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Gold Medal Wine Club
5330 Debbie Road, Suite 200
Santa Barbara, California 93111
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Trinitas Cellars - Napa Valley

Traditional Bordeaux varieties in Napa Valley

Trinitas Cellars was established less than a decade ago by owners who wanted to show that the Good Lord had a specific hand in making their wines. The name Trinitas was chosen (Latin for trinity) since it is considered to be the fundamental principle of Christianity. In the mind of the winery founders, Trinitas or Trinity also symbolizes sun, soil & humanity, which are the three ingredients that evoke the perfect wine.

“We believe that the combination of the always present sun, a wonderful assortment of soils and the ability of the winemaker’s hands can co-create with God, a most beautiful expression of drink, which we all call wine,” informed Tim Busch, the owner of Trinitas Cellars. “In other words, we are attempting to give back something to everyone that God has given to us.” Trinitas began modestly back in 2002 with a release of around 4,000 cases. Production has grown steadily and around 14,000 cases will be produced this year. “Over the next three to five years, we hope to reach the 25,000 case level, but much will depend on the market and the industry conditions that exist at that time,” Busch added. Trinitas Cellars’ striking label reinforces the theme of its existence. A symbolic sun is featured with a workman-like hand rising from the soil can be found on most bottles. Other religious themes, a rosary, angel wings, and even a papal seal denote additional projects for Trinitas Cellars. The winery is also closely connected with another Busch Family business, the incredibly beautiful and well-received Meritage Resort and Spa that is located about eight miles south of the winery in extreme Southeast Napa County. The resort complex is one of four hotels that Busch owns, the other three being located in Southern California’s Orange County.

The actual tasting room for Trinitas Cellars is located in a cave that is part of the resort, and is a must for any visitor to Napa Valley. It is located forty feet below the iconic Grape Crusher statue that graces the southern end of Napa County. Called the Estate Cave, the complex is nestled nel coure della terra (literally, "in the heart of the earth"). The hushed serenity of the cave, with natural stone, water features, and extravagant furnishings, offers guests an environment unlike no other in the entire wine country. It is part of the wine theme that is the focus as well as the resort’s heart and soul.

“When a guest arrives at Meritage (rhymes with heritage),” Tim Busch pointed out, “there is a bottle of wine present in the room. Everywhere the guest travels, the theme is wine and the enjoyment of the same. We located our tasting room in a cave on the property to afford everyone a unique insight into the wine business and the way wine affects our everyday lives.” Trinitas Cellars has also enjoyed a great deal of success with its wine portfolio, as witnessed by the numerous awards and accolades the winery has garnered since its inception. However, the praise and honors gained by Trinitas are secondary in the mind of its owners.

“We realize that the wine business is one of the most romantic and exciting in the entire world,” he added, “and that consumers want to know everything about the winery and its owners. The fact is that while the business is a great deal of fun, it’s not really all that profitable. We don’t really do all this just to make money, it’s more of a payback for all that we have been given ourselves.” Such a noble and heartfelt approach is typical of Trinitas Cellars and its fundamental approach to the wine business. As consumers, we are all the beneficiaries of such thinking.

Gold Medal Wine Club is sure you will enjoy the wine selections of Trinitas Cellars as much as we take pleasure in offering the wines to you. If ever there were a feel good winery to present for its own sake, Trinitas Cellars would be our first choice

  1. Trinitas
    2005 Proprietary Red Blend
    Old Vine Cuvee
    Napa Valley


    Double Gold Medal
    id: 260
  2. Trinitas
    2005 Petite Sirah
    Highway 88
    Napa Valley


    90 - Wine Spectator
    id: 379
  3. Trinitas
    2006 Pinot Blanc
    Saralee's Vineyard


    Gold Medals
    id: 380

Winemaker Kevin Mills

Kevin began his career in Oklahoma where he first grew vineyards and eventually started Canadian River Winery with his family. A number of years later, he met Napa owner Tony Peju (Peju Province) and apprenticed for 4 ½ years under winemaker Sean Foster. Named winemaker for Trinitas in 2007, his responsibility involves Trinitas’ movement toward mainstream Bordeaux and Burgundian varietals

Tim Busch, an atypical winery owner.

A lawyer and businessman by trade and a winery owner by avocation, 54-yer-old Tim Busch is something of an atypical winery owner. A native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Busch readily admits that he isn’t in the wine business ‘to make tons of money,” but also agrees ‘the winery business is the most fun and challenging business that I have ever been involved with.” Tim Busch also places the weekly wine consumer squarely in the forefront of Trinitas Cellars marketing goals.

‘Golf courses aren’t built for scratch golfers,” Busch explained. ‘They are in existence for the average Joe that shoots with a twenty handicap and plays two or maybe three times a week. There are many more of these golfers than the really exceptional ones, and it’s also like that in the wine business.
It is our philosophy at Trinitas that we should make wines that satisfy the general wine drinker rather than the sophisticated ones with exceptional palates. Since most wine is drunk within 7 to 8 days of purchase, we decided to make wines that were really fruit forward and user friendly. Most consumers drink the wines they buy right away, so there’s no real reason to make a wine that must be laid down for a number of years to really mature.”

