Napa Valley AVA
An explosive talent who has made some of California's most acclaimed wines from some of the state's most notable vineyards
In the beginning, their relationship closely resembled a fairy tale in the making.
It was 1990 and Julie and Justin Arbuckle were students at the University of California Berkeley. She was an English major and Justin was enrolled in pre-med.
The pair soon discovered a mutual interest in nearby Napa Valley and began a series of trips there that lasted for more than a decade. As the millennium neared, the couple recalled dreaming about the possibility of owning a property in Napa Valley and perhaps even a winery.
Justin Arbuckle’s mother owned a winery in Corrales, New Mexico and thought the idea made a great deal of sense. Julie just wanted to be part of a dream and was willing to endure just about anything to make the vision come true.
Fast forward to 2006 and the Arbuckles made a life-changing decision. “We were pregnant with our first child and didn’t want her to grow up in San Francisco,” informed Julie Arbuckle. “We started looking for some really nice property in Napa Valley that was in the Mt. Veeder appellation. We were already familiar with a number of wines from that area and wanted to replicate the quality and terroir of that section.”
Two adjacent parcels of land (one was 28 acres and the second 21 acres) soon became the basis for their entrance into the wine industry. “The property is perfectly located on a knoll at about 400 feet in elevation,” noted Julie Arbuckle. “We get loads of sun and miss the fog that occurs higher up. If it rains, the water simply rolls down the mountain to our delight.”
The couple planted vineyards that would serve as their estate offerings and released their first wines under the Anthem Winery label. The first 150 cases were quickly scoffed up and the fledgling winery was on its way to fame and fortune in the prestigious Mt. Veeder AVA.
Since Justin Arbuckle was content with his job as an investment banker, the entire job of running Anthem Winery fell to Julie Arbuckle. She plunged into her work and gradually increased the winery’s production to its present level of around 1,500 cases. Along the way, the company amassed a large number of high scores and medals for its wines at the highest levels of competition.
But the real story behind Anthem Winery is still to be written. After years of toil and tribulation, Anthem Winery has recently received the go-ahead from Napa County to proceed with plans for a new winery, tasting room, and set of caves on its property. The entire process has taken a number of years and will greatly enhance the lives of its owners and the direction of the winery itself.
“Just having a tasting room is a major factor,” added Julie Arbuckle. “To be able to reach the tasting public has been a dream of ours for many years. The caves will make us a destination spot that our customers and friends will truly cherish.”
The entire construction process is not complete so Julie Arbuckle is unsure when the project will actually commence. She is aware that additional time and toil will be necessary on her part.
“Since the process is so arduous, we have built a strong management team to ensure the quality aspect of our business remains at a certain level. In our Winemaker, Jeff Ames, we have an outstanding professional who knows and appreciates the value of hard work,” Arbuckle continued.
Ames’ resume is considerable and well earned. Basically self-taught, Ames is an Alabama native that came west and started in the wine business at very basic levels. He worked his way upward and eventually became a noted winemaker. His credits include TOR Wines, Nemerever Vineyards, Schrader Cellars, Maybach Family Vineyards and Outpost Wines, along with his mentor, iconic winemaker Thomas Brown of Turley Wine Cellars fame. Ames’ own Rudius Winery was launched in 2005 and is considered an extremely high-level wine operation.
The exciting label combination Anthem Winery employs is worth mentioning. The front shows Anthem’s exact location with a star, while the back is a virtual tour through the wine’s life and fodder for even the most prudent of wine aficionados.
Wineries such as Anthem are the backbone of Napa Valley’s historic and colorful dossier. These boutique entities add strength to the old adage, “Bigger is not better,” and assure wine lovers exceptional choices at reasonable prices. It is a great pleasure to introduce our Platinum Wine Club members to this exceptional winery. Enjoy!
Map of the area
Dear Platinum Wine Club Members
Anthem Winery is a small, family-owned winery in Napa Valley’s gorgeous Mt. Veeder Appellation. Our 2016 Mt. Veeder Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is an extraordinarily special wine from our own vineyards. Comprised of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, and 7% Petit Verdot, we planted all the vines that produced this ultra-premium mountain Cabernet Sauvignon in 2007 and 2008. Our first harvest was not until 2011, and each year since then, our rock-star winemaker Jeff Ames has only continued to perfect our deep and powerful Mt. Veeder Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Mt. Veeder appellation is known for the rare, intense, and high quality Cabernets it produces. The quality of Mt. Veeder wines is unparalleled, especially when Mother Nature cooperates. Our estate vineyards are planted on beautiful, open knolls atop the western hillsides of Napa Valley. Located at 400 feet in the Mayacamas Mountain range, our vineyards get plenty of sunshine, which allows us to get our grapes perfectly ripe year in and year out. The result is a blockbuster Cabernet that you can decant and drink now, or cellar for 10+ years.
I know that you will enjoy our Mt. Veeder Estate Cabernet as much as we do and hope that you get to share it with friends and family!