Araujo Estate Wines
|Araujo Estate Wines|
|Location||Calistoga, California, USA|
|Key people||Bart and Daphne Araujo, founders
Nigel Kinsman, winemaker
|Known for||Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon|
|Varietals||Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon blanc, Syrah, Viognier|
Araujo Estate Wines is a California winegrowing estate founded by Bart and Daphne Araujo. Located in Calistoga, California within both the Calistoga and Napa Valley AVAs, the estate produces a small portfolio of limited-production wines from the organically and Biodynamically farmed Eisele Vineyard.
Araujo Estate Wines is widely considered to be one of California's "cult" wineries, and has been classified as a "five star" winery by the Wine Spectator writer James Laube and included in Robert M. Parker, Jr.'s The World's Greatest Wine Estates: A Modern Perspective. The Eisele Vineyard was called "the object of a cult like no other among California wine lovers" in The World's Greatest Wines by Michel Bettane and Thierry Desseauve, and the winery's flagship wine, the Araujo Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard, was listed as a "First Growth" in Fine Magazine's "Napa Valley Classification."
In 1990, Bart and Daphne Araujo bought the 162-acre property in Calistoga that included the 35-acre Eisele Vineyard. The vineyard had originally been planted in the 1880s to Zinfandel and Riesling; it was first planted to Cabernet Sauvignon in 1964. Bart, who had come from a career in home building and mortgage banking, and Daphne, who had a background in landscape architecture, had been interested in acquiring an historical vineyard property. When they purchased the Eisele Vineyard from Milt and Barbara Eisele, they decided to build a winery on the property. Daphne stated "Our intent was to have a vineyard. But before we even closed escrow, Bart realized that it was important to also make the wine, to control the whole process from beginning to end." Shortly after purchasing the property, the Araujos built a barn-like winery out of redwood and dug caves into a hillside of the property.
Araujo produced its first vintage of Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon in 1991. Since its founding, the winery has worked with some of the best-known winemakers in the industry, including Tony Soter, Mia Klein, Françoise Peschon and consultant Michel Rolland. Its Eisele Vineyard Cabernet has earned consistent acclaim in the Wine Spectator and from Wine Advocate's Robert Parker. Today the winery continues to retain Françoise Peschon and Michel Rolland as consultants, and Nigel Kinsman is Winemaker. The vineyard manager is Caleb Mosley, formerly of Ridge Vineyards.
The Eisele Vineyard
Named for Milt and Barbara Eisele, who owned the vineyard prior to Bart and Daphne Araujo, the Eisele Vineyard has long been known for the quality of its Cabernet Sauvignon. Eisele provided grapes for what is thought to be the third vineyard-designated Cabernet Sauvignon in California, a 1971 from Ridge Vineyards. Joseph Phelps made a vineyard-designated bottling from Eisele Vineyard for several years starting in 1975. The vineyard is located on an alluvial fan near the northern end of Napa Valley, and features cobbly, mineral-rich soils.
The Araujos began farming the Eisele Vineyard organically in 1998. Soon they began looking into farming the vineyard biodynamically, an agricultural practice that eschews chemical inputs of any kind and coordinates the timing of farming practices around the lunar and astronomical calendar. In 2002 the vineyard was certified Biodynamic.
On average, Araujo produces 2,000 cases of Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon annually. In addition, the winery also produces a second Cabernet-based wine called Altagracia as well as small quantities of estate-grown Sauvignon blanc, Syrah and Viognier.
- Mcinerney, Jay (2010-09-24). "How Bart and Daphne Araujo Cultivate Their Cult Cabernet | Jay McInerney on Wine - WSJ.com". Online.wsj.com. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
- Laube, James (1999). Wine Spectator's California wine. Running Press. ISBN 978-1-881659-56-3.
- Parker, Robert (2005). The World's Greatest Wine Estates. Simon & Schuster. p. 587. ISBN 978-0-7432-3771-0.
- Bettane, Michel and Desseauve, Thierry (2006). The World's Greatest Wines. Stewart, Tabori and Chang. ISBN 1-58479-557-3. ISBN 978-1-58479-557-5
- "Napa Valley Classification". American FINE Wine Magazine (Fine Publishing ltd.) (November). 2009.
- "Araujo - a Calistoga exception | Fine Wine Writing & Wine Reviews from". Jancis Robinson. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
- Chiarello, Michael (2001). Napa Stories : Profiles, Reflections, and Recipes from the Napa Valley. Stewart, Tabori and Chang. ISBN 1-58479-116-0.
- "Araujos' Eisele vineyard, lineage of luminaries - SFGate". Articles.sfgate.com. 2010-02-14. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
- Laube, James, Wine Spectator (April 30, 2000). "Harlan Estate".
- "Araujo Estate Wines Appoints Nigel Kinsman as Winemaker". Winebusiness.com. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
- "Araujo Estate Wines Appoints Caleb Mosley as New Vineyard Manager". Winebusiness.com. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
- Eisele Vineyard sold to Chateau Latour owner, San Francisco Chronicle, July 25, 2013