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Displaying items by tag: Napa Valley wines

Twelve of the top twenty-one Napa Valley wines this year (including four of the top-rated wines) were made with fruit grown by grape growers who do not make wine. These top-rated wines were a combination of an independent grape grower and a demanding winemaker, working together to make great wines—the greatest wines in America, in fact, according to the Wine Spectator.

A.  Beckstoffer Marissa pix SMALL CD No. 2 035 head shotAndy Beckstoffer“There is a sea change in the California wine business,” says Andy Beckstoffer, a grape grower whose grapes are the source of seven of the top twenty-one wines. “The idea that a single estate will always make the best wine is simply outdated. Today, some of the best wines are being grown by independent growers who don’t make wine. We focus all of our attention on growing really good grapes. Then we get those grapes into the hands of winemakers who know how to make great wine. Four of our winery clients were in these top wines." That’s in contrast to the older European system, where a single property owner grows the grapes and bottles the wine on the estate. Many California wineries have followed that example, but it may not lead to the best wines.

“There has always been a tradition of independent growers in California, from Martha’s to Sangiacomo Vineyards,” says Beckstoffer. “But today’s top grape growers are clearly gaining the edge. We are producing fruit that stands alone at the top of the rankings by the top publications. If you want to make truly great wine, you need to start with great grapes. With fifty percent of the vineyards in the Napa Valley in the hands of growers, those grapes will likely come from an independent grower.”

The impressive wines are not only recognized by the Wine Spectator. A recent article in the Wine Advocate had similar results for wines made from independent growers, including top ratings for wines made with Beckstoffer’s fruit.

About Beckstoffer Vineyards:

Beckstoffer Vineyards owns and farms over 3,600 acres of highest quality grape growing properties in three Northern California winegrowing regions – Napa Valley, Mendocino County and the Red Hills of Lake County. The company’s commitment to excellence, innovation and to its people is a benchmark for the industry as a whole and a testament to Andy Beckstoffer’s vision, his belief in the future of the industry, and in the community in which he and his family have established such strong roots. In 2010, Andy Beckstoffer was elected into the Culinary Institute of America’s Vintners Hall of Fame, the first grower to be honored with this prestigious wine industry award.


Editor's note: Links to the websites of Napa Valley wineries, as well as hundreds of lodging and dining options in the North Coast, can be found at Taste California Travel's Resource Directory.

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