Straight A’s

A love of solar power and good grapes makes for a breakthrough Napa wine label.

By Ashleigh Corallo-Hutchison

Sprawling across the valley floor in the heart of the Napa Valley, between the Vaca and Mayacamas mountain ranges, is truly one of Napa’s gems is Oakville, California.

Declared a sub-appellation of the Napa Valley in 1993 and an ode to Cabernet Sauvignon, the history is short, as is the history of award winning producers in the Valley. With only 50 wineries operating in this area—Screaming Eagle, Harlan Estate, Plumpjack and Silver Oak to name a few—these wines fetch international attention and competitive price tags.

The ever famous To Kalon vineyard is planted here, producing the most sought-after Cabernet Sauvignon off the vine in the valley. The Miner Family Winery is located in the heart of Cabernet Country, boasting their flagship wines, Estate Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon and The Oracle.

Miner Family began with a dream to create and share award winning Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux varietal wines from one of the best terroirs in Napa Valley. It’s a love story really, as is all wine worth drinking.

In 1993, Proprietor Dave Miner left his career in the

software business to accept a role as president of the Oakville Ranch Vineyards, owned by his late uncle Robert Miner. The debut vintage of Miner Family came in 1996 after the purchase of the winery from his family. Winemaker Gary Brookman joined Miner Family in 1997 after leaving Joseph Phelps where he started his career in 1980. Sixteen years later, Gary can still be found in the cellar creating each new vintage.

Dave Miner, when not spending time with his two daughters, is furthering his passion with wine and music. During his college years in San Diego, Dave sought out rare guitars—and wines—worthy of collecting. In 2003, Dave commissioned Master Luthier Robert Benedetto to handcraft a custom guitar. The handcarved archtop was stained using Miner Cabernet Sauvignon and features the Miner wings with a grapevine inlay motif in abalone and mother-of-pearl. It’s now known as the original Vinodetto.

In 2006, Dave began investing in Benedetto’sa flagship store front and workshop in Savannah, Georgia. Dave also sits on the Benedetto Board of Directors and created a line of Cabernet Sauvignon called Miner Benedetto Signature Series Cabernet Sauvignon.

Located just off the Silverado Trail, the Miner Family Winery is a familiar icon tucked into the Eastern slope of the Vaca mountain range. The winery boasts impressive solar panels and runs at 100 percent off these grids.

Another sign sunny times lay ahead for a pioneering label. >

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