Baldacci Family Vineyards
Napa Valley AVA
Recipients of extremely high scores for their wines.
There is an intense sense of family pride immediately apparent when speaking with Michael Baldacci about his family’s Baldacci Family Vineyards winery operation.
“We take a great deal of pride in what we do,” stated Baldacci, 23, who serves in the role of operations manager for the Napa Valley business. “It starts with my mother and father (Thomas and Brenda) and it works down to everyone who is involved with our operation. We are a down to earth family and are always trying to make the things we do better and better.”
Baldacci Family Vineyards began just before the turn of the century when Thomas Baldacci saw that some of the grape contracts attached to his Stag’s Leap vineyards were coming to an end. The vineyard land had been purchased a couple of years earlier as a real estate investment but the prospects of a winery and its lasting legacy for his family drew him to begin the operations of a full-fledged winery.
“My Dad and Mom began a dream of producing really high quality wines that seems to have gotten bigger and bigger over the years,” related Michael Baldacci. “I was just a little kid when it all started, but it seems to have worked out quite well.”
Baldacci Family Vineyards’ initial release came in 2000 with a total of 800 cases. This year, more than 2,000 cases will be released to the consuming public. While production has grown, so has the vineyard land the winery possesses.
The original estate vineyards comprise some 13 and ½ acres and house the family’s winery and cave operations. The caves were bored from volcanic rock and house some 7,000 feet of barrel and storage space for wine production. Another 23 acres of vineyards is located in the Carneros District, along Cuttings Wharf Road. This property is home to numerous varietals including Pinot Noir, Merlot, Chardonnay, Syrah and Gewurtztraminer.
Last year, another significant vineyard was added to Baldacci Family Vineyards’ land portfolio. The property is the 8 ½-acre Stella Vineyard in Calistoga, located at the base of the famed Diamond Mountain. Stella Vineyard is another wholly Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard with impeccable credentials. The area is one of Napa Valley’s warmest growing sections and provides an excellent alternative to the estate Cabernet Sauvignon from Stag’s Leap District.
While Thomas Baldacci made his fortune in real estate development, his new winery project definitely has his attention at this time. “Dad spends about half of his time at the winery and the other half with his development business,” Michael Baldacci explained. “He was fortunate to hook up with Rolando (Herrera) in 2003, and Rolando has been our winemaker ever since.” Herrera is now a star winemaker in Napa Valley and also the owner of the well-respected Mi Sueño Winery that has received numerous awards and accolades. Such is also the case with Baldacci Family Vineyards, recipients of a large number of medals and extremely high scores for their wines.
“We have been very fortunate,” added Michael Baldacci. “My Dad and Rolando get along perfectly. Rolando knows what we are looking for in our wines and the superior fruit we produce helps his job of making the wines much more uncomplicated.” For the record, Rolando Herrera’s bother, Ricardo, is also involved with vineyard development and wine production of the winery.
The logo and label for Baldacci Family Vineyards wines was strictly an internal affair. An old family crest contained stag leaves and the letter B was a simple insertion by Brenda and Thomas Baldacci.
Several years ago, a blending of reds from different vineyards prompted the development of Fraternity Red, this month’s Platinum Wine Club selection. The wine salutes the four Baldacci sons (Kevin, Michael, Tommy and Matthew) as well as the unique blending of red varietals.
“We wanted a wine that highlighted grapes other than Cabernet Sauvignon, which has always been the backbone of our winery,” Michael Baldacci added. “We also wanted it to be more accessible and hit a price point that was affordable to a greater number of consumers. In other words, we wanted something that was simply a really good glass of wine. From the reaction of the consuming public so far, I really believe we have accomplished that task.”
The reputation and successes of Baldacci Family Vineyards is already established at an extremely high level and figures to remain so for the future. If family pride and dedication to quality mean anything, the operation will always remain in Napa Valley’s highest and most rarified air.
Map of the area
Rolando Herrera - Winemaker
In 2003, Rolando Herrera took over as winemaker, bringing incredible experience and undying passion to the winemaking process. Under the watchful eyes of Rolando and his brother Ricardo, all of the grapes are minimally handled allowing their unique attributes to come through in the finished wine. Every sip of wine unleashes special qualities of the land and winemaking legacy of the Baldacci Family.
Rolando Herrera has been making wine in Napa Valley for 20 years as a consulting winemaker and now as the owner of his own winery, Mi Sueño. At Baldacci Family Vineyards, he uses the grapes from the Estate property in the famous Stags Leap District to craft outstanding, balanced Cabernet Sauvignons full of rich fruit flavors and silky, lingering tannins.
Dear Platinum Wine Club Members,
It is a pleasure to share with all of you our 2009 IV Sons Fraternity. This wine has become a signature of my family’s winery, blending together four varietals across two of our Estate vineyards located in the Stags Leap District and Carneros. This balanced and layered Red Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Franc honors the bond I share with my three brothers. This wine was recognized by Robert Parker, Jr. of The Wine Advocate with a 91 Point score.
My father, Thomas Baldacci, started the journey to become a premium, boutique Napa Valley vintner in 1997 when he purchased a small Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard in the famed Stags Leap District. Although the property already had a privileged history growing Cabernet for some of the best and well-known producers in the Napa Valley, my father saw a greater potential. We built our winery on that very same property along with our tasting room, and started crafting our first production in 2000.
For the past ten years, we have been fortunate to call Rolando Herrera our winemaker. An intuitive winemaker with tremendous pedigree and a deep respect for the land, Rolando is a true American success story. Rolando started his career as a teenager for the world-famous Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars before ultimately becoming one of Napa’s first Hispanic-American winery owners with his own winery, Mi Sueño.
We hope you enjoy this wine as we do, shared with close friends and family.
Director of Operations,
Baldacci Family Vineyards