Learn about Caymus: the history of the winery and its famed Cabernet Sauvignon.
History of Caymus
In 1972, Chuck Wagner started Caymus Vineyards with his parents, Charlie and Lorna, with a humble plan and an uncharted future. The Wagner family were farmers with deep roots in the Napa Valley – in 1857, Chuck Wagner’s great-great grandfather captained a wagon train to California from Bible Grove, Missouri. Working together for decades, Chuck Wagner and his parents established the family’s work ethic, appetite for innovation, down-to-earth sensibility, and deep appreciation of the pleasures of good food and wine enjoyed with family and friends.
Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon
Today, Caymus Cabernet is one of Napa Valley’s most celebrated wines. Made from grapes farmed in 8 of Napa Valley’s 16 appellations, the wine has a signature style that is dark in color, with rich fruit and ripe tannins – as approachable in youth as it is in maturity. Chuck Wagner continues to make two world-renowned Cabernet Sauvignons – Caymus Napa Valley and Caymus Special Selection. Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon is the only wine in the world to be honored twice as Wine Spectator magazine’s “Wine of the Year” for the 1984 and 1990 vintages.
Undoubtedly proving its merit over and over, Napa Valley is a now a leading force in the world of prestigious red wine regions. Though Cabernet Sauvignon dominates Napa Valley, other red varieties certainly thrive here. Important but often overlooked include Merlot and other Bordeaux varieties well-regarded on their own as well as for their blending capacities. Very old vine Zinfandel represents an important historical stronghold for the region and Pinot noir is produced in the cooler southern parts, close to the San Pablo Bay.
Perfectly situated running north to south, the valley acts as a corridor, pulling cool, moist air up from the San Pablo Bay in the evenings during the hot days of the growing season, which leads to even and slow grape ripening. Furthermore the valley claims over 100 soil variations including layers of volcanic, gravel, sand and silt—a combination excellent for world-class red wine production.