The SOMM Journal

June / July 2018

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Page 108 of 132

92 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } JUNE/JULY 2018 Marque { milestone salute } The Half-Century Marque NAPA CELLARS STAYS TRUE TO ITS ROOTS THROUGH ITS PORTFOLIO OF CLASSIC VARIETIES by Fred Swan / photos by Tia Gavin IT'S HARD TO GET MORE "Napa" than Napa Cellars. Founded in 1976, it was among the first Napa Valley wineries created after Prohibition (the very first opened in 1966). And while the region's worldwide success has placed most of its wines solidly in the luxury category, Napa Cellars is a welcome exception, offering authentic, varietally expressive wines that are startlingly good values. With its signature geodesic dome, the original winery can be found right off Highway 29, the valley's main artery. Napa Cellars has changed hands a few times. But Trinchero Family Estates, its steward since 2006, ensures the wines remain true to the brand promise: 100 percent of the grapes come from Napa Valley. Even the winemaker grew up in Napa. Joe Shirley, who's been at Napa Cellars throughout Trinchero's tenure, knows the valley as well as anyone and better than most. His expertise enables him to select just the right vineyards for complex, delicious wines epitomizing their variety. "Getting the best flavors," he says, "is about when you pick and where the fruit is from." A contemplative Joe Shirley, Winemaker for Napa Cellars.

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