Not having a specific plan for the grapes, he asked his winemaker Charles Hendricks to make the wine and age it separately. Because the particular vineyard did not have a name, one of his cellar hands chose to label the barrels "Twenty Bench". The name was chosen to signify the 20 tons of fruit from the gentle rising bench land vineyard from which they were picked.
The following year Jim was approached by two of his close friends, James Harder and Jim Gill, who together also happen to oversee the sales and marketing of Jim's own Regusci Estate wines. The two were interested in developing their own wine with one simple mission in mind - to make an exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon that could retail for around $20 per bottle and "over deliver" on quality for the price.
Regusci took them into his cellar and drew a barrel sample of the wine for the two to try. After one small taste both knew that this was the Cabernet Sauvignon they had in mind. When the three men also noticed the name "Twenty Bench" written in chalk on the side of the barrels they also discovered a great name for this special wine. A partnership was struck on the spot.
After just three vintages, the highly allocated "Twenty Bench" has already earned a stellar reputation among some of the countries top restaurants and wine retailers for offering an exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon at a very affordable price. View all Twenty Bench Wines
About Napa ValleyView a map of Napa Valley wineries
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Notable FactsWithin the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just grated an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.