Experience Red 2015
Experience is the dream of Catherine and Travis Vale. Travis was born and raised in the Russian River Valley of California’s Sonoma Coast. He first worked a harvest in 1998, falling in love with the sights and sounds of a working winery. The daughter of a master brewer, Catherine was born and raised in London.
The two met in 2001 while both were traveling in New Zealand. Travis was furthering his education in the cooler climate growing regions of Marlborough. Catherine was finishing up a six-month tour of Southeast Asia and Australia. The tour bus they shared was aptly named the Kiwi Experience New Zealand. “That chance meeting far from our homes was a turning point in our lives,” says Catherine.
Immediately drawn to each other, the two married in 2004 and made their home in the Napa Valley. Travis worked at a family-owned winery while Catherine accepted a position with drinks giant Diageo
Chateau and Estates. In 2010 they struck out on their own journey of growing grapes and launching a new wine brand. Naming the fledgling wine Experience seemed a perfect fit.
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.