About fifteen years ago, we began to look for a rural setting as a retreat from the hustle and bustle of city and careers when we came across a small home and piece of land in the Napa Valley. We planted our first Chardonnay vineyard in the Oak Knoll district, north of Napa.
We used a new Dijon clone and also broke Napa tradition by close-row planting, which requires that the vineyard be entirely hand tended. In other words, no tractors. Randy Lewis, an ultra-premium winemaker in the valley, showed immediate interest. Every year, the Chardonnay he has made predominantly from that fruit has received a stratospheric “93” or “94” from the Wine Spectator, which always places it among the top Chardonnays in the country.
Taking the next step, we acquired a much larger vineyard about a mile from the first one. After substantial improvements to drainage and vine care, we were rewarded with excellent Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Pinot Noir. We have planted more Chardonnay as well.
In the past, we sold all of our fruit to top wineries. The Chardonnay and Syrah is bought by Lewis Cellars. The Pinot Noir is sold to Mumm for their sparkling wines. Our Cabernet Sauvignon is purchased by Pine Ridge.
In 2007, we found our dream property on Atlas Peak, 42 acres on the eastern ridge of the Napa Valley. In addition to indescribable views, the 1350 foot elevation along with rocky, volcanic soil and southwestern sun exposure make ideal conditions for superlative Cabernet Sauvignon. Clearing, planting and getting permits for slope development was a slow and arduous process, but the payoff has been worth it. The first vintage released was the 2009 Atlas Peak Cabernet.
For several years, we have also identified select fruit for our own Lobo Pinot Noir. In addition, Randy Lewis crafts a 100% estate Chardonnay for our own "LOBO" label. We have engaged Victoria Coleman, a rising star winemaker in Napa Valley, to help us make Cabernet Sauvignons and Pinot Noir from the Oak Knoll and Atlas Peak vineyards.