“On a cellular level, my body rejoices each time I walk among the vines. I know this because my blood pressure drops and my mind is calm.”
The Baldacci family purchased the Stags Leap District property in 1998 as a real estate opportunity. The investment was especially attractive because there was a knoll-top residence that needed to be finished and this was something that fit into the family’s real estate development business. What wasn’t anticipated was the family’s growing affection for the vineyard! The view kept changing with the seasons, and each weekend the family found themselves immersed in the beauty: the leaves, the mustard, the hawks hunting for mice, the sunset as it dipped down below Spring Mountain and cast its red-orange glow across the Stags Leap Palisades. The initial investment plan went out the window and a long-term viewpoint was adopted: hold on to the land, make a commitment to the next generation through this stewardship and create a space for friends and family to escape from the hectic pace of everyday life.
The Honey B Vineyard, located on Cuttings Wharf Road in the Carneros AVA, was added to the estate vineyard portfolio in 2008. The 23-acre property is planted to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah, Merlot and Gewürztraminer. The Carneros Chardonnay and Carneros Pinot Noir are the cornerstone offerings from this vineyard. The Syrah is produced as a single-varietal wine and can be found, along with the Merlot, in the Fraternity Red Wine Blend. Finally, the Gewürztraminer, which accounts for 20% of the total grown in Napa County, becomes our Frederich Late Harvest Gewürztraminer, the perfect ending to a meal.
In 2013, the estate vineyard portfolio once again expanded with the purchase of the Stella Knight Vineyard. The 8.5 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are located in Calistoga, at the base of the Diamond Mountain District. The region is one of the hottest parts of the Napa Valley, with a soil series of volcanic bedrock and sediment – ideal growing conditions for premium wine grapes. Calistoga’s unique geology and climate offer another opportunity for Michael Baldacci to explore new personalities of Cabernet.