Somerston Wine Company
Napa Valley AVA
Headed toward Napa Valley stardom with no limits to their success
Located in an area historically known as Rancho Catacula, Somerston Wine Company was founded by Alan Chapman and Craig Becker in a perfectly secluded corner of eastern Napa Valley. Alan purchased the Napa Valley estate in 2005 and after teaming up with wine industry veteran Craig Becker, decided to enter the wine business. He named the entity Somerston, which is a combination of Chapman’s relative Somers (who ran his family’s fortuitous shipping operation) and the word ton, to further denote his shipping heritage.
The Somerston Wine Company estate occupies some 1,628 acres and is made up of two distinct plots of land, separated by only a ridge line. The first piece, known as Soda Valley, was originally called the Priest Ranch and was settled during the 1849 California Gold Rush. It was comprised of 638 acres and was mostly used for cattle and farming. The second section of Somerston is 990 acres of rolling, volcanic land and was originally settled in 1841. It became known as Elder Valley in 1877 and its first grapes were planted in 1970. The combined properties sit at elevations of between 800 and 2,400 feet and provide an incredible number of potential growing sites.
Craig Becker serves as Somerston Wine Company’s general manager and winemaker, and is personally responsible for the estate’s entry into the rarified air of super premium Napa Valley wineries. After earning a degree in wine and viticulture from UC Davis, Becker became the winemaker for Napa Valley’s prestigious Spring Mountain Vineyard, one of St. Helena’s most revered wineries. His achievements at Spring Mountain lead him to consult for a number of Napa Valley’s most respected wineries before helping Alan Chapman launch the Somerston Wine Company in 2005.
Becker ensures that each Somerston release is highly selective, with the intention of showcasing only the best of the outstanding fruit grown on the property. From its early accomplishments, Somerston Wine Company seems firmly headed toward Napa Valley stardom with no limits to its success.