You must enable JavaScript®!
Gold Medal Wine Club
5330 Debbie Road, Suite 200
Santa Barbara, California 93111
Google+ Google Plus youTube YouTube Pinterest Pinterest Instagram Instagram
Welcome to Gold Medal Wine Club. America's Leading Independent Wine Club since 1992. Celebrating 20+ Years!
View AllView All Packages Package Code
Membership Rewards
Save $$$ in the wine store when you buy six or more wines-- combine any wine*, any series!

*Does not apply to Sale or Specials wines.

Cobblestone Vineyard - Napa Valley

91 Points Wine Enthusiast

While Saul Levine is considered by many as an industry pioneer, he is quick to point out that this laudatory designation was earned in another business---the FM Radio industry. When the Northern Michigan native first came to California in 1945, the fledgling FM radio domain was in its infancy. In Southern California, only a third of all radios were able to pick up the few FM signals that existed. Even though he knew little about the FM field, in 1959 Levine jumped right in and soon became an FM leader through his Mt. Wilson FM broadcasters, an operation he continues to run today.

At one point during the late 1960’s, a close friend introduced Levine to some of his favorite French Burgundies and Saul Levine became interested in wine. That interest grew into a fascination that turned toward California wines and by 1971, Saul and his wife Anita knew they wanted to grow grapes and become part of the wine business. After seeking help from a number of sources including the late Karl Wente, the Levines decided on a 30- acre parcel in the Salinas Valley, in the town of Greenfield to be exact. Saul Levine recalled he liked the “lay of the land” and the fact that it was almost entirely covered with river stones left by an ancient river ions ago.

“It was from the stones (3 – 4 inches in diameter and also known as Greenfield Potatoes) that we got the name for our operation,” Levine related. “Of course, at this time there weren’t many plantings so it was all quite primitive. But everyone thought it was the growing place of the future, so we took our chances.” Levine’s vineyards (which have grown to 50 acres at this time) became part of the storied Arroyo Seco Appellation in 1983 and are considered one of the true prime growing areas on the Central Coast.

After trying some red varietals on the property with little success, Saul Levine replanted the entire acreage in Chardonnay. The vines prospered and soon Cobblestone Vineyards were supplying the likes of Napa Valley giants Robert Mondavi and Hess Selection to name a pair. At the same time, the Levines began a 32-year quest to find a suitable vineyard in the Napa area that was finalized with the purchase of a 25-acre piece in 1997. Located just north of the fashionable Silverado Resort and Country Club, the property was part of the Atlas Peak Appellation and incredibly well suited to growing Cabernet Sauvignon, Saul Levine’s favorite Bordeaux varietal. When the grapes became mature enough to use, Saul made the decision to begin making a small amount of wine under the name of Cobblestone Vineyards. The company released its first wines in 2001 (around 800 cases) and the rest is history. Bolstered by exceptionally high ratings on its wines, Cobblestone Vineyards quickly became a buzz winery in the area and also by the national wine media.

“I was just naïve enough to believe we would be successful,” declared the modest Levine. “I had been fortunate to hire an excellent vineyard manager (Jess Madrigal) and a marvelous young winemaker (Sam Baxter) and have some of the finest fruit you could ever imagine. What I did not realize was just how truly competitive the wine business is.” Yet, Cobblestone Vineyards has continued to dominate. Even though it will produce 2000 cases this year, Saul Levine feels that somewhere around the 1,000 case annual production level is his small company’s ideal goal. He has no intention of Cobblestone becoming any larger than it is now.

“We have a wonderful relationship with Terra Valentine (Winery) on Spring Mountain. They custom crush our fruit and provide us the facilities and space to make our wines. It’s an excellent arrangement that has served both our needs very nicely for nearly a decade.” Saul Levine feels a tasting room in proximity to the vineyards is his next goal and is actively looking for the correct location. He hopes to be as lucky with it as he has been with his first two vineyard choices.

“I was told early on that the harder I work the luckier I get,” he added with a chuckle. “Well, I’m still working hard if you get my meaning.” Through their winery, the Levines have also supported a number of charities in the same spirit as many other Napa Valley entities. Cobblestone Vineyards is truly one of Napa Valley’s authentic shining assets.

  1. Cobblestone
    2004 Cabernet Sauvignon
    Atlas Peak
    Napa Valley


    91 - Wine Enthusiast
    id: 536