The mission of Accenti Wines (at-chentee) is to use knowledge and respect to make wine with a global perspective that sends you somewhere with each sip.
James and Lorenza Allen focus on rehabilitating old vineyards in Napa Valley and experimenting with minimalist winemaking to make wines with balance, substance, and soul. They channel their experiences learning, working, and tasting around the world.
Being good stewards of the vineyards and the ecosystems within them is the team’s top priority. Things tend to go more easily with the winemaking afterwards when the vineyards are balanced. The small team spends a lot of time thinking about the environment surrounding the vineyards – the flora and fauna, the life underground, and the climate that the vines bask in throughout the season.
Humans may be able to turn on the A/C or put on a jacket, but the vines are fully intertwined with their community through all the weather and stress. Cover crops, careful pruning, and nourishing the living soil are great ways to help the vines handle whatever nature throws at them.
Accenti Wines farm three tiny vineyards around Napa Valley; two in St. Helena and one in Calistoga. They all present different challenges, but the team sticks to organic and regenerative methods through it all.
“Over the years, as the soil and ecosystem around the vines has become more diverse, we’ve noticed the wines getting more distinctive and lively.”
Partnerships with other like-minded growers around Northern California give Accenti team even more interesting variety to play with. These experiments give them insight into their own farming and allow them to present more delicious and accessible styles from outside the Napa kingdom.
The combined experiences and educations have taught the team how to use any winemaking technique. However, the best tool of all is attention to detail…or maybe a forklift. Wines that are carefully grown and then carefully made don’t need much of anything.
Spontaneous fermentation, low-extraction, and moderate oak influence are trademarks of Accenti style in the cellar. They don’t add stuff like yeast, bacteria, tannins, or enzymes to the wines because they believe that well-farmed fruit and careful winemaking removes the need for additives.
Each lot remains on its lees until it is bottled, allowing the team to use little to no SO₂. They constantly experiment in the vineyard and cellar to find new ways of revealing the vineyard’s best characteristics.
Nuance, balance, and distinction are the holy trifecta of good wine for Accenti Wines.
“If you take a sip and feel a sense of nostalgia for places you’ve never been, we’ve done our job right.”
The wines labeled as ThereAfter are the results of experiments from James and Lorenza’s first three vintages together with the vines and the wines – the first incarnation, when their wines found shape, substance, and soul. There are still a few delicious examples of these that can be found around the country.