Pinot Noir has always been recognized as one of the noblest red wines, and also one of the most difficult varieties to produce. It has many faces and expressions, from light and fruity to dark and earthy. It is these nuances and qualities that excite us to continually pursue the “Holy Grail” of Pinot Noir. Sean Capiaux founded Capiaux Cellars in 1994, Capiaux Cellars is dedicated to producing single vineyard bottlings of Pinot Noir.
Capiaux Cellars is dedicated to producing single-vineyard bottlings of Pinot Noir, blending traditional Burgundian techniques with a modern flair of knowledge. The philosophy is to produce wines that express the unique terroir from which they came and to have the inherent flavors of the grape and land be the leading attributes rather than new oak, unnatural additives, and influences. When the grapes arrive at the winery they are sorted by hand to remove everything but sound ripe clusters. They are then destemmed and transferred into custom stainless steel tanks. Depending on the vintage and/or the vineyard, stems, whole clusters, or saignée may be employed.
The wine is allowed to soak until the natural fermentation begins, which is anywhere from four to ten days. In general, the common practice of additions of acid, nitrogen, nutrients, and, of course, yeast is avoided so as not to affect the natural flavors and tastes. Minimal amounts of new oak are used, usually 33% and on occasion up to 50% on certain vintages and vineyards, with the remaining oak being one to two years old. The wine is aged in barrel for 10 to 15 months before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. https://www.capiauxcellars.com
O’SHAUGHNESSY ESTATE WINERY
O’Shaughnessy Estate Winery is a small, family-owned vineyard and winery on Howell Mountain in California’s Napa Valley. Their quest to make two great Cabernet Sauvignon wines, is the driving force behind all of their growing and winemaking decisions. Because they are committed to excellence and believe outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon is made in the vineyard, O’Shaughnessy spent nearly seven years finding the perfect piece of land. The 100-acre estate consists of 37 planted acres. These acres have provided the red, rocky, well-drained soils and south facing slopes where they grow the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and other Bordeaux blending varietals for our wine. The vineyard was planned, planted and farmed under the guidance of the winemaker, Sean Capiaux.
Betty O’Shaughnessy Woolls fell in love with the beauty of the land, the vineyards, and the climate of Napa Valley. In 1990, she landed in Oakville with a parcel of land, including vineyards and a home site. Over the next few years, additional vineyards on Howell Mountain and Mount Veeder added to the source available for varieties of grapes. Together with Paul Woolls, they now share a challenging goal of making the best possible wine from the exceptional vineyards they steward. Likewise, they are most fortunate to enjoy family life provided by numerous children (all girls) and even more grandchildren (mostly boys). Betty and Paul continue life’s joyous ride as companions, partners, and winemaking buddies in the O’Shaughnessy Estate Winery. https://www.oshaughnessywinery.com/
NOTRE VUE WINERY
There are only a handful of experiences in life that can be described as such – a moment so awe inspiring that you take pause.
In 1992, Bob and Renee Stein were captivated by just such a moment, as they stood atop a ridge overlooking 710 acres of breathtaking, rolling hills of Sonoma County countryside. This incredible landscape forged over eons would one day fulfill their vision as the Notre Vue Estate. They have established an agrarian heritage through thoughtful determination. The estate vineyards are tenderly cared for and are the foundation for their wines. Preserving the natural beauty of the land has always been at the heart of their vision. For this reason, the estate includes 350 acres of protected open space land, preserving the beauty of Notre Vue Estate for generations to come. This synergy creates a harmony that supports the abundant wildlife as well as the natural flora and fauna.
-Bob and Renee Stein Founders & Owners
Paradigm Winery is owned and managed by Ren and Marilyn Harris, two winegrowers with extraordinarily deep roots in Napa Valley. Marilyn’s grandparents immigrated from Italy to Napa Valley in 1890, while Ren’s family came to California in 1769. Marilyn and Ren moved to Napa Valley in the 1960’s and settled into their home just east of where Paradigm sits today. Through a career in vineyard real estate, Ren learned much about the diverse growing regions in Napa Valley. In 1976, when they decided to purchase vineyards of their own, Oakville was the clear choice. Paradigm Winery was founded several years later and began producing wine with the 1991 vintage.
Ren and Marilyn hired a young and talented winemaker, Heidi Barrett, who has been with Paradigm since the beginning. They all felt a shared passion for making great wine, and a determination to preserve the small, family-owned style of winery that Napa Valley was built on. With an incredibly loyal team, Paradigm Winery maintains a hands-on approach to all winemaking and vineyard operations, nothing is outsourced. Every bottle you uncork was grown, crushed, fermented, barrel aged, bottled and stored on site. Ren and Marilyn have been tireless advocates for the Oakville appellation, eco-friendly farming, and environmental stewardship. They recently celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary.
