A Ghost Winery Reborn – Pellet Estate
Tucked away on the west side of St. Helena in the heart of Napa Valley, a historic ghost vineyard re-emerged in 2010, where Eric Risch and iconic winemaker Tom Rinaldi craft wines that are rare, authentically grown, and classically made.
Pellet Estate’s rich history began in 1863 with Henry Pellet, one of the founding pioneers of Napa Valley winemaking. He first planted the site with a vision of producing wines that would be among the best in the world, thus establishing the second oldest commercially producing vineyard in Napa Valley. Pellet, Charles Krug, Dr. George Crane, and H.W. Crabb were the driving forces that put Napa Valley on the world wine stage in 1875 with the introduction of major European grape varietals to California, es- chewing wine made from the sweet Mission grape.
Pellet Estate’s production is small, with only about 1,000 cases produced in total, as everything from vine to bottle is harvested and made by hand. Rinaldi’s 44 years of experience, which he began as the founding winemaker at Duckhorn, enables him to produce wines that showcase his masterful blend of traditional French techniques with ultra-high premium fruit.
“I’ve made wine with fruit from all over Napa Valley, and the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon from the Pellet Vineyard is some of the best I’ve ever worked with,” said Rinaldi.
Pellet Estate’s flagship wine is their Estate Cabernet Sauvignon from the Pellet Vineyard, with approximately 350 cases produced. Henry’s Reserve, which represents the best of the best from the historic site, has a production of less than 100 cases. Their wines are made to last for decades, yet are approachable on release.
Pellet Estate’s award-winning Chardonnays are from the Sun Chase Vineyard in the Petaluma Gap. The site was selected because of the cool marine influence that mimics the climate of the Côte-d’Or in Burgundy, France. Their Chardonnay and UnOaked Chardonnay are both styled specifically to reflect qualities of Puligny-Montrachet and Chablis respectively. They’ve taken old world methodologies and techniques and applied them to the best French clones of Chardonnay to create truly remarkable wines — non-traditional California Chardonnays by design.
For More Information: 707-363-3281 // www.pelletestate.com