For over fifty years, the Snowden family has been farming grapes on their eastern-sloped, Napa Valley ranch, which touches both the Rutherford and St. Helena appellations. The property was purchased in the 1950s. Beginning in the 1990s, grapes from the property went to a number of other vintners, including Silver Oak Wine Cellars, Frank Family Vineyard, David Ramey, Viader, and Caymus Vineyards. Commencing with the 1993 harvest, the Snowdens began to retain a portion of each harvest for the production of estate-specific family wines. Gradually, an increasing amount of the grapes produced from the property are being used in Snowden wines.
In 2005, Diana Snowden, 3rd generation of the family, with help from consulting winemaker Dave Ramey, assumed winemaking duties. In 2012, she took over all the winemaking duties herself. In her work history, experiences at Robert Mondavi Winery, Araujo, La Fleur de Bouard in Bordeaux and Domaine Leflaive in Puligny Montrachet. Today, Diana is not only following her true calling as head winemaker for Snowden Vineyards, but is also the oenologist and cellar master for the famed Domaine Dujac in Burgundy, where she lives part-time with husband Jeremy and the couple's two kids.
Today, Snowden Vineyards produces two Bordeaux blends from their estate vineyards and a small amount of Sauvignon Blanc from premier sites throughout the Valley. The wines are a unique marriage of the characteristics of their renowned growing regions and represent one of the very best values Napa has to offer.
|PROPRIETORS||The Snowden family|
|ANNUAL PRODUCTION||3,000 cs|
(SUSTAINABLE, ORGANIC, BIODYNAMIC)
Situated on the eastern slopes of the Napa Valley, the Snowden Ranch lies just east of the Rutherford and St. Helena appellations, a few miles south of the Howell Mountain, and a mile north of Pritchard Hill. At the confluence of these appellations, the Snowdens tend twenty-three acres of vineyards planted in the hidden valleys and on the gentler hillsides of the Vaca Mountains. Elevations on the property range from approximately 450 feet to over 850 feet.
The remaining 137 acres are left unfarmed and are mostly wild woodland. To maintain a balanced and healthy ecosystem within the vineyards, they farm organically and, in the cellar, the wines are made with as little intervention as possible to ensure they honestly reflect terroir, vintage and variety.
The Brothers Vineyard - An 11 acre Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard located on a relatively flat plateau at the top of the first row of mountains on the east side of the Napa Valley. The elevation ranges from approximately 800 to 850 feet. The soil is a remarkably uniform volcanic rhyolite. The Brothers' was replanted in 2011 with three Cabernet Sauvignon clones: Clone 337 (Entav Clone 15), Clone 191, and Clone 169. All of the new vines in The Brothers Vineyard are on 420A rootstock – some as field grafts and some as nursery benchgrafts.
The Lost Orchard Vineyard - Lying at elevations ranging from approximately 800 to 830 feet, this vineyard is located in a shallow bowl between the hilltop plateau and the precipice dropping off into Conn Valley on the east. From above, the vineyard is hourglass shaped, extending generally east-west, with two acres of Cabernet Sauvignon at each end and one acre of Sauvignon Blanc at the center. Soils are predominantly volcanic Rhyolite. The Lost Orchard is the coolest vineyard block on the property.
The wines are all made with much attention to preserving integrity of through fruit, without adding any nutrients or yeasts, and without filtration.