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Region: California - Napa Valley - Oak Knoll District
Grapes: Merlot, Cabernet Franc
Wine Style: Red - Rich and Intense
Food Pairing: Beef, Lamb, Veal
Winemaker Notes & Critical Acclaim:
Ripe plum, cherry, and red currant aromas are complemented by elegant undertones of bay leaf and cedar. An abundance of juicy red fruit flavors entice the palate with beautifully integrated layers of fresh herbs followed by cracked pepper and baking spice on the finish. Lush tannins and bright acidity make this a wine to enjoy now and for years to come.
Winery Chef Chris Kennedy pairs our Estate Merlot with savory cuisine like his famous wood-fired mushroom pizza, Merlot glazed barbecued chicken, or grilled ahi tuna. Chef suggests integrating thyme, rosemary or cracked black pepper in your dish to enhance the beautiful fresh spice notes in the wine. Blend: 95% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc - Winemaker Note
About The Producer:
It was never clear how this adventure was going to turn out. In the late ’60s when my family started to grow wine grapes in Napa Valley, there was no one to show them the way. There was plenty of advice, to be sure, but in truth, no one had started a successful Napa vineyard since Prohibition. They were, in a word, crazy.
Their lunacy was infectious, however, and a few other enterprising souls joined the gambit: Tony Baldini, our first viticulturist; David Whitehouse, our first “real” winemaker; Richard DeGarmo, Mr. fix-it; Mary Ware, queen of the office and everyone’s schedule. I grew up with them and consider them all family. A shared passion brought them to us, and my parents received them with open arms. They settled into their respective posts, not as hired hands, but as equals in a shared endeavor. As I settle into my own role in the family business, I find this remarkable dynamic preserved and count myself blessed to spend my days working with old and new friends that quickly feel like family.
The land focuses our energies, as it always has, challenging us to understand its soils, the vines that grow in them, and the way fog drifts through the rows in the morning. It is an eternal learning process – each question answered reveals another be asked – but it’s a journey we love to take with each and every vintage. It also defines us and the wines we make, providing the vital essence of every bottle that bears our name. Decisions made in the vineyard and cellar not only guide the expression of the
One Family. One Estate. One Passion. This is who we are.
The historic winery was constructed in 1886 by a Scottish sea captain, Hamden McIntyre, our winery was originally known as Eshcol. McIntyre designed it as a gravity-flow system: a horse-drawn winch brought grapes to the third floor of the three-story structure for crushing; gravity carried the juice to the second floor for fermenting; and, eventually, the wine descended to the first floor for aging. Eshcol was among a number of wineries McIntyre designed during this period; the others were Greystone (now The Culinary Institute of America), Far Niente and Inglenook.
During the last quarter of the nineteenth century, Napa Valley was a thriving viticultural community with nearly 140 wineries. However, in the late 1890s, phylloxera, a root louse that destroys grapevines, brought wine production in Napa to a crashing halt. Growers soon recovered with re-planted vines, but in 1920, Prohibition arrived, driving a stake through the heart of the wine business. The old Eshcol facility survived by making sacramental wines, but by 1940 was dormant. When the Trefethen family purchased the property in 1968, the winery had fallen into serious disrepair. John and Janet committed themselves to
They carefully researched the winery’s past and worked for years to restore it. Aside from replacing the dirt floor on the first level with concrete, they made no significant structural changes. The
Today, Trefethen boasts a state-of-the-art fermentation facility and 13,000 square foot barrel cellar, but the McIntyre Building remains integral to the winery’s operations. The first floor is still used to age wine and also houses the winery’s Estate Tasting Room and Wine Library. The second floor, which displays the Eshcol winery’s original de-stemmer/crusher, is a barrel-aging cellar for the winery’s Bordeaux variety red wines.