Estee Hill Vineyard
Estee Hill Vineyard is perched on top of a hill on Estee Ave in Napa. It sits just south of the Stags Leap District, just west of Atlas Peak, and just north of Coombsville in the Napa Valley Appellation. The location of the vineyard is in the heart of prime Napa Valley Cabernet growing areas.
Initially, the entire vineyard was planted with Merlot; however, after the movie Sideways was released in 2004, the demand for Merlot dropped considerably. So, in 2010 Muna converted the vineyard to Cabernet Sauvignon. She did leave one acre of Merlot for herself, since that vineyard produced the most incredible fruit.
The terroir is a perfect fit to grow Cabernet Sauvignon, with hillside exposures and rocky soil creating high-quality berries with softer tannins and complex phenolics. Being on a hill gives the fruit eastern exposure, western exposure, and southern exposure. Each of these exposures produce slightly different qualities in the grapes. In the future we may separate our wine offerings to highlight the different exposures to the vineyard. Estee Hill Vineyard is currently the main source of our fruit for the current released vintages.
First Avenue Vineyards
First Avenue Vineyards is a hillside vineyard located in the Coombsville AVA in Napa Valley. Coombsville is the newest AVA in the Napa Valley and has been gaining popularity for the quality of fruit that is grown there. It is characterized by much cooler temperatures than other areas of the Napa Valley due to the cooling effects of the marine air and fog that occur almost daily during the growing season. This creates a longer growing season that allows an extended hang time for the fruit, helping to enhance the phenolics in the berries. The gravelly loam and rocky volcanic soil drain easily and provide the perfect growing medium for Cabernet Sauvignon. First Avenue Vineyards has a complete eastern exposure, which some winemakers claim contributes to softer tannins.
Dan Sakai had been working for the owners of First Avenue Vineyards for almost 20 years when they approached him to maintain the vineyards as well. The next season, Dan took over maintenance of the vineyard but soon realized that he wasn’t equipped to maintain that large of a parcel. However, during that one year, Dan, along with the owner, worked hard at resurrecting the vineyard. The fruit that was harvested that year represents the first vintage for Estee Hill. Dan continued to help with the vineyard as much as he could in subsequent years, but they have since enlisted the help of a quality vineyard management company along with a viticulturist. Estee Hill sources fruit from this vineyard every year.