Revana Family Vineyards is owned by Dr. Madaiah Revana who currently is a practicing Cardiologist in Houston, Texas. He grew up however, on a farm in a small village in southern India near Bangalore. His family grew rice, vegetables and coconuts. His early introduction to agriculture, perhaps provided the seeds of interest in eventually owning a vineyard and a winery. He acts as a managing vintner (stays hands off from the winemaking) whose primary focus is to provide the necessary resources and overall vision – supporting his winemaking team so they have the resources and top vineyard sources to make exceptional wine.
Dr. Revana went to the University of Mysore in southern India for medical school – then moved to the United States and completed his fellowship at Baylor University in Dallas, Texas in 1978. After Baylor, he moved to Houston and established his medical practice. Friends introduced him to fine wine – his palate and wine collection was geared towards Bordeaux wines – after visiting a friend in Tuscany, Italy – he became interested in possibly owning a vineyard.
Dr. Madaiah purchased the land in 1997 (after attending a Mayo Clinic conference in Napa) – at the time he purchased two separate parcels and combined them into one property. Neither property was planted to grapes at the time and but vines were planted soon after his purchase. The first vintage of Revana Family Vineyards dates from 2001 and the winery construction was completed in 2004. All fruit comes from this estate vineyard. The actual vineyard is located directly behind the winery; it is 9 acres planted to several clones of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. These two additional varietals are often used to bring additional complexity to the palate as well as build structure on the wine’s finish.
Despite being relatively small at only 9 planted acres, there are many different soil types spread throughout this vineyard and their rootstocks and plantings have been adapted accordingly. The main focus here has always been on a single wine, an estate Cabernet Sauvignon (under 2000 cases). Well respected Napa vineyard manager Jim Barbour planted the initial vines and has managed the Revana vineyards since then. Jim is the one who actually located this property and then brought it to the attention of Dr. Revana.
Revana Family Vineyards is located on the east side of St. Helena Highway just south of Lodi Lane. Tastings are by appointment only (when you face the winery from their parking lot, walk all the way to the right and enter the last door which opens into their elegant tasting room). A typical tasting includes different vintages of their Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is popular; Revana has built up a loyal following and vintages tend to sell out rather quickly. Such is their focus on this one wine that they have taken many steps to ensure this wine is of the highest quality.
Dr. Revana has assembled an A-class caliber team of wine related professionals over the years including well-regarded winemaker Heidi Peterson Barrett and Thomas Rivers Brown. Heidi has a long history of making wines for some of Napa’s most prestigious and boutique wineries and still is winemaker for a select few including her own label La Sirena. Wwhen she was making the wine here you would often see a few bottles of this around the tasting room – and during her time at Revana, she also made her own wine here as well wine for Jim Barbour (Barbour Vineyards). Heidi has a masterful attention to detail both in the vineyards and in the winery. Her wines are expressive, balanced and food friendly. Heidi was also instrumental in helping design the winery.
The 2006 Revana Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon was just released at the time of our tasting. Their wine tends to age slightly longer than is common with most winery current releases. The bouquet shows a dusty or earthy component complemented by ripe black fruit including blackberry and black cherry. This is a soft elegant wine with intriguing layers of flavor (mostly black fruit). It shows a well-rounded finish anchored by broad tannins. There is ample structure on the finish yet it is in balance, complemented nicely with the lingering plum/berry flavors. Heidi estimates this will drink nicely through 2020.
Should you find yourself in the Willamette Valley (about a hours drive south of Portland) in Oregon stop by Alexana Winery in the Dundee Hills appellation. Alexana is also owned by Dr. Revana and the name comes from combining part of his last name and his daughter’s first name. The focus of Alexana is on Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris.
Not one to sit still for very long Dr. Revana has branched out internationally and has more recently oversaw planting of vineyards in Mendoza, Argentina. His 17-acre vineyard, called Corazon Del Sol (heart of the sun), a nice play on words is a tribute to his son named Arun.
NOTE: This review has been identified as needing a *major* update.
The wines are selectively distributed to most states and some international destinations. For more information, to schedule a visit or to join their allocation list, visit: www.revanawine.com