CHEF BIOS

Antica Napa Valley is the Antinori family's breathtaking estate set high in the remote Atlas Peak District of Napa Valley. Antica is a 1,200 acre estate with 550 acres of vineyards. Its hilly terrain, rocky soils and high elevations create above all an estate ideal for vine growing. The Antinori's heritage dates back 26 generations and more than 600 years. The family’s long, storied history of wine making has long been synonymous with the regions of Tuscany and Umbria, but their passion for innovation has led them in a quest to promote new terroirs rich with potential… like Napa Valley. It is the Antinori family's belief that their estate's intrinsic "DNA" will produce wines of great personality and style. Antica Napa Valley's specialties are barrel-fermented Chardonnay and Bordeaux-styled reds, although they have made Pinot Noir, Syrah and Sangiovese wines from vineyards on the estate that have been well-received in addition.

The Antinori family have been making wine for over six hundred years, since Giovanni Antinori became a paid-up member of the Florentine Guild of Vintners back in 1385. Throughout a history spanning twenty-six generations, the family have remained directly hands-on, and yet, their dedication to growth and being leaders in innovation keeps them young and new.

In the early 1970s, Marchese Piero Antinori introduced the Chianti Classico to Tignanello. It was the first Sangiovese to be aged in barrels, the first red wine to be blended with non-traditional varietals like Cabernet and Cabernet franc, and was one of the first Chianti reds that didn’t use white grapes. He is credited with jump starting the Super Tuscan movement. Today, Marchese Piero is passing the reins to his three daughters, Albiera, Allegra and Alessia, having deeply-instilled in them understanding of heritage, passion and the instinct, which have made Antinori one of the world’s leading wine producers.   

Cantine Marchesi Fumanelli – The Squarano estate is located in the heart of the most classical Valpolicella, on a gentle hilltop surrounded by vineyards, cherry and cypress trees. Here the Marchesi Fumanelli family has been growing grapes since 1470, although they sold most of the grapes to other wineries until 1999. Fumanelli is one of the region’s largest and most historic family owned wineries, having 78 acres of exclusively estate grown fruit, within the walls of their ancient property, eight miles from Verona. Armando Fumanelli, the 28th generation of his family to manage the winery, took control of the estate in 1998 after his grandfather passed away. Shortly thereafter he began producing wine under the Fumanelli label. Since joining his historic family winery, Armando has overseen the restructuring of the wine cellars and the replanting of the vineyards in order to bring the Squarano Estate back to its splendor and glamour of past centuries.

The three branches of the Rothschild family have come together and given rise to a single ambition: produce a magnificent achievement as each has always done in their respective fields. To create Champagne Barons de Rothschild, the Rothschild family has put together the best terroirs and added their savoir-faire. Drawing from their experience in the sphere of wine, the Barons have once again created excellence. The advent of Champagne Barons de Rothschild, which adds an illustrious reference to the world of Champagne, could be nothing less than purely and simply great. The Rothschild family have allied forces with Champagne families whose life’s work has been to create outstanding products. This unusual alliance exemplifies shared expertise, demanding quality and deep respect of long-standing tradition. Driven by the passion to innovate and to perform, the Rothschild family have consistently played a vital role in building European intellectual, scientific, cultural and financial assets.

Nestled among gentle hills in the small hamlet of Ama is Castello di Ama, one of Tuscany's pre-eminent estates, responsible for wines of great finesse and elegance. At approximately 480 metres above sea level, it lies in the heart of the Chianti Classico Storico zone, where vineyards and olive groves form intricate patterns. The sixteenth century property is blessed with fine soils and superior terroir. The meticulously cultivated vineyards enjoy optimal sun exposure. Subsequent division of the vineyards into separate, homogeneous parcels and the study of the ripening phases revealed the path to follow: the singling out of the best spots to grow Sangiovese, with absolute quality as the only guiding principle. The Ama vineyards are now divided into five important parcels: San Lorenzo, Bellavista, La Casuccia, Bertinga and Montebuoni. The wines, produced exclusively with grapes from the property, are distinguished by their own style, uniting austerity, elegance and richness.