In 1969, aerospace engineers Norman deLeuze and Gino Zepponi, along with their families, turned their entrepreneurial enthusiasm toward winemaking. These were the early days of California’s wine industry, and they were among Napa Valley’s adventurous winemaking pioneers. Their founding concept was to produce world class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reminiscent of France’s renowned Burgundy wines. They achieved this endeavor by sourcing from the cool Carneros regions of Napa and Sonoma.
The ZD Wines brand highlights the initials of the founding partners’ last names, but it also symbolizes the term Zero Defects, an acronym for the quality control program Norman and Gino worked under while designing rockets at AeroJet, a rocket propulsion manufacturer in Sacramento, CA. Norman’s wife and founding partner Rosa Lee deLeuze quips that ZD also stands for the names of her two cats, Zesty and Delightful.
During ZD’s first decade, the winery was located in a small rented farm building in the Sonoma Carneros. The two founders held down their day jobs while producing wine with their families at this property on weekends, holidays and vacations. The first wine ZD produced was a 1969 Pinot Noir harvested from 4.9 grape tons. This founding wine has historical significance, as it was the first wine to recognize Carneros on its label. The label read: “Made in Sonoma from grapes grown in the Carneros region of Napa.” Only a few precious bottles of 1969 Pinot Noir remain in ZD’s wine cellar. The Carneros region was not declared an appellation until in 1983. https://www.zdwines.com/wine/ZDWINES/HistoryofWineryandVineyards/TheBeginningandTheFounders.asp
STAGLIN FAMILY VINEYARD
Founded in 1985 by Shari, Garen, Brandon and Shannon, Staglin Family Vineyard takes pride in the tradition of family ownership and participation. With an uncompromising commitment to quality, their mission is to produce world class wines that reflect the distinctive character of this historic Rutherford Bench estate. As stewards of this land they farm the vineyard organically, tap in to our solar fields for power and produce the wines in a state of the art underground production facility. They are passionate about this business, this land, their philanthropy and for the meaningful relationships they develop with each passing day.
In addition to the flagship Staglin Family Vineyard label, they also produce a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Chardonnay under the Salus label. Named after the Roman goddess of health and wellbeing, the family donates 100% of the proceeds from the sales of these wines toward fundraising for mental health research, a cause that is very near and dear to their hearts.
At Galante Vineyards their philosophy is simple: grow the finest grapes possible and let the fruit express itself in the wine. Since all of their grapes are estate grown, each bottle of wine they produce embodies the characteristics of their unique region, exhibiting the natural flavors that are born from the land.
The Galante Family has a long history in the Monterey area. Owner Jack Galante’s great grandfather, J.F. Devendorf, was the founder of the town of Carmel. He later built the Pine Inn and the prestigious Highlands Inn.
In 1969, Jack’s parents purchased a 700-acre cattle ranch in rustic Carmel Valley. While still maintaining a working cattle ranch, the Galantes, in 1983, began growing premium grapes on their property, specializing in Cabernet Sauvignon. In 1994, Jack Galante decided to build a winery and use some of his grapes to produce ultra-premium estate bottled wines. Today Galante is recognized as one of the premier Cabernet Sauvignon producers in Monterey County and all of California.
DAWN’S DREAM WINERY
Greg Vita, Dawn’s Dream winemaker, is a fifth generation Californian and early morning long-distance runner, Greg has been a vineyard and winemaking consultant to wineries in the Napa Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains, and Monterey County for the last seventeen years. Prior to opening his consulting business he was with Spring Mountain Vineyards in St. Helena for twelve years serving as Wine Maker and General Manager. A UC Davis graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Botany and Plant Science, Greg has made wine for Frogs Leap, Dunn, Philip Tongi, Spottswood, and Chimney Rock. Since the launch of Dawn’s Dream Winery and Tasting Room in early 2012, Greg has shown his dedication to excellence in the rich, elegant, and complex wines that he produces. Married with two sons, Greg is quiet yet amusingly frank, believing that, as JRR Tolkien said, “The wise speak only of what they know.” He enjoys the outdoor pursuits of hiking, fly fishing, and skiing, and can often be seen commuting between vineyards in Cachagua and his family home in Big Sur–maybe in a Mini Cooper, maybe in a Dodge Ram.