Napa Valley AVA
Strala, which means ‘to shine brightly, radiate light, or emit rays’ in Swedish is a play on the couple’s last name (Ray) and it perfectly describes this shining star producer.
Founded in 2014 by Jason and Laura Ray, Strala Vineyards is an ultra boutique winery situated in the esteemed Napa Valley of Northern California. Strala, which means ‘to shine brightly, radiate light, or emit rays’ in Swedish (Laura’s family lineage), is a play on the couple’s last name (Ray) and it perfectly describes this shining star producer with a lineup of expressive wines that certainly stand out in a crowd. We are happy to share this up-and-coming winery and the passionate couple behind it with our Garagiste Wine Club members this month.
Jason and Laura each found their way into the wine industry in a unique way. After growing up in a Swedish family in Wisconsin, Laura took a position in medical sales and eventually moved to San Francisco. She left that career after unexpectedly winning a Master Sommelier blind tasting competition in 2011, when she realized that her true calling was in wine. Laura then worked for a Napa Valley barrel broker, Tonnellerie O, and after a number of years, started her own company selling barrels, corks, foils, and bottles to wineries in Northern California. Jason, on the other hand, grew up on California’s Central Coast and found himself attracted to agriculture. After earning a degree in Fruit Science and Viticulture from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, he took a position with Kendall Jackson working with some of their vineyards. In 2005, Jason started his own high-end vineyard management company, Napa Select Services, and he has grown the operation to work with more than seventy vineyard owners throughout Napa and Sonoma Counties. He is often recognized as one of the top five growers in Napa and is recommended by some of Napa’s best consulting winemakers, including Philippe Melka and Thomas Rivers Brown.
Laura and Jason met in 2013, brought together by their shared passion for wine and the wine country lifestyle, and they founded Strala Vineyards together the following year. They select their grapes from special and diverse vineyards managed by Jason’s vineyard management company and work closely with winemaker Massimo Monticello to craft their premium, unique wines. Strala Vineyards is a dream come true for this passionate, wine-loving couple and we look forward to what their future has in store. Cheers!