Château Latour is one the First Growth properties chosen in the Bordeaux 1855 Classification. Situated in the southern portion of Pauillac, the estate borders St. Julien and the Gironde estuary. Latour is considered one of the longest-lasting First Growths, reflecting its high proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon. The blend is typically 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. The fruit is grown in vineyards with notably high levels of gravel and an ideal southeastern exposure. Concentrated fruit and complexity typify Latour. Young vintages are forward and jammy with multiple layers of fruit. Aromas include black-currant, cherry and prune, with a dusty bouquet of mint, leather, cedar, and tobacco. Chateau Latour can age a lifetime and should not be approached for ten to twenty years. Chateau Latour also produces a second wine called Les Forts de Latour and a third wine labeled simply Pauillac.

One of the world's greatest estates, Château Margaux has a history dating back almost eight hundred years. Ranked as only one of four wines to achieve Premier Cru status in the 1855 Classification, it also shares the name of its appellation. Margaux’s 650-acre site, intact since the 16th century, is exceptional. The vineyard is primarily Cabernet Sauvignon (75%), with the balance composed of Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. In addition to the Grand Vin, the estate produces a second label called Pavillon Rouge and Pavillon Blanc de Chateau Margaux is a white made from Sauvignon Blanc. Margaux is considered the most "feminine" of the First Growths. Its sensuous fine tannins give it a sense of clarity. The wine has dark berry aromas of boysenberry and blackberries. The bouquet is characterized by ripe black currants, spicy vanilla and violets. A strong minerality is often found in the lengthy finish.

Established in 2002, Cliff Lede Vineyards encompasses 60 acres in the famed Stags Leap District of Napa Valley. Their state-of-the-art gravity-flow winery boasts a berry-by-berry sorting system and conical tanks commissioned using a design inspired by the tanks of Chateau Latour. One tank per vineyard block ensures each lot evolves at its own pace and acres of caves with single-layer barrel storage ensure access to each barrel at all times. The winery produces Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Their flagship, Poetry Cabernet Sauvignon, is crafted from the steep hillside portion of the estate.

In 2009 Cliff Lede purchased Breggo Cellars, a small Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris producer to the north in Anderson Valley. Breggo Cellars was renamed FEL Wines as an homage to Cliff’s mother Florence Elsie Lede, who dabbled in home winemaking. Two years later, Cliff acquired the Savoy vineyard, a benchmark vineyard for Anderson Valley Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

The winemaking philosophy at Lede Family Wines has always been one of minimal intervention that allows the wines to demonstrate a sense of place. Cliff Lede Vineyards, Poetry, and FEL Wines form a complementary portfolio of wines that are consistently exceptional in quality and true to their source and vintage.

Domaine Ponsot has been a top producer and catalyst for innovation in Burgundy since 1872, when William Ponsot settled in Morey-Saint-Denis, bought a vineyard, which included the 1er Cru monopole Clos des Monts Luisants and a parcel of Clos de la Roche, and began producing wine. In the 1930s, Williams's nephew Hippolyte was among the first producers to start estate bottling, and took part in founding the A.O.C. classification. In the 1960s, Hippolyte's son, Jean-Marie, was one of the pioneers of clonal selection of Pinot Noir. In fact, most of the important clones originate from mother vines in Ponsot's vineyards. Laurent Ponsot joined his father in 1981 and became manager, together with his sister Rose-Marie in 1997. Laurent was responsible for the day to day running of the Domaine until he stepped down in 2017 to pursue personal ventures. Today, Rose-Marie is the sole director of the company, seconded by Alexandre Abel.

Eisele Vineyards, located in the northeast Napa Valley, just east of Calistoga, was established around the Eisele Vineyard, first planted over 125 years ago and principally dedicated to Cabernet Sauvignon for the past 50 years. Since the inaugural release bearing the Eisele name in 1971, this unique vineyard has been widely recognized as one of the greatest terroirs in the Napa Valley. Francois Pinault’s Groupe Artemis, the owner of Chateau Latour, bought Araujo Estate in 2013 and has since renamed it to Eisele Vineyard Estate. Committed to producing estate grown wines of the highest caliber and distinction, the Estate employs organic and biodynamic farming protocols in the vineyard and in winemaking. The Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah wines produced in this remarkable place have a rare combination of forthright character, deep concentration without any sense of heaviness, and the capacity to develop profound complexity with age.

