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Barlow Vineyards - Napa Valley

91 Points Wine Enthusiast and Connoisseurs’ Guide

Barlow Vineyards began as a result of two generations of the Smith family, Warren and Jeanne (father and mother), and Warren Jr. and Ann (son and daughter-in-law). In 1994, the Smiths jointly purchased a 50-acre site off the Silverado Trail, some two miles below the city of Calistoga in Northern Napa Valley. Parts of the vineyards were decimated by phylloxera in the late 1980’s and were in need of replanting, while a small tract that was more recently planted (1992) formed the basis of the Smiths’ initial production that was sold to local wineries. The younger Smiths and their children moved into an existing farm house and the older Smiths built a new home as the families settled down to the business of growing grapes and replanting the devastated vineyards. Such was the case for four years, until the remarkable 1997 vintage proved impossible to resist. A small quantity (25 cases) of wine was produced, intended for consumption by family and friends, but the winemaker was so impressed that he suggested the wines be sold. The Smiths took his advice and thus was the beginning of Barlow Vineyards – the families have been blessed with success ever since. With the excellent estate fruit source, each of Barlow Vineyards’ wines have scored in the 90’s, a remarkable feat that speaks to the extreme quality of the limited-production wines.