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Barrel Head Cellars

Napa Valley AVA

Premium cult wines with spirited and rebellious personalities

Sailor’s Grave is the inaugural release from the recently established Barrel Head Cellars, a new Napa Valley wine project founded by highly respected winemaker Michael Pozzan with his sons Dante and Matt. The Pozzan family started Barrel Head Cellars to create premium cult wines with spirited and rebellious personalities and an against-the-grain attitude to Napa Valley. Their first wine, a red blend named Sailor’s Grave, is an ode to Michael Pozzan’s late father (Byron Pozzan), a fiery seaman who had as many stories as he did tattoos.

Byron was an ex first officer in the Merchant Marines and a former staff member of the Sailor’s Union in Oakland, California in the late 1940’s. “Sailor’s Grave” was a common tattoo sailors got during this time, not knowing if they would return from sea. The traditional tattoo depicts a ship sinking below the image of an eagle with the American flag. This “Sailor’s Grave” tattoo can be seen in the center of the man’s back on the wine label, as well as Byron’s initials (“BP”), his wife’s initials (“RP” for Ruby Pozzan), and his birth and death dates in roman numerals on the arms. The nurse tattoos signify “The Rose of No Man’s Land,” which is an ode to nurses that helped on the battlefield during WWII. To coincide with the birth and death dates, as well as the dangers of the sea, the nurse on the right represents life and the nurse on the left represents death.

Winemaker Michael Pozzan is highly regarded in California’s wine industry, continuing a legacy of Italian winemaking tradition that began over 150 years ago in Piedmont, Italy. After growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area and spending time on his grandparents’ 35-acre vineyard estate in Healdsburg, Michael learned the winemaking craft first hand and was inspired to continue the family tradition. He founded Michael Pozzan Wines with his wife Mary Ann in 1991, and now supporting the next generation of Pozzan winemakers, started Barrel Head Cellars with his sons in 2010. Michael Pozzan’s wines are consistently praised with medals, honors, and prestigious ratings, and we are delighted to share his latest achievement with our valued Platinum Plus! Series Wine Club members. Enjoy!