Napa Valley AVA
Traditional Bordeaux varieties in Napa Valley
Trinitas Cellars has been an active part of the Napa Valley wine scene for almost twenty years and has enjoyed great success with its portfolio of top flight fine wines. Trinitas Cellars was begun back in 2002 with an initial release of around 4,000 cases. Initial response to the wines was excellent, both from the consumer side and also from the much more difficult aspect of wine competitions and perusal from the legions of wine industry publications and raters.
Through it all, Trinitas Cellars has survived and excelled and is now considered one of the benchmark wineries of the Napa Valley. Its wines have continued their remarkable successes and are much sought after by both wine enthusiasts and collectors alike. But there is a minor change taking place at Trinitas Cellars, a change that fortunately will not affect the continued popularity of the established winery.
Garrett Busch, 32, has made an agreement to purchase the winery from his father Tim Busch, who founded Trinitas Cellars just after the turn of the century.
“This is something I have been working on for some time,” Garrett Busch revealed. “I have been involved with the winery as Director of Operations, so I’m very familiar with practically every aspect of Trinitas Cellars. We have been very successful with the business side of the winery so I don’t intend to change anything. I believe in the axiom, ‘If it’s not broken, don’t try and fix it.”
Trinitas Cellars will produce around 8,000 cases this year and expects to grow substantially in the upcoming half-decade. “If our business plan goes as we hope, I can see Trinitas Cellars reaching the 20,000 case-level during the next five years,” Busch reported. “We will begin concentrating on Chardonnay as our main focus; our reports show us that styles like Rombauer Vineyards and Frank Family Vineyards are they type of wines we want to emulate. We have had the same winemaker for the past thirteen years and he is incredibly talented so we will leave it up to him.”
That winemaker is veteran Kevin Mills, an Oklahoman by birth, who joined Trinitas Cellars back in 2007. He studied viticulture and enology in Texas and then went on to establish Canadian River Winery in his native Oklahoma. He moved to the Napa Valley and has most certainly found his calling in Trinitas Cellars. “Kevin fits Trinitas Cellars as well as possible,” added Busch. “He’s all about the elegance in wine and I’m a big adherent of powerful fruit forward wines. The combination of our likes is hard to beat.”
Mills himself, states his position like this. “My philosophy is this: Pick the fruit when it’s ripe and don’t mess it up! What I mean by that is, when the fruit is great, don’t beat it up. Treat it with love and care. Give the wine the best barrels in which to live; make the environment perfect and protect it from harm (e.g. bad microbes and oxygen). That should do the trick.”
The original label for Trinitas Cellars will not change. Portraying the three elements that affect wine (the Holy Trinity of Winemaking) sun, soil and humanity, the label has something of a cult following among wine devotees. “It will not change,” stated Garrett Busch flatly.
One thing will change, Trinitas Cellars’ tasting facility will move from the Estate Cave location at the Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa to an above ground state-of-the-art facility in the neighboring Vista Collina Resort’s Lower Village section. That space will accommodate a total of nine tasting facilities (including the likes of heavyweights Mi Sueño Winery, Luna Vineyards and Jayson by Pahlmeyer) for different wineries at the site. “Trinitas Cellars will be the anchor tenant in the facility,” reported Trinitas Cellars’ General Manager Sonyia Grabski. “Anyone who comes there will be in for a special time. It’s all about making the occasion a guest experience both for our resort guests and for anyone who really cares about wine and winemaking.”
Trinitas Cellars is in the unique position of being able to dictate the terms of its future growth and exposure. The fact that Napa Valley hosts a plethora of wine-oriented visitors each year and seems to have a never-ending supply of visitors wanting to sample its vinous wares seems tailor made for the soon to expand operation.
We are delighted to introduce our Platinum Wine Club members to this marvelous 2013 Meritage from Trinitas Cellars. We are sure it will be one of the most memorable wines you will taste all year. Enjoy!
Map of the area
Dear Platinum Wine Club Members
You are in for quite the treat! Our 2013 Meritage is not only one of my personal favorites, but a guaranteed crowd pleaser. This decidedly delicious wine has everything you want from Napa Valley. It opens up with a beautiful bouquet of ripe strawberry, raspberry, plum, sweet vanilla and cedar. On the palate, baked strawberry, black raspberry, licorice, and tobacco flavors unfold in harmony as gentle tannins frame the lingering finish. The additional bottle time has really let this meld together, and the result is a complex, rich, and silky Napa Valley blend that we are grateful to share with you.
