Mark Herold, the winemaker, is an artist who has a strong science background. He hold a PhD from UC Davis. Mark is much like a painter in the way he composes his wines. He can come across as easy going and free spirited, but he is adamant about a few things in winemaking: he uses cool climate fruit for producing our Cabs and with our reds; there is no fining or filtration.
We source our Cabernet fruit from six different vineyards along the Vaca Range: Stagecoach Vineyard on Atlas Peak and we use some smaller, virtually unknown vineyards in Napa's newly recognized Coombsville Appellation. Both Coombsville and Atlas Peak are prized for their cooler climates. In years when the valley floor is hot, and growers are concerned with heat spikes, high sugars and evening rais-ining. The cooler hills have a more temperate growing season allowing for longer hang time. This extending hang time allows for flavor development and preservation of acidity of the grapes.
Lastly, they use all 100% French oak barrels, 95% of which are strong or heavy toast. Also, a generous percentage of our barrels are produced by Darnajou. Darnajou is the sole barrel provider for Chateau Petrus, one of their favorite French wines. They like to say that Darnajou is very "French" in its way of thinking: they will only sell barrels to you if they like your wine. They are very proud of the fact that their wines passed the test and are in the company of the outstanding wines of Chateau Petrus.
Vicki and Tom, along with their children-Vincenzo, Olivia and Benedetto currently split their time between Michigan and Napa Valley.
One of the most prestigious wines of the world capable of great power and grace, Napa Valley Cabernet is a leading force in the world of fine, famous, collectible red wine. Today the Napa Valley and Cabernet Sauvignon are so intrinsically linked that it is difficult to discuss one without the other. But it wasn’t until the 1970s that this marriage came to light; sudden international recognition rained upon Napa with the victory of the Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon in the 1976 Judgement of Paris.
Cabernet Sauvignon undoubtedly dominates Napa Valley today, covering half of the land under vine, commanding the highest prices per ton and earning the most critical acclaim. Cabernet Sauvignon’s structure, acidity, capacity to thrive in multiple environs and ability to express nuances of vintage make it perfect for Napa Valley where incredible soil and geographical diversity are found and the climate is perfect for grape growing. Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that express specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil—as a perfect example, Rutherford’s famous dust or Stags Leap District's tart cherry flavors.