VHR, Vine Hill Ranch

Cult Wine: VHR
Winemaker: Françoise Peschon
Proprietors: The Phillips Family
Inaugural Vintage: 2008
Annual Production: 300-500 cases
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation: Oakville
Other Wines: None
Estate Vineyard: Yes
Grape Source: 100% Estate Grown


VHR Cabernet Sauvignon reflects nearly one hundred and fifty years of conscientious grape growing. Although Vine Hill Ranch has evolved into winemaking recently, years of traversing its Oakville vineyard rows and caring for each of the ranch's seven blocks have inspired the Phillips family to make a wine of place with a sense of history.

Pioneering Napa Valley growers began farming Vine Hill Ranch in 1884, documenting their annual plantings of grapevines, plums, pears and other crops in hand-scribed reports. These old grower records have inspired VHR's label, a ledger-style listing of vineyard blocks, vine counts, harvest dates and grape yield. In 1959, Bruce Kelham, who helped establish the Point Reyes National Seashore, created Vine Hill Ranch. His grandson, Bruce Phillips, follows in his tradition of conservation and responsible farming. In 2011, the Phillips family were named Growers of the Year by Napa Valley Grape Growers.

As the label suggests, VHR's winemaking techniques derive their inspiration from the land. Vineyard manager Mike Wolf believes there is no better terroir in Napa. Hence the minimal touch approach. Winemaker Françoise Peschon dedicates her efforts exclusively to VHR. Raised in California wine country, with family roots in Luxembourg, Françoise did her apprenticeship at Château Haut-Brion before coming to work in Napa for Araujo Estate in 1993. For VHR Cabernet, she picks the finest fruit from the very best blocks on the property, vinifying each lot separately to promote full expression. The first vintage, '08, was released last year to great acclaim. A powerful and elegant wine, it is the culmination of an illustrious history of farming and stewardship.

Winery Website

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