The matter of style is also supremely important to Tim Busch and Trinitas Cellars. Busch explains it thusly; ‘A large number of Americans drink wine much in the manner of an aperitif. They find the flavor a bit overwhelming and, in their minds, the wine doesn’t really go with food. The real trick for California winemakers is to produce a product that satisfies both the aperitif and dinner aspects of the buying public.” Busch also clarified Trinitas’ position that has seen the winery change its focus in recent years to mostly Bordeaux and Burgundy varietals.

‘I was fortunate enough to be able to visit hundreds of wineries here in California and also throughout Europe. I found the wineries abroad to be quite unlike their California cousins. Many European wines, and more specifically French wines, are more explicit, and are produced for decades of ageing. These wines are mostly austere and not very drinkable when produced.” Busch pointed to the famous Steven Spurrier 1976 Judgment of Paris blind tasting as the epiphany for the French wine industry. After anointing Chateau Montelena as the world winner against a number of great French whites, Busch feels that many French producers began changing their wines’ style to accommodate their world audience. Changes included more fruit for the palate and less acid for the wines being produced.

He also champions a price structure that makes more wines affordable for the buying public. ‘At Trinitas Cellars, we insure that the wine is tasteful, the quality is apparent and that the wine is reasonably priced. In that regard, we put ourselves in the position of the buyer. No one wants to feel like they’re getting ripped off, so we price our wines accordingly.” Busch also feels that ‘some people buy their wines like designer jeans. They are more interested in the label and the status of the wine than the actual quality that exists within the bottle. Trinitas Cellars’ main goal is to make the wine, not the label, speak for itself. We want everyone who drinks our wine to remember that it really tasted good and that they underwent a wonderful savory experience.”

While Tim Busch’s approach isn’t unique in the California wine business, his approach and determination is quite refreshing to even the part-time consumer

About The Region

This month’s featured wines originate from varied sections of California’s all-encompassing Northern California growing areas. The 2006 Pinot Blanc was grown in the Russian River Appellation of Sonoma County, where cool nights and ever-present moisture from the not-too-distant Pacific provides excellent growing conditions for this infrequently seen Burgundian varietal. The suddenly popular 2005 Petit Sirah hails from the celebrated Lodi soils of the Upper Central Valley that typically produces deep colored, rich grapes that are abundant in fruit, so necessary for the Petit Sirah.

The final selection, the 2005 Old Vine Cuvee features a blending of a number of dry farmed vineyards around the little town of Oakley in the very northeast corner of Contra Costa County. These spectacular vineyards are the living heritage from early Italian and Portuguese farmers who settled in the area. Blessed with ample sunlight and almost excessive heat, these vines are growing on their own roots (on-grafted) in the very sandy soil left more than a millennium ago by the San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers.

Slow Cooked Pulled Pork Sandwich


1 Teaspoon Vegetable Oil
1 (4 Pound) Pork Shoulder Roast
1 Cup Barbeque Sauce
½ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
½ Cup Chicken Broth
¼ Cup Light Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Prepared Yellow Mustard
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
1 Extra Large Onion, chopped
2 Large Cloves Garlic, crushed
1 ½ Teaspoons Dried Thyme
8 Hamburger Buns, split
2 Tablespoons Butter, or as needed


Pour the vegetable oil into the bottom of a slow cooker. Place the pork roast into the slow cooker; pour in the barbeque sauce, apple cider vinegar, and chicken broth. Stir in the brown sugar, yellow mustard, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, onion, garlic, and thyme. Cover and cook on High until the roast shreds easily with a fork, 5 to 6 hours.

Remove the roast from the slow cooker, and shred the meat using two forks. Return the shredded pork to the slow cooker, and stir the meat into the juices. Spread the inside of both halves of hamburger buns with butter. Toast the buns, butter side down, in a skillet over medium heat until golden brown. Spoon pork into the toasted buns and enjoy!

Braised Lamb Shanks with Petite Sirah Reduction Sauce


Olive Oil
6 Shallots
12 Apricots, diced
5 Garlic Cloves
6 Large Lamb Shanks (10 ounces each)
Salt and Pepper
Flour for dusting
¾ Cups Crushed Canned Tomatoes
¼ Ounce Dried Porcini Mushrooms
1 ½ Tablespoons Herbs de Provence
3 Cups Trinitas Petite Sirah
Italian Parsley
Cooked vegetables of your choice


Heat 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add shallots, apricots, and crushed garlic. Saute until shallots have softened. Remove and transfer to a small bowl.

Salt and pepper lamb shanks. Dust with flour. Heat 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil in heavy pot over medium-high heat for braising. Add lamb shanks and cook until browned. Turn occasionally. Add tomatoes, mushrooms, Herbs de Provence, and Petite Sirah. Stir to coat lamb. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until lamb is very tender, turning lamb a few times in the process (about 1 ½ hours). Uncover and cook to reduce sauce until it’s a rich blend.

Place in a platter, surround with other cooked vegetables, sprinkle with Italian parsley, and enjoy with the Trinitas 2005 Old Vine Petite Sirah.