Sciandri Family Vineyards
Napa Valley AVA
Only 800 cases this year, a fact that places them in the boutique sector of California wineries
There are a host of “family” oriented wineries within California and most are considered successful from a business standpoint. The word family implies a plentiful number of family members involved in the winery who take great care in the production and handling of their namesake wines. Most are smallish in nature operations with limited production.
Such is the case with Napa Valley’s Sciandri (pronounced Shawn-dre) Family Vineyards that is located in the small town of Coombsville, just north of the town of Napa. Coombsville is an emerging AVA, having gained appellation status in December of 2011. Coombsville is comprised of a number of small farmers that have produced fruit under the larger Napa Valley appellation for many decades. The favorite grape varietal is the magnanimous Cabernet Sauvignon and its insatiable pedigree for producing full-bodied, rich red wines that can age with the world’s best mature wines.
“My mother and father originally intended to just produce fruit to sell to other wineries,” informed Rebecca Sciandri Griffin, a co-owner of the operation who was prominent in the initial establishment of the Coombsville AVA. Griffin is a full time employee of Sciandri Family Vineyards who deals with the marketing and sales of her family’s wines. “When I saw the area, I immediately fell in love with it so my husband and I moved our two boys up here. We just love the place and the people; everyone gets along and helps out whenever asked.”
Sciandri Family Vineyards own approximately 20 acres of which five are currently under vine. Their property also contains a three-acre pond that figures into the company’s strategy of their operation. More on that later.
After seeing the quality of the fruit they were able to produce and the exuberance displayed by the wineries that were purchasing their grapes, the family decided to enter the wine business for themselves.
“Our first release came in 2006,” Rebecca Griffin added. “We produced five hundred cases and were extremely pleased at the reception our first wines received. It’s one thing to think we are doing something special with our wines, but it is truly reassuring when others recognize our efforts.”
For the record, the entire family gets together on winemaking decisions. “To get a family of opinionated Italians to agree on anything is quite an accomplishment,” injected Griffin. Sciandri Family Vineyards has grown minutely in the last eight years and will produce only 800 cases this year, a fact that places them in the boutique sector of California wineries.
“At Sciandri Family Vineyards, our emphasis is not on numbers,” explained Griffin. “We use no pesticides and work under the premise that the fruit tells you what it wants. Each vintage tends to be different and our small size allows us to take advantage of vintage variation.”
Sciandri Family Vineyards is also a part of the expanding Napa Green program that seeks to address all aspects of land property with a goal of long-term improvement and sustainability. The winery is currently land certified and is very active in the implementation of the basic values of the organization.
“We are also a Fish Friendly Farming winery,” added Griffin. “It’s the cycle of life that occurs right in front of you. All work together toward a common goal.”
In addition to Don and Roberta Sciandri (mom and pop), Griffin has two brothers, Ron and Ryan, who work in and around the winery along with her two boys, Scian (pronounced Shawn) and Tanner who help in the vineyards and package all of the family’s wine club shipments.
The winemaking chores are handled by Don Baker, a UC Davis graduate who has had stints at Joseph Phelps Winery, Vichon Winery, Ehler’s Estate Winery and Merryvale Vintners along with a long association with William Hill Winery. He also worked internationally for Kendall-Jackson’s Chilean project, the Vina Calina Winery.
The family’s vineyards are supervised by well-respected Javier Renteria, a local legend in vineyard maintenance circles and the owner of his own successful Javier Renteria wine label.
Sciandri Family Vineyards is well established among the highly successful boutique wineries that make up the heart of the California wine community. Its bold label and successful history of high scores in wine competitions assures this delightful undertaking of continued success in the future. The fact that it is indeed a “family” run and operated business in all regards makes it even easier to identify with its ongoing success.
It is our pleasure to introduce this marvelous winery to our Platinum Wine Club members.
Map of the area
Dear Platinum Wine Club Members,
To thank you for supporting the Gold Medal Wine Club, we are excited to share our 2007 Sciandri Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon. Our family started out as growers. Planting our vineyard in 1999, we were honored to provide fruit for some of the most prestigious winemakers in the valley. The inspiration to change from grower to vintner came to us following a visit to the small village where our family resides in Italy. Our ancestors have been making house wine for generations and we hoped to continue in that tradition.
In 2006, we launched Sciandri Vineyards in the Coombsville Appellation of Napa Valley. The convergence of family and wine can be seen on our label. The leaf pays tribute to the town we are from, La Quercia, which translates to “the oak” in Italian. Each grape on the cluster represents a member of the family, while the dual triangle pattern and blue color scheme was inspired by the town flag of La Quercia. Our hope is that our wine can be used as a vehicle to bring together family and friends.
Our grapes are grown on our estate in the Coombsville region of Napa. Coombsville is the 16th, and Napa’s newest AVA (American Viticultural Area). It’s a quiet area, in the southeastern corner of the Napa Valley, tucked up against the foothills of the Vacas Range, just outside of the historic town of Napa. Most people who visit Napa never pass through it, or even know it exists. Coombsville wines can be recognized by their typically soft but significant tannins, which provide excellent structure and mouthfeel, along with underlying layers of earth and mineral flavors. Coombsville weather is also unique. We often say it is the first place the fog rolls in from the San Pablo Bay and the last place it leaves. This allows us to have a long, slow ripening period as our vines bud early and our grapes are usually among the last to be harvested.
We hope you enjoy this wine as much as we enjoy making it.
Ron and Roberta Sciandri