Sequoia Grove Winery Acquisition
Reaching New Heights in Mount Veeder AVA
“The elevation and highly desired soil profiles produce balanced, structured, and complex wines that have remarkable hillside diversity. This new acquisition is incredibly exciting to me as a winemaker as well as for the future of the winery...”
– Jesse Fox, Winemaker, Sequoia Grove Winery
Since its founding in 1978, Sequoia Grove Winery has become one of the most recognizable and critically renowned family-owned producers of Cabernet Sauvignon in the Napa Valley. Through the years, its label has become synonymous with Rutherford Estate wines ... crafted through grower partnerships into elegant wines that express the indelible characteristic from prestigious vineyards and premier AVAs including Atlas Peak, Coombsville, St. Helena, Calistoga, Oak Knoll, and Howell Mountain.
Now, for the first time in its storied history, the winery is excited to announce that it has acquired 104 acres of land within the prized Mt. Veeder AVA. “Mt. Veeder represents an exceptional area for winemaking in Napa Valley and is the first mountain estate owned by Sequoia Grove,” notes Rick Bonitati, President of Sequoia Grove Winery. “We’re extremely enthusiastic for how this acquisition helps diversify our estate properties, our grape sourcing, and the wines we will produce. It is especially important for us to invest in cooler climate sites like this one to help pave the long-term success of our winemaking program, opening up a new chapter and unique opportunity to express this compelling hillside terroir.”
This new property, which sits above the fog line and was originally owned by winemaker Donald Hess, is a distinguished addition from both a viticultural and visual perspective. The vineyard reaches elevations of over 1,700 feet and straddles northeastern slopes of the mountain within the Mayacamas Range, unfolding via a steep road that meanders through a forested area and eventually opens to an expansive vista that spans from the Sonoma Coast to the Golden Gate Bridge. Mt. Veeder is the coolest of Napa Valley’s Mountain AVAs, enjoying gentle morning sun and cool marine breezes in the evening pulled in from San Pablo Bay. This, combined with the unique soils that are remnants of an ancient seabed, result in vines with small berries that are full of concentration and complexity. In the glass, they produce vibrant, mineral-driven Cabernet Sauvignons with a well-defined structure that emphasize balance and invite long-term aging.
After taking an initial selection of fruit from the 2023 vintage, Sequoia Grove will begin a two-year replant with a focus on Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux varieties. Along with its work in the vineyards, Sequoia Grove will maintain the 73 acres that are currently forested as part of its ongoing commitment to preserve Napa Valley’s natural landscape
“Mt. Veeder produces wines of both power and elegance,” says Jesse Fox, Winemaker at Sequoia Grove. “The elevation and highly desired soil profiles produce balanced, structured, and complex wines that have remarkable hillside diversity. This new acquisition is incredibly exciting to me as a winemaker as well as for the future of the winery; it is a privilege to incorporate this site into our vineyard estates.”
Sequoia Grove’s holistic approach to its place within Napa Valley has continued to evolve over the last decade. A complete re-imagining of the winemaking facility and hospitality space culminated in 2018, and all estate vineyards have been or are undergoing complete replants. The recent Mt. Veeder acquisition adds to its 2021 acquisition of the State Lane Vineyard in Yountville, bringing their total farmed estate vineyards to 120 acres. Further, the winery continues to build upon its commitment to precision farming techniques, viticulture, and sustainability. Deeply invested in environmentally responsible practices throughout, Sequoia Grove is certified as a Napa Green Winery and its estate vineyards are certified Napa Green Vineyard and Fish-Friendly Farming.