Oakville Ranch is a beautiful estate property located in the Oakville Appellation in the hills on the east side of Napa Valley. Their location is among some of the highest end real estate in the Valley – with several prestigious cult wineries as neighbors. They are not open to the general public due to the isolated location and restrictive permit use. The actual 350 acre ranch (about 80 acres planted to vineyards) was purchased by Bob & Mary Miner one of the co-founders of Oracle and after he passed on his wife took over the management.
Recognize the last name? Yes there is a relation to the Miner Family located nearby. This is very highly regarded location for growing Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux varietals. We recently had a chance to drive around the steep property in an all wheel drive vehicle (much needed here!). From the upper parts of the property, there are great expansive vistas overlooking the Napa Valley below. The soil is shallow here, low in nutrients red and very rocky which are ideal growing conditions if you are seeking very small bunches of grapes, with yields extremely low compared to the valley floor grown fruit. This is of course, perfect conditions for producing intensely flavored wines. The estate is absolutely stunning with incredible views of the Napa Valley below and some interesting sculptures including one by Henry Moore. Solar panels were recently installed on the property and now provide much of their electrical needs. One of the nicest and most relaxing areas on the property is outside next to the pool.
This is a women owned and managed winery and their winemaker is putting out some excellent wines. We enjoyed their 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon which is decently priced for a Napa Cabernet, considering the terroir from where it is sourced. It is a wine rich in fruit flavor, most noticeably cherry and blackberry. A touch of oak and spicyness in no way take away from the rather long finish. Their Chardonnay is very popular and often quickly sells out. They also make several other red wine blends i.e., the Roberts Blend. Oakville Ranch has been extremely supportive of the largest annual Napa charity fundraising event – the Napa Valley Auction. In fact their general manager has chaired this event and works on it each year. Oakville Ranch donates 1% of their total gross profits to an organization called 1% For The Planet – funds from businesses who participate in this are distributed to organizations protecting the environment worldwide.