McGah Family Vineyards
The picturesque McGah family vineyard estates are nestled just north of Oakville and bordering the Silverado Trail, in an area known for its unique terroir. The McGah family takes great pride in that fact that wines produced with their ultra-premium Rutherford bench fruit have been awarded 100 point scores, thanks to their first-class vineyard management team, impeccable farming practices and quality control. Their personal touch is evident throughout their operation. They are committed to growing exceptional fruit that gives Napa its standout reputation as a wine-producing region.
Although Rutherford represents a relatively small appellation, its distinct microclimate and soils have made it home to some of the region’s most storied wineries. The soils from this upper east-side bench are a mix of red and brown gravelly loam with excellent drainage. The Rutherford American Viticultural Area (AVA) provides the perfect amount of heat to ripen both Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc but also provides the cooler evenings necessary for uniform ripening and full maturity at harvest.
Las Madres Vineyard
Coined the "To Kalon of Syrah Vineyards," this hillside beauty is planted with east-west facing rows and is nestled in a bowl. Planted to clones 300 and 174, Las Madres exhibits a style and structure similar to that of the Northern Rhone region and is staged to yield an average of 3-4 tons per acre.
Literally translating to "The Mothers," each block is named after the vineyard owner's matriarchs; Hulda and Esther. The Esther Block provides a strong core of forward fruit, while the Hulda block backs it up with more structured, earthy components. The vineyard uses organic practices and is farmed for low yields. Always looking for the benefits of extended hang time, we harvest late in the season, achieving the full complexity of Syrah flavors.
Las Madres Vineyards is really hitting its stride. The wines created from its grapes consistently express bright fruit, complex flavors, green and black olive and meaty undertones coupled with an excellent natural acid profile. We share the fruit from this vineyard with Myriad, Orin Swift - The Prisoner and Eric Kent. Wines from Las Madres Vineyards have been showcased in CNN Money, The Wine Enthusiast, The Wine Spectator, the San Francisco Chronicle and Fortune Magazine. Quivet Cellars has been honored to have had this vineyard in its portfolio from the beginning and looks forward to future release single vineyard syrah from this unique site for years to come. Just a stunning site for classic cool climate syrah!
In 1978 Dr. Kenefick acquired 125-acre vineyard property at the foothills of the Palisades Mountains in Calistoga. Kenefick Ranch This vineyard was head pruned, dry farmed, old Italian varietals and over the next 20 years these were replaced with Bordeaux varietals on vertical shoot positioning and drip irrigating for higher quality grapes.
A retired San Francisco neurosurgeon Dr. Thomas P. Kenefick, a native of St. Paul, Minnesota, he is a product of the University of Minnesota Medical School and the Mayo Clinic who, in 1969, ventured west and joined San Francisco Neurosurgical Medical Group. Shortly thereafter Dr. Kenefick fell in love with the Napa wine country and its products and began cultivating his new passion for wine growing. Over the years, he has been selling to a number of world class wineries in Napa Valley such as Shafer, Joseph Phelps, Quivet Cellars, Plumpjack and Pride Mountain Vineyards, among others.
This bench land beauty has the ability to ripen any varietal earlier than most parts of Napa Valley. The attention to detail in the vineyard is without compare. We are even known to fine tune our picks to the point of harvesting the sunny side of the vine weeks before the shaded. Quivet produces both Cabernet and Syrah from the premium block on the most Eastern slopes of the vineyard. Excellent drainage, rocky soils, warm Calistoga days and cool nights bless this site with rich, boastful grapes that fill our wines with stunning blue fruits yet compliment them with polished structure.
In 2011 Quivet Cellars purchased Cabernet from what we consider to have the potential of being one of the top three Cabernet vineyards in the Napa Valley. Rich in history, soils and prestigious neighbors, this is vineyard is a stone’s throw from the highly regarded Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard. Established in 1863, the Pellet Vineyard was among the first vineyards in Napa Valley of significance, and is named after Henry Alphonse Pellet. It joins other world renowned vineyards of historical importance such as To Kalon Vineyard established in 1868, Pellet Vineyard the Dr. Crane Vineyard established in 1864, and the Charles Krug Vineyards, established in 1861.
The Vineyards rich history begins in 1859, when H.A. Pellet was hired by John Patchett to make wine from his grapes near the city of Napa. Charles Krug had made some wine at place in 1859, which was the first wine made in the county other than by the old Mexican process; with Henry Pellet arguably being the second commercial winemaker in Napa County.
In 1863, Pellet purchased 45 acres of land south of the town of St. Helena next to his neighbor, Dr. G.B Crane. He planted 38 acres in vineyards, and the other seven acres was used for the site of his home, the winery, barns, and stables.
