Napa Valley AVA
A small operation run by two wine-passionate families
Deep-rooted wine devotees may be familiar with a wine publication named The Preiser Key, a slick insider’s guide to Napa Valley and Sonoma County wineries and practically everything else. Our Garagiste featured winery for May is Shadowbox Cellars, a tiny production winery owned by the Preiser and Holz families.
Attorney, Monty and his wife Sara Preiser live in Florida while their son Justin Preiser and his wife Stacy actually run Shadowbox Cellars from Napa Valley. Ira & Eydie Holz are a passionate wine collecting couple from the Chicago area who co own the small operation with the four Preisers.
Founded as recently as 2009, Shadowbox Cellars began life as a producer of Syrah and slowly grew to include a number of additional varietals and blends to its limited portfolio. Production is still less than 160 cases per varietal, with most offerings around the 75-case level.
The Preisers’ background in publishing is the motivation for the company’s label. It depicts a small printer’s tray, hung as a ‘shadowbox’ which is filled with items that represent the company’s vintners as individuals and its wines as a group. Some of the items are intensely personal to members of the two families.
Justin Preiser currently runs the winery and devotes more than half of his time to the project while still turning out magazine issues with his parents. After employing different winemakers, Justin made an important decision and settled on a single winemaker.
Shadowbox Cellars’ winemaking chores are handled by a former Texan (Dallas), Jason Moore. Moore is a self-taught winemaker who is passionate about everything wine. After moving to Davis, California to attend UC Davis, the assertive Texan decided it was not a good fit and ventured out to learn for himself. A fortunate meeting with a vineyard owner in Napa Valley led to a partnership that eventually allowed Moore to vastly refine his chosen trade. He fervently believes that winemaking is an art that is rooted in science but can only be learned by making wine.
It is a pleasure to introduce this Shadowbox Cellars 2011 Pinot Noir from the Carneros growing region to our Garagiste Wine Club members. Enjoy!