Napa Valley Then and Now

It has been more than 30 years since we first visited Napa Valley together, and it’s sometimes hard to believe how much it has changed since then. The quiet towns of yesteryear now thrive, packed with restaurants and wine-lovers; and the once-sparse landscape has given way to endless rows of vines and wineries. Tasting rooms didn’t exist during our early years of visiting, so wine producers would invite you to sit in their kitchen, on their porch, or in their farm offices while drinking their wine with them.The point of this nostalgia isn’t to age ourselves (that’s inevitable!), but merely to remind us of the simplicity that forms the foundation of Napa Valley. At the heart of our visits back then were these simple, yet intimate, experiences with winemaking pioneers who had a pride and a passion for the wines they produced – they couldn’t wait to share the result of their hard work with fellow wine lovers. And that’s how we feel today. Those pioneers were, and continue to be, our inspiration for what winemaking and Napa Valley are all about. We like to think that we can carry some of the intrinsic charms of old Napa into the future, but maybe we’re just nostalgic saps that fell in love with the dedication and tradition that lies at Napa’s core. The dusty shoes and long days in the vineyard make it hard to tell!

Now that we call Napa Valley home (by way of Minnesota for most of our lives), we look forward to sharing our wines with you, and getting to know you, in the years to come. Feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions. We promise to keep the reminiscing to a minimum.


David & Karen Dunphy
Co-Owners, Black Cordon Vineyards

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