A Story from a Grateful Winemaker: A 40-Year Journey

joe cafaro portrait

This will mark the twenty-first year for Cafaro Cellars, established 1986. It hardly seems possible to me. In 1996 my wife Libby and I had just acquired our own vineyard, and the oldest of our three children was just entering high school. It was a landmark year.

Having made wine for other people for years it was very exciting to think that we could own this special piece of ground. Owning your own vineyard allows for complete control over the grapes, and can make a huge difference in the ultimate quality of the wines. We chose a hillside location; just south of the Stag’s Leap appellation that offers intensely fruity and concentrated long lived wines.

Check out our interview with Joe Cafaro in 2011.  The latest video will launch on Cellar Angels on 5/26/14.

As I reflect on Cafaro Family Vineyard’s history, I am mindful of that old adage – the more things change, the more they stay the same. After more than 40 years of making wine in Napa Valley I find that I am still passionate in my belief that the winemaker’s role is to unlock the inherent expression that exists within the grape. Few other crops on earth can so evocatively reproduce for human senses the landscape from which they emanate. A good winemaker is the guardian of that most unique quality.

Pretty heady stuff, but what does it really mean? For me it means keeping a keen eye on the vineyard, and continuing to seek balance in the cellar, incorporating new vine management techniques and blending to create aromas and tastes that are both complex and accessible.

For you it means that when you open a bottle of our wine you can expect a beverage that will compliment your meal, rather than compete with it.

And so, a toast to family and friends. We invite you to join us as we celebrate our past and look forward to another great vintage!

You can experience Cafaro Cellars’ boutique wines on Cellar Angels starting 5/26 and support your favorite cause with proceeds from every purchase. 

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