Jackson Family Wines is a collection of independent, premium wineries founded in 1982 by the late wine pioneer, entrepreneur and philanthropist Jess Jackson and his wife Barbara Banke. The company actively remains under the ownership of Barbara and her children Christopher, Julia and Katie. The family vision is to crafts award-winning wines of distinct character and quality from the great wine growing regions of the world. With a focus on sustainable viticulture practices, responsible vineyard and natural resource management and unparalleled winemaking, the family’s portfolio comprises more than 40 renowned wineries. In total they own approximately 14,000 acres of premium vineyards in California, all of which are coastal and from renowned regions such as Sonoma, Napa, Monterey, Mendocino and Santa Barbara. The family has wineries and vineyards in Oregon, Australia, Chile, France, Italy, and South Africa. They also own many other wine industry businesses, including a barrel maker, and distribution companies.

In Burgundy’s Côte d’Or, where the integrity of the producer is often more important than a renowned appellation or vineyard, Maison Louis Jadot is one of the most venerable, trusted and revered wine houses. Founded in 1859, Jadot has grown through a long-term policy of acquisition or management of exceptional lands and now owns 528 acres of vineyards, including nearly 280 acres of Burgundy's most prestigious Premier and Grand Cru plots from the Côte d'Or to the Mâconnais and into Beaujolais. The wines made under the Jadot label are Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée from across the region. Jadot’s winemaking team, now led by Frédéric Barnier, has maintained a balance of tradition and technology that allows the wines to express the subtle differences between terroirs that are the essence of fine Burgundy. Though officially retired in 2013, esteemed winemaker Jacques Lardière continues to work in an advisory role and on special projects.

Lucien Le Moine is a small négociant house in Beaune established by Mounir and Rotem Saouma in 1999. Their aim is to bring to market a maximum of 100 barrels of Premier Cru and Grand Cru Burgundy which they have raised in their cellars according to their most exacting standards of élévage. Every year they select from the best wines of the various appellations. The wine is tasted by Mounir and Rotem immediately after pressing and subsequently purchased, put in the barrels, aged and then bottled. This is consistent with the minimum size of their Beaune winery and allows them to perform every single practice manually and personally, taking care of every detail of each wine. Often there is but a single cask of each wine – their 100 barrels of 2007 cover 68 different wines. These wines are now among the most sought after by Burgundy wine lovers and collectors.

Remoissenet Pére et Fils resides in a striking 14th century building, attached by stone and mortar to the medieval walls of Beaune. Founded in 1877 and housing the largest cellars of aged Burgundy in the world Remoissenet was managed by the great-grandson of its founder Roland Remoissenet until 2005. With renewed leadership under Pierre-Antoine Rovani (formerly of the Wine Advocate) and Bernard Repolt (Maison Louis Jadot), the estate is bringing more vineyards under its own roof. With winemaker Claudie Jobard's non-interventionist, “let the grapes speak” for themselves style this famous house is finding new glory with their elegant estate wines. In addition to the annual harvest, a few extra bottles from the old cellars are sold each year. These ancient bottles are considered rarities and great collectors’ items.

Silver Oak was founded in 1972 by Ray Twomey Duncan and Justin Meyer with the bold vision of producing only Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines are aged exclusively in American oak barrels for around 25 months, and additional 14 to 20 months in bottle before release. This results in exceptional, food-friendly Cabernets that are drinkable upon release. The use of American oak is a hallmark of these distinctive Cabernets, which are produced from two appellations, Napa Valley and Alexander Valley. In 1999 the Duncan Family established Twomey Cellars to focus on non-Cabernet varietals. They source fruit from the best appellations and vineyards in California. Twomey produces six distinct California Pinot Noirs, an estate Sauvignon Blanc, and a single vineyard Merlot in consultation with Chateau Petrus legend Jean Claude Berrouet. The Duncan family's commitment to innovative and sustainable viticulture and winery management practices results in wines of the highest quality and distinction.

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