Vineyard Location: St. Helena, CA
Founded by Dan and Margaret Duckhorn in 1976, Duckhorn Vineyards has been crafting classic Napa Valley wines for nearly 40 years. From its inaugural vintage of 800 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon and 800 cases of Merlot in 1978 to its addition of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, Duckhorn Vineyards has crafted a tradition of quality and excellence that continues today.
The quality of Duckhorn Vineyards wines has always been based on a commitment to selecting the finest fruit. Whether carefully sourcing grapes from top sites in the Napa Valley or committing itself to establishing a world-class estate vineyard program, the winery was built on the belief that great wines begin in the vineyard. At Duckhorn Vineyards this has always meant an emphasis on site and terroir. Beginning in 1988, hand-selected Napa Valley properties were purchased for the estate vineyard program, guaranteeing a consistent source of high quality fruit, year after year.
Today, the winery's seven estate vineyards are in Napa Valley and on the slopes of Howell Mountain. The shallow and rocky soil drains easily, forcing the vines to send roots deep in search of water. The rocks retain the day's heat, bringing relief to the vines during cold spring mornings and foggy summer nights. Because of its topography, soils, and climate, Howell Mountain has distinctly different grape-growing conditions than the valley floor. Often during summer months, the maritime fog seeping into the Napa Valley below will not reach the mountaintop, giving Howell Mountain more sunlight and moderate temperatures. As a result, Duckhorn's winemaker has numerous vineyard blocks to choose from, each offering markedly different flavor profiles.
Napa Valley Merlot: Intense aromas of ripe cherry, plum and black fig are underscored by hints of leather and cedar. On the palate, it is supple, with bright acidity and velvety tannins supporting layers of fruit with hints of coffee and chocolate that carry through on the long finish.
Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: Beginning with a gorgeous berry nose with cedar, sage and licorice, this is a lush and lively Cabernet. On the palate, the alluring fruit flavors are underscored by bright acidity, firm polished tannins and notes of fig, licorice and cinnamon that linger on the well-structured finish.
Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc: Aromas of lychee, pineapple cake and nectarine leap from the glass, along with zesty notes of grapefruit and lime. The palate is beautifully structured, striking a seamless balance between its rich, silky texture and the crisp acidity that adds poise and freshness to the bright citrus fruit layers.
Napa Valley Chardonnay: From its gorgeous aromas of nectarine, vanilla and cream to its bright entry and rich, silky texture, this is a vibrant and complex Chardonnay. On the palate, flavors of pear, peach, chai and wildflowers are elegantly framed by delicate hints of French oak, all leading to a long and mineral-driven finish.