted his friend Kirk Venge to help him with production. Kirk, son of well-known Napa Winemaker Nils Venge (Groth, Keenan, Venge, Saddleback), was just launching his own winemaking consultancy, and Macauley became one of his first clients. In the 13 years since the brand’s reboot, Macauley Vineyard’s portfolio has grown slowly, remaining under the radar despite their allegiance to such illustrious vineyards as Beckstoffer To Kalon & Stagecoach.
In December of 2016, Mr. Robert Parker awarded Macauley Vineyard three 98-100 point wine ratings for the following wines:
2014 Macauley Beckstoffer ‘To Kalon’ Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
2014 Macauley Beckstoffer ‘To Kalon’ Vineyard Cabernet Franc
2015 Macauley Beckstoffer ‘To Kalon’ Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Hailey Covey, General Manager/ Director of All Things Dangerous & Sweet
Hailey Covey is the General Manager for Macauley Vineyard, a prestigious winery in Napa Valley, just north of downtown St. Helena, known for its 100pt Robert Parker rated Beckstoffer ‘To Kalon’ Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon & Cabernet Franc. As a member of the four-person Macauley team, Hailey is responsible for assisting in all operations, sales and distribution efforts of Macauley Vineyard and its wines.
Hailey is a native of Dallas, Texas and a J. J. Pearce High School alumnus. She entered the wine industry after initially enrolling as an undergraduate at Texas Tech University. While on summer break during college, she visited family in Napa Valley with an interest in the culinary arts and relished life in a summer amongst the vines! She quickly fell in love with the wine industry, Napa Valley, the surrounding Bay Area and a local, fourth generation St. Helena native.
Hailey has been with Macauley Vineyard since 2012 and along with her warm personality, brings a wealth of sales, marketing and production experience from Hunnicutt Winery, Rombauer Vineyards & Treasury Wine Estates. Hailey holds a Bachelor of Science degree with double concentrations in Wine Business Strategies & Marketing from Sonoma State University. She was also a member of Sonoma State University’s Wine Business Institute Alumni Council & The Napa Valley Vintners Association Technology Committee.
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.
Merry Edwards Winery
Modus Operandi Cellars was founded in 2004 by Dallas native Jason Moore. Modus is considered the boutique of boutique wineries, producing small lots of 2-10 barrels per offering, each year.
Winemaker and Owner Jason Moore grew up working in the Dallas fine dining scene for most of his early years. At the age of 24 he decided to pursue his lofty aspiration of becoming a winemaker by moving to Napa Valley to start his winery. Jason is now a consulting winemaker in Napa and co-owns a digital marketing agency helping small to mid sized businesses gain and engage new customers.
Modus Operandi Cellars
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.
To 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 the University 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.”
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.
Jim 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 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. Winemaker Aaron Pott and Elizabeth Tangney guide the creation of three estate Cabernets and one Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay.
The estate is not open to the public, rather by invitation only. This 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 winemaker Mark Herrold. 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 we make fewer than 1,500 cases of estate Cabernet Sauvignons and one Chardonnay from a special vineyard on Sonoma Mountain.
Silver Ghost founder Weston Eidson’s great-grandfather, John Montagu, was an automobile pioneer at the turn of the last century. Being a British Lord and in Parliament, he was instrumental in much of the early automotive legislation and even gave the future Edward VII his first car ride. He was friends with Charles Rolls and Henry Royce, and his secretary served as the model for the Rolls-Royce hood ornament, the Spirit of Ecstasy, which we still see on Rolls-Royce cars today. Silver Ghost derives its name from John Montagu’s favorite car, the 1909 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost. And like its name, the wine itself is filled with layers of richness, culture and authenticity.
Torii Mor Winer
y 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.
Donald Olson Bio:Torii
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
VHR, Vine Hill Ranch
VHR, Vine Hill Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon is an estate-grown wine of place, the culmination of the Phillips family’s evolution from grapegrowing to winemaking over three generations. Years of traversing vineyard rows and caring for each of Vine Hill Ranch’s seven blocks have imbued a deep understanding of our estate vineyard’s unique characteristics.
To produce a true wine of place, we take a minimal touch approach to winemaking: harvesting at optimal ripeness, meticulous sorting of fruit, cold-soaking, extended maceration, use of native yeast and new French oak barrels. We vinify each lot separately to promote the full expression of the vineyard, and compile the blend on annual basis to reflect a singular expression of the vintage from Vine Hill Ranch.
FRANÇOISE PESCHON 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.
BRUCE PHILLIPS 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.
Vine Hill Ranch
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