In 1864, Pellet made a test batch from Dr. Crane’s grapes. Those efforts resulted with Dr. Crane being hailed as a leader in the new grape culture, and Pellet continued to maintain direction over the success of Dr. Crane's vineyard and cellar until 1866. He was famous as a no-nonsense expert on fermentation practices and for his aggressive winemaking style. Right up our alley!
Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard
Gross Acreage: 25 Acres
Plantable Acreage: 22 Acres
Appellation: St. Helena
Location: West side of the City of St. Helena within the St. Helena AVA
Grape Varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon
Finding great vines comingled with perfect soils, slopes, drainage and ripening is the ultimate challenge for every winemaker. In 2012, we received an invitation to purchase from the prestigious Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard. Planted to vineyard for over 150 years, Beckstoffer Las Piedras traces its history back to the original Mexican land grants. In the 1840's European settler, Edward Bale planted the property, a wedding gift to he and his wife from General Vallejo, to Mission grapes. It became the first vineyard planted in what is now the St. Helena appellation. The vineyard was first planted to wine grape varietals by Henry Amstutz, a colleague of Henry Pellet, one of California's first great winemakers, who established one of the first wineries in the Valley on the adjoining Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard property in 1860. In 1983 Beckstoffer Vineyards purchased the property and planted it to two clones of Cabernet Sauvignon. Impressed with the quality of the gravelly soil, the farm workers named the vineyard Las Piedras, which means little pebbles.
Mostly level, the site belongs to the fan-shaped flood plain created by run-off from Sulfur creek. Gravelly alluvium washed down from terrace deposits of resistant metamorphic and sedimentary rock on the hillsides above. Riddled with rocks and cobbles, the soil is fast-draining, porous and excellent support for vine roots. A unique confluence of vine density and optimal growth creates the right balance for producing ultra-premium Cabernet Sauvignon. The Quivet Cellars Cabernet originates in the middle of block D of this vineyard, which we consider to be the premium section. Vines in this block are grafted to 110R rootstock and planted to Clone 4.
Beckstoffer Vineyards have an international reputation for growing grapes that make wines of strength, richness and equilibrium. Coupled with winemaker Mike Smith's signature purity, depth and smoothness make this single vineyard Cabernet highly anticipated! We are privileged to join a few hand selected vintners invited into this block.
The Alegría Vineyard: a Spanish word meaning joy and happiness, is named in honor California’s heritage and the workers who tirelessly tend to the vineyards. Fitting right into our Quivet motto, this vineyard addition is a delightful hidden gem. Established in 1880, it is nested in a micro valley between Russian River and Healdsburg. It is 17 magnificent acres of rolling hills, slants and slopes with abundant sun exposure. Sustainably farmed and planted mostly to century-old field blend Old Vine Zinfandel, Quivet chose a mini field blend section of Syrah with a mix of Old Vine Viognier intermixed throughout the vineyard. With historic roots and producers like Ridge, Rafanelli and Rosenblum, finding gems like these is like a needle in a haystack. Quivet Inaugural vintage, 2023.
A side note about field blend: Field blend means that the vineyard from where the grapes are harvested includes multiple grape varieties interplanted together. The various grapes are grown, get picked, and co-fermented together. For thousands of years, grape growers did this to ensure a harvest each year regardless of climate and weather conditions. Additionally, the grapes were grown for specific characteristics; some for ripeness, some for acidity, and others for color. By doing so, the winemaker could also maintain a more consistent quality standard. Today, field blends are harder to find as science and technology have advanced so far that those farming practices are no longer necessary. In modern times, the wine blends of today, the grapes are grown and vinified separately and then blended to achieve the desired wine profile. Although our Alegria Vineyard Syrah block is only a field blend of various clones and some Old Vine Viognier, this type of farming adds hidden nuances and complexities you can't find in standard grape growing.
History and Grapes: The original 1890 vineyard was already inter-planted to make a Zinfandel-based field blended wine. In 1950, the famed Rafanelli family planted a second block of Zinfandel and Sangiovese along with Freisa and several Muscat varieties. In 1991, new owners Bill and Betsy Nachbauer added several more inter-planted vineyards with blocks of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Barbera, Cinsault, Dolcetto, more Sangiovese, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Syrah along with smaller amounts of Viognier, Tannat, Cabernet Sauvignon, and many lesser-known varieties. In 2017, two white field blends were planted – An Austrian block with 80% Grüner Veltliner and 22 lesser-known Austrian and central European varieties. As well as a Portuguese block with 80% Alvarinho and at least 17 different lesser-known Portuguese varieties.