My parents founded our family winery in 2002. Our family believes that with family, faith, and perseverance, anything is possible. These values illuminated our path to, and successes within, world-class resort hospitality. An industry where success is measured by the happiness and memories you inspire in others. With Trinitas Cellars, I hope that we can inspire the same in wine enthusiasts. Our goal is to craft wine that’s so compellingly delicious, that the joy it brings creates a window in time where worries are melted away, virtues are celebrated, and life is savored.
Should you ever make your way to Napa, we would welcome the opportunity to host you in our beautiful new tasting room. Bring this letter in and we will treat you to two complimentary reserve wine tastings with cheese pairings. We would love to help make your next trip to Napa unforgettable!
Proprietor & CEO
Kevin Mills - Winemaker
Kevin began his career in Oklahoma where he first grew vineyards and eventually started Canadian River Winery with his family. A number of years later, he met Napa owner Tony Peju (Peju Province) and apprenticed for 4 ½ years under winemaker Sean Foster. Named winemaker for Trinitas in 2007, his responsibility involves Trinitas' movement toward mainstream Bordeaux and Burgundian varietals.
Tim Busch, an atypical winery owner.
A lawyer and businessman by trade and a winery owner by avocation, 54-yer-old Tim Busch is something of an atypical winery owner. A native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Busch readily admits that he isn't in the wine business "to make tons of money,” but also agrees "the winery business is the most fun and challenging business that I have ever been involved with.” Tim Busch also places the weekly wine consumer squarely in the forefront of Trinitas Cellars marketing goals.
"Golf courses aren't built for scratch golfers,” Busch explained. "They are in existence for the average Joe that shoots with a twenty handicap and plays two or maybe three times a week. There are many more of these golfers than the really exceptional ones, and it's also like that in the wine business.
It is our philosophy at Trinitas that we should make wines that satisfy the general wine drinker rather than the sophisticated ones with exceptional palates. Since most wine is drunk within 7 to 8 days of purchase, we decided to make wines that were really fruit forward and user friendly. Most consumers drink the wines they buy right away, so there's no real reason to make a wine that must be laid down for a number of years to really mature.”
The matter of style is also supremely important to Tim Busch and Trinitas Cellars. Busch explains it thusly; "A large number of Americans drink wine much in the manner of an aperitif. They find the flavor a bit overwhelming and, in their minds, the wine doesn't really go with food. The real trick for California winemakers is to produce a product that satisfies both the aperitif and dinner aspects of the buying public.” Busch also clarified Trinitas' position that has seen the winery change its focus in recent years to mostly Bordeaux and Burgundy varietals.
"I was fortunate enough to be able to visit hundreds of wineries here in California and also throughout Europe. I found the wineries abroad to be quite unlike their California cousins. Many European wines, and more specifically French wines, are more explicit, and are produced for decades of ageing. These wines are mostly austere and not very drinkable when produced.” Busch pointed to the famous Steven Spurrier 1976 Judgment of Paris blind tasting as the epiphany for the French wine industry. After anointing Château Montelena as the world winner against a number of great French whites, Busch feels that many French producers began changing their wines' style to accommodate their world audience. Changes included more fruit for the palate and less acid for the wines being produced.
He also champions a price structure that makes more wines affordable for the buying public. "At Trinitas Cellars, we insure that the wine is tasteful, the quality is apparent and that the wine is reasonably priced. In that regard, we put ourselves in the position of the buyer. No one wants to feel like they're getting ripped off, so we price our wines accordingly.” Busch also feels that "some people buy their wines like designer jeans. They are more interested in the label and the status of the wine than the actual quality that exists within the bottle. Trinitas Cellars' main goal is to make the wine, not the label, speak for itself. We want everyone who drinks our wine to remember that it really tasted good and that they underwent a wonderful savory experience.”
While Tim Busch's approach isn't unique in the California wine business, his approach and determination is quite refreshing to even the part-time consumer