Handcrafted Luxury Wines from Black Cat Vineyard
For owner, winemaker, and farmer Tracey Reichow of Black Cat Vineyard, winemaking is the ultimate partnership between her and the earth itself. “With 20 vintages of winemaking under my belt, I am well-acquainted with the science of winemaking, but ultimately, it’s my experience and personal relationship with the vines and Mother Nature, a.k.a. Boss, that drive my decisions in winemaking.”
It’s through this respect for the earth that Reichow and her team create exclusive, highly allocated wines sourced from the most prestigious regions of the Napa Valley. Priced at $55 to $105 per bottle, each vintage is a sell-out. No longer selling to shops and restaurants, Black Cat wines are available exclusively at their winery and to their Members Only club members.
“While I am well trained and make good use of current wisdom and modern technology, my ability to produce fine wine is ultimately driven by personal involvement and understanding of the land, its vines and the wines they produce,” said Reichow.
Daily presence in the vineyard and winery allows her and her team to develop an intimate sense for the vines and their wines.
Black Cat’s team of four, three of them family, are laser focused on 10 different wines, most of which are single-vineyard and Members Only Collection wines. “We craft several single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons from Coombsville, Howell Mountain, Rutherford and St. Helena,” said Reichow. “We are also well known for our Estate Syrah and our proprietary blend, Family Cuvée. In addition to those wines, we produce small lots of Cabernet Franc, Mountain Zinfandel and Chardonnay.”
Named by her kids after the family cat after they planted their first vineyard in 1996. ‘Black Cat’ (his real name) was a steadfast companion as they dug holes and planted vines together. “He never missed a day of work!” said Reichow. “The name has had some unintended consequences though, since people always expect me to know more about cats than I do!”
For Black Cat Vineyard, true handcrafting means that their wines have been, at most, touched by only four people – hand-farmed, hand- picked, and delivered to the winery where it’s handcrafted into wine, aged, and hand-bottled. The wine is then bottle-aged in their winery where it stays until it is delivered di- rectly to customers. Their business philosophy includes some ‘Fun for Tracey.’ “Seriously – otherwise why do it?” said Reichow. “Sometimes it’s hard to stick with the mission, since we feel pressure to expand, make more wine, and out-source more, but that could put us at risk to drift from the Fun for Tracey mission”.
For More Information: www.BlackCatVineyard.com
Article By: Carleen Earley