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Tom Eddy Wines - Napa Valley


93 Points & Gold Medal & ‘Exceptional”, Beverage Testing Institute

Tom Eddy's career in the wine business began when he was only fourteen, when his penchant for cooking prompted his parents to persuade him to add wine tastings to dining events at their home.

His father was a banker who had been transferred to Davis, California, home of the iconic UC Davis. One of his father's friends was a colleague of oenology professor Ralph Kunkee, who ultimately described the wonders of the wine world to a fascinated Tom Eddy. When he graduated from high school, Eddy went immediately to UC Davis and was a classmate of the likes of Tim Mondavi, Michael Martini, Eric Wente and Randy Dunn.

"I guess you could say I was hooked on wine from the beginning," Eddy related. "After we graduated, I went to work the 1974 harvest for Wente. When it was over, Carl Wente wanted me to stay but there were just too many family members before me and I turned down the job. I asked his help in finding me a job and, thankfully, his efforts were successful."

Thus began a work odyssey that brought Tom Eddy to practically every wine-producing region (and then some) in California. Starting with a large co-op in the south, he worked his way northward toward Napa and Sonoma and finally, at 29, won the job of General Manager/Winemaker at well-respected Chateau Souverain in Sonoma. He moved to Christian Brothers in Napa but decided to go it on his own when Christian Brothers was sold to industry giant Heublein in 1989.

"It was a big decision for me at the time," Eddy recalled, "and many of my friends encouraged me and felt I had the talent to go out on my own." Eddy helped start and develop a number of top wineries, including Goose Creek in Napa, Kunde in Sonoma, and Pepper Bridge in Walla Walla, Washington. For a while he worked with actor Bill Cosby to attempt to buy a winery, but the deal finally fell through. He also developed a vineyard for San Diego Chargers owner Alex Spanos that now falls within the Bell Wine Cellars family. While at Goose Greek, he asked permission to begin making his own brand that he simply called Tom Eddy Wines.

"Our first production in 1991 was just 240 cases," he added. "We were fortunate that the wine was really well received. We have developed rather slowly; in fact we call ourselves the 'escargociant' because our development was so very slow." Eddy feels that maintaining quality is preferable to rapid growth, and has held steadfast to that winemaking philosophy.

Eddy's wife Kerry is also active in the business in sales, marketing and development. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay area, Kerry discovered her own calling in the wine industry at an early age and went on to work for New York’s M. Shanken Communications, which included The Wine Spectator. Also a UC Davis grad, Kerry became the first woman sommelier in the early 1980’s in Honolulu.

Tom and Kerry Eddy have worked together to develop their collection of two distinct wine portfolios: Tom Eddy Wines and the Eddy Family Wines, which includes a Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc. The Tom Eddy Wines, with their longer barreling and extended bottle age, display well developed complexities congruent with rich mountain fruit of Napa Valley. Cabernet is Eddy’s specialty, and his refined talent shines through in his exquisite Napa Valley Cabs.

Only a small amount (945 cases) of the latest Tom Eddy Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was produced and has already garnered huge raves from distinguished reviewers.

Currently on Tom Eddy's plate is finishing the development of a prized piece of property located on the coveted Diamond Mountain just above Calistoga. This new winery site will feature a gravity flow design with crushing facilities above ground and barrel storage in caves underneath.

Tom Eddy is a genuinely good guy winemaker that has finally made a big success in the wine world. His legacy, wherever he has gone, was to help produce extremely good wines for whomever he happened to consult. We are delighted Tom Eddy is finally doing it for himself through the Eddy family of wines and through this month's Diamond Series selection, Eddy's Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Enjoy!



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