MEMBER PROFILE: TOM FARELLA, FARELLA VINEYARD

Tom Farella’s original inspiration to enter the wine trade began as a youngster at the dinner table and was fortified by a family trip to France when he was 13 along with some gentle prodding by father Frank.

He graduated from UC Davis in1983 with a degree in Viticulture and Enology while holding down weekend and harvest work with Neyers Vineyards and Flora Springs Winery.  His first full-time job was as winemaker at Preston Vineyards in Sonoma County which he left after six years to work in Burgundy, France for Domaine Jacques Prieur in Meursault. 

The work/travel bug persisted so he then worked in Oregon for a harvest at Ponzi Winery, then in the vineyard for Beaux Freres.  It was after this rich experience in 1990 that he came back to Farella Vineyard full time.  In addition, he consults with other small, family owned brands and makes wine for several custom crush clients at the Farella winery in Napa. 

He is also the author of the Coombsville – Napa Valley sub-AVA which was approved in 2011.  The Farella Vineyard is located on a hillside in the heart of the Coombsville AVA.  In addition to being the source of fruit for the 100% estate wine production, 80% of the grapes grown on the estate are sold to other Napa Valley premium wineries including Realm, Lail and Far Niente.

MEMBER PROFILE: TRACEY REICHOW, BLACK CAT VINEYARD

A decade spent in the world of investment banking taught Black Cat Vineyard founder Tracey Reichow that there is no substitute for hard work and “doing your homework". The tenacity and drive that were essential in the business world proved invaluable in establishing a winery when Tracey, her husband Rick and their two children moved to Napa Valley in the mid-1990's. Tracey spent the 90’s studying winemaking at U.C. Davis, viticulture operations at Napa Valley College and wine business marketing at Sonoma State College. With the help of family, friends and an intrepid Black Cat, Tracey pounded stakes, drove tractors, trenched and installed irrigation and personally planted and grafted all of the vines in an effort to create the perfect vineyard in Coombsville.

For 20 years Tracey Reichow has been growing and crafting her Coombsville and other Napa Valley wines entirely by hand, with a remarkable passion for perfection. She is a “first-person” winemaker, authentically hands-on in the time-honored tradition of the craft. Tracey is also a first-person farmer whose “boots on the ground” philosophy takes her through the vineyards daily. This personal relationship guides her viticultural and winemaking decisions, ultimately leading to wines that express the distinct character of the grapes and their vineyards.

MEMBER PROFILE: Ken Bernards —ANCIEN

The majority of Ken’s 25+ years of winemaking experience have been centered in the Coombsville district. His first position in the Napa Valley, as Research Enologist at Domaine Chandon, provided a broad experience through interaction with a range of Napa and Sonoma wineries – all the while focusing on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Through these shared experiences with others, he had the opportunity to taste and discover the exceptional quality and unique characteristics of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay produced from the Haynes Vineyard, planted in 1966. This inspired him in 1995 to plant, in partnership with Bill and Angela Mink, the Mink Vineyard that became the first Coombsville offering from Ancien. In a classic case of serendipity, he met Duncan and Patricia Haynes a few years later and in 1998 moved his winemaking operation to the Haynes Vineyard also serving as a consultant for the Haynes. Ancien now produces vineyard designates of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the Old Vines at Haynes Vineyard as well.

In subsequent years, his Coombsville focus broadened to include acting as Consulting Winemaker for Richard Perry Vineyards in 2000, Tournesol Vineyard in 2003, and Porter Family Vineyard in 2005. His range of varietal experience in the Coombsville climateinclude Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and even a little Semillon, Viognier, and Dolcetto. He enjoys being a proponent of the versatility and unique characteristics of the volcanic soils, cool, andlong growing season in Coombsville.

ANCIEN — Coombsville

Premier Napa Coombsville Lots: Rocca Family Vineyard—Lot 168

2014 Rocca Family Vineyard Collinetta Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon — Coombsville: Lot 169 (5 Cases)

Produced from grapes grown in the premier blocks of the Rocca Family's estate vineyard in the Coombsville AVA, the 2014 Collinetta Cabernet Sauvignon lot is delivering waves of blackberry fruit that covers the palate. It will be aged 20 months in French oak before bottling.

The winemaker, Paul Colantuoni, is a veteran of Robert Mondavi Winery, Neyers Vineyard, Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and Brancaia in Maremma on the Mediterranean coast of Tuscany. Paul makes use of a diverse palette of flavors and textures when working with grapes planted in the Rocca's Collinetta vineyard, which include two clones of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.


Premier Napa Valley Coombsville Lots — Merus: Lot #150

2014 MERUS CABERNET SAUVIGNON —COOMBSVILLE: LOT #150 (10 CASES)

The 10 cases of the 2014 Merus Cabernet Sauvignon up for auction at Premier Napa come from a well situated vineyard in Coombsville where the grapes enjoy a much cooler growing season and hence longer hang time. The wine is dense and nuanced, typical of the Merus style. The wine will age for 24 months in new French oak barrels.

Dave Lattin, who has made wine at Robert Pecota, Acacia and Kuleto, is the winemaker. Lattin employ a slightly more natural approach to making the wine including more native yeast, less acidulation of the must, some cooler fermentations.

Premier Napa Valley Coombsville Lots: TOURNESOL —Lot 128

2014 Tournesol Vertice Cabernet Sauvignon — Coombsville
Lot 128

Bob and Anne Arns present as Lot 128, a five case lot of Tournesol estate-grown 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon. Produced with small amounts of Malbec also grown in their Coombsville vineyard, the wine will age 24 months in French oak barrels. The wine was made by renowned winemaker Ken Bernards.

The Tournesol vineyards, planted in 1999, lie on 15 acres of gently sloping terrain 300 feet above the valley floor. The southern edge of the property is bordered by Murphy Creek while the northern edge includes Lake Louise, a recreational lake fed by Witweather Creek. The five Bordeaux varieties are planted and used by Bernards to craft a small collection of limited production wines.