Napa Valley AVA
Founded in 1997 by two young winemakers, Richard Bruno & Chris Condos
Vinum Cellars was founded in 1997 by two young winemakers, Richard Bruno and Chris Condos, who met and became friends while studying viticulture and enology at UC Davis. They shared a fondness for European wines and the more obscure varietals, and even today, some seventeen years into their Vinum Cellars wine project, they continue to specialize in these “underdog” varietals. After graduating from UC Davis, Condos went to work for Pine Ridge as Enologist and Bruno went on to become the head distiller at Randall Graham’s iconic Bonny Doon Vineyard before becoming the director of winemaking for Don Sebastiani and Sons. When they decided to start working together, their combined experience was rather remarkable.
Today, Vinum Cellars works with a number of great grape growers throughout California and produces wines from fourteen different varietals. The appellations Bruno and Condos source from include Clarksburg in the North Sacramento Delta, El Dorado County, Napa Valley, Santa Barbara, and San Benito County. Most of their wines are made in very small batches and represent experimental winemaking methods, while also preserving an old world approach.
“The Scrapper” is a special wine from the El Dorado Foothills that Bruno and Condos have been making for twelve vintages now – and no surprise, it represents one of their favorite “underdog” varietals, Cabernet Franc. Bruno and Condos named this wine “The Scrapper” (a fighter) because they believe the varietal is sometimes forgotten in the shadows of the more popular varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon. The scrapper image on the wine label is photo of Gene Tunney, the 1926 Heavyweight Champion of the World. He defeated the more popular fighter, Jack Dempsey, twice in order to win the crown – a feat no one else ever did. Bruno and Condos hope this metaphor serves as a good reminder to never underestimate the quality and potential of the underdog.
What’s more, “The Scrapper” Cabernet Franc has an incredible legacy of multiple award-winning vintages and 90+ ratings, which definitely has our attention. We hope you enjoy this bottling from Vinum Cellars – truly a scrapper and a great one at that.