Wine - Cabernet Sauvignon - 2014 - Seavey Vineyard
In the 1870s – when Conn Valley Road was little more than a wagon trail – the land which they now farm was planted with grapes to make a “Claret of high repute.” This wine was judged by the St. Helena Star to be “as fine as one might find anywhere.” Commonly known as the Franco-Swiss Farming Company, this was the pioneering vineyard and winemaking operation of Conn Valley. After roughly thirty years of producing great wines, the company dissolved due to the impact of a phylloxera infestation and Prohibition. For more than a half century, cattle roamed the land and grain was farmed but no more grapes were cultivated until Bill and Mary Seavey acquired the land in 1979.
Bill and Mary set out to revive the original vineyard, planting the south-facing hillsides of Conn Valley near Lake Hennessey. By 1990, they remodeled an 1881 stone dairy barn into a small winery and began producing small quantities of Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Small blocks of Merlot and Petit Verdot were also added along with a second winery building which includes an underground wine cave.
Production from the estate’s 40 planted acres is approximately 3,000 cases annually. This small-scale production allows them to maintain consistently high standards in both the vineyard and the winery. Steep, rocky hillsides produce small, thick-skinned berries with outstanding tannins which must be handled very gently. As a result, the winemaking approach is gentle and patient. Stewarded by Jim Duane, our winemaker, and also Philippe Melka, our consulting winemaker, the goal is to create masterful, soulful wines that exude a sense of place and age gracefully.