Born From the Fires
While visiting Calistoga, Eva Chen, eldest son Peter and his fiancé Azumi stumbled upon Meadowbrook Farm and fell in love with the property. Soon after, Daniel Chiang came to see the property and also immediately fell in love.
The Chiang family’s original intention was just to simply enjoy the beautiful property, make small batches of wine for friends and family, and continue selling the premium Cabernet Sauvignon grapes to prominent Napa Valley wineries.
However, during the very first harvest, the unprecedented North Bay Wildfires threatened the family’s newly acquired property and home. With the fire inching ever closer to the property, and no full assurance from wineries that they would still be able to accept the grapes, the family was forced to make the decision to take control of the vineyard and launch their own wine brand from scratch. Kanpai – Japanese for Cheers! – was chosen for the brand in honor of their late grandparents.
Shortly after meeting for the first time, Steve Matthiasson told Peter Chiang that he had worked on Meadowbrook Farm for more than 10 years and was one of the first vineyards he had managed. Steve gave Peter a 2012 red blend with Meadowbrook Farm’s grapes blended in which was the oldest wine using grapes from the vineyard that the family had at the time. Less than a month after that initial meeting, Peter approached Steve and said he needed help launching a new wine brand. Though Steve already had an extremely busy schedule, because of his history with Meadowbrook Farm, and the potential he saw for the wines made from the grapes from the vineyard, he agreed to become both the viticultural consultant and winemaker.
Kanpai’s first wine is a Rosé of Cabernet Sauvignon. Hi no Tori, translates in Japanese to Bird of Fire. The concept behind the design was to combine two symbols of hope from both Western and Japanese culture. A Phoenix is widely known as a symbol of rebirth whereas a symbol of hope in Japan during any sort of disaster is an origami crane. It is common tradition during any sort of disaster to fold 1000 origami cranes as a form of prayer in Japan. From each bottle sold of Hi no Tori, $20 will be donated to California Wildfire relief.
Meadowbrook Farm in the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley is a 26-acre vineyard property with 17 acres planted to Cabernet Sauvignon in 1988. While the vast majority of grapes were blended into premium Napa Valley wines, the Chiang family decided for the first time to produce Estate Cabernet Sauvignon signifying the true expression of the terroir of Meadowbrook Farm.