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PATEL Winery


An important new addition to Napa Valley

Patel Winery owner Raj Patel was born in India’s Gujarat State and came with his family to California in the early 1970’s. They settled in Northern California and became a part of the American scene.

Patel attended the prestigious University of California Davis and majored in finance. Finance? At the country’s top enology school that has produced the cream of American winemakers?

“Yes,” Patel explained during a recent interview. “I actually started in bio-chemistry and when I found that pre-med was not for me, I changed to finance. It was actually the best possible thing that could happen to me.”

Like most students, Patel needed money to live and he accepted an offer to work in the lab at Napa Valley’s iconic Robert Mondavi Winery. The job soon proved to be life-changing for the modest businessman.

“I got to work with the winemakers at Mondavi,” he continued. “And, I developed a deep respect for both wines and the winemaking process. The winemaking team was impressed with my ability to understand and assimilate the complexities of winemaking. I kept it as a hobby and even started collecting wines that really impressed me.”

Patel, now 48, entered the banking business and became a vice-president of the Bank of America. He also involved himself in other business enterprises. In the back of his mind, he retained his love of wine along with his desire to one day become a part of the exciting wine industry.

Raj Patel’s chance came in the mid-2000’s, when he began work on what would become the Patel Winery. His business acumen allowed him to develop a simple plan to produce high caliber wines by utilizing stellar grapes from selected vineyards in and around Napa Valley. He chose the varietals carefully, utilizing fruit from Coombsville, Atlas Peak, Oakville, Carneros and Rutherford, among the most sought after AVA’s in Napa Valley.

Patel also hired Kian Tavakoli (another UC Davis graduate, this time in Enology) as winemaker. Tavakoli started with Opus One and then went to Clos du Val where he headed its Cabernet program. He now serves as consulting winemaker to over twenty wineries and is considered one of the top winemakers in the entire country.

But it is Raj Patel who had lead something of a charmed life, at least in the wine-related aspects of his business. He is also unique in the fact that he is one of the few natives of India to own a winery in California.

Because of that fact, none other than Robert Parker decided to rate his first release. “We only made a total of 100 cases of our first wine and Mr. Parker gave it a 95. I guess you can say that his rating gave us a great start.”

As the saying goes, “and the rest of the story is history.”

Since its impressive debut in 2009, Patel Winery has continued to garner incredible results with its delicately blended wines. Its Cabernet Sauvignons have averaged a whopping 94 points (many wineries never achieve a mark of 94) and Patel Winery’s annual production has sold out every year since its inception.

“With us, it’s always about our ability to manage quality. Each year we exclude the bottom 30% of our production, even if the wine is really good. We sell it to other wineries and our reputation is such that there is always a great demand for anything we offer,” Patel stated. “Some wineries actually get some marvelous wine to work with and everyone is happy.”

Patel Winery’s production is around 1,000 cases and a five year plan allows for some increases (to around 1,500 cases) and the addition of a new winery. Exact plans have not been set as of yet, but Raj Patel expressed a preference for either the Coombsville or Oakville AVAs as a potential site for the winery.

“We are a family-oriented operation that is intent on making well-balanced wines. It’s not all about scores or awards. We simply don’t want to dilute the brand in order to make more wines. Our 2013 wines look to be the best we’ve ever been fortunate to make, and that’s really saying something,” he concluded.

Patel Winery is an important new addition to Napa Valley and it is easy to see why its early success will be long lived. Its ownership has a detailed plan for its future and exceptional quality fruit to rely on for the forthcoming years.

It is our pleasure to introduce Patel Winery! Enjoy!


  1. PATEL
    2010 Proprietary Red Blend
    PATEL
    Red Wine
    Napa Valley

    $60.00

    $60.00
    90 - Wine Enthusiast
    id: 2260
    Platinum

Raj M. Patel - Winery Owner

Dear Platinum Series Members,

Greetings from Napa Valley!
We are pleased to be offering our Red Wine, a Right Bank Bordeaux-style blend, for the first time to the Platinum Series members of Gold Medal Wine Club. The 2010 vintage was an excellent one for PATEL Napa Valley, and we hope you’ll agree. Some of the words that Antonio Galloni (The Wine Advocate) used to describe this wine include “…finesse, elegance, approachable…” and we are grateful to him for saying so.

As owner of a young, emerging winery, my team and I do our best to put our wines in the best places, in front of those that truly appreciate wines that are handcrafted, with passion, grace and style. To that end, we have known David and his team at Gold Medal Wine Club for several years now, appreciate what they do, and we are excited to join them in offering you our wines.

The PATEL Napa Valley 2010 Red Wine is comprised of 70% Merlot, 14% Malbec, 11% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Petit Verdot. It should cellar well for several more years, but can be enjoyed now with up to 30 minutes or so in the decanter prior to serving.

We thank you again and hope you enjoy!

Raj M. Patel

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