Dancing Hares

Cult Wine: Dancing Hares
Winemaker: Andy Erickson
Proprietors: Paula Brooks & Robert Cook
Inaugural Vintage: 2003
Annual Production: 400-650 cases
Varietal: Bordeaux Blend
Appellation: Napa Valley
Other Wines: Yes, One
Estate Vineyard: Yes
Grape Source: 100% Estate Grown


Dancing Hares is an evolving blend of four varietals, most notable for their use in Bordeaux. It captures the spirit and cadence of each passing year, allowing the grapes to complement one another to much greater effect than any single varietal expression.

There are two secrets to Dancing Hares. One is the tiny, perfectly located and uniquely curated vineyard. The other is the dream team that vintners Paula Brooks and Bob Cook have assembled: Mike Wolf, Andy Erickson and Michel Rolland.

Dancing Hares' five-acre estate vineyard is tucked in Napa Valley's eastern hills, at the foot of Howell Mountain. It consists of two distinct parcels. The upper vineyard is planted on decomposing volcanic rock mixed with red Aiken soil, ideal terrain for Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. The lower vineyard is a virtual bowl of clay loam perfectly suited to Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The Merlot, which thrives in less intense morning and early afternoon light, is planted on the south-facing side of the bowl, while the Cabernet Franc is planted on the north-facing side in order to bask in the afternoon sun.

Four times a year, the winemaking team meets to hone its blend and to determine which vineyard blocks are most outstanding. When a block proves less than stellar over time, it is regrafted to another more appropriate varietal. In this way, the vineyard, along with the wine, is always in pursuit of perfection. Such attention to detail is the hallmark of David Abreu, Napa's premiere vineyard manager, anointed by Robert Parker as one of the seven wonders of the wine world. Winemaker Andy Erickson is another Napa star, who has worked with Screaming Eagle and Harlan, and who currently produces for Dalla Valle, Arietta and Ovid. Andy is particularly drawn to Dancing Hares for its wonderful site and passionate vintners. And Michel Rolland, worldwide consultant, is reputed to taste over 35,000 wines a year.

On their spectacular estate, Paula and Bob have a sculpture of three upright hares frolicking in a circle, created by noted UK artist, Sophie Ryder. They are the inspiration for the wine's name and beautiful silk-screened label. Their perpetual motion and joy tell of lively wines that deliver immediately in their youth and will be on an upward trajectory for years to come.

Winery Website

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