The SOMM Journal

October / November 2015

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Page 43 of 132

{ }  43 { cover story } hen John Concannon, fourth-gen- eration vintner, participated in the International Cabernet Symposium in 2012, one clear, proud memory that leaps out is of Warren Winiarski, the legendary founder of Stag's Leap Wine Cellars, who recalled purchasing Concannon Cabernet cut - tings from John's father, Jim Concannon. As John recalls, "Winiarski recounted, 'It was very well known in the industry that you needed to have Concannon Clones and I remember your father carefully brought me moist, burlap-wrapped cuttings, to ensure they were fresh.' Warren was very proud of the distinctive character of his famous Cask 23 wines, which he crafted from 100% Concannon Clone 7, and has as much elegance and complexity as any First Growth." This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Concannon Clones, which were propagated from cuttings off one "Mother Vine," still thriving on the landmark estate, just 50 yards from the tasting room in Livermore, California. "I've looked back at my great-grandfather's notes," Concannon said during a recent tasting, "and he often refers to Livermore as the 'grand laboratory,' which was certainly a consensus with some of the thought-leaders of those days—Dr. Eugene W. Hilgard and Dr. Frederic Bioletti from U.C. Berkeley, Charles Wetmore of the California Viticultural Commission, who opened Cresta Blanca A FOUNDING FAMILY OF California Cabernet CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF THE ICONIC CONCANNON CABERNET CLONES 7, 8 AND 11 by Jonathan Cristaldi / photos by Stephanie Secrest 50 years later, the "Mother Vine" is still produc- ing gorgeous bunches of concentrated fruit.

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