Curating the Best of Napa Valley

To call ACME Fine Wines a shop is akin to calling The French Laundry merely a restaurant, or Meadowood Resort simply a hotel. Just as the latter two  have achieved iconic status due to stellar service and unrivaled product, so too has the little boutique wine shop located on a St. Helena side street. ACME not only procures and sells high end and ‘cult’ wines to its discerning membership, it also has found a passionate following of the region’s most renowned winemakers.

The premise is simple; the implementation relatively involved. ACME specializes in discovering and launch- ing the finest inaugural releases of Napa Valley brands while maintaining a secondary focus on lauded wines of the world. ACME’s clients and wine club members often receive exclusive access to these rare and coveted micro-production wines in the very first vintage and on an allocation level thereafter. “It is like being on multiple preferred mailing lists, managed entirely by ACME,” said proprietor Karen Williams, who cites trust in her brand as the number one factor in ACME’s success. Her team of seven highly skilled hospitality and wine professionals make it their mission to know member preferences and tastes, and shipments are curated accordingly. ACME offers four club-member levels: Luxury level ‘Kahuna’ features three of the team’s favored collectibles of the month, ‘Under the Radar’ introduces members to recently launched or limited projects, ‘Pulse’ provides a passport to domestic and world-wide picks, and ‘Zippo’ features global, lighter-style reds.

“We provide access and knowledge. And our solid relationships – with vintners, winemakers, and club members – allows us to introduce people to wines we are certain they will love.”

“We are facilitators and time savers for our clients and members,” said Williams, “while emphasizing that drop-ins to the shop are always welcome.”

Maayan Koschitzky, winemaker of Brilliant Mistake and director of winemaking for Philippe Melka at Atelier Melka, selected Williams and ACME  to help him tell the story of his personal label La Pelle, which he launched with partners Miguel Luna and Pete Richmond last year. “Before releasing La Pelle in 2018, I met with ACME and they were excited to hear about my story and brand, and to share it with their list of clients,” said Koschitzky. “Their clientele are true wine lovers, people who appreciate great wines and trust the ACME team to stay up to date and deliver great new brands. Karen and her team have been much more than a store or a platform to sell wine, they have been part of a journey, both for me and their members. I’m proud to be working with them.”

Says longtime ACME clients Marshall and Shelly, “When we think of Karen and her team, we’re inclined to break into song, ‘Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make me a Match.’ For ten years, when asked for their recommendations for our needs and desires, ACME makes the matches – never failing to be spot on. Their approach is textbook.”

Adds clients Rand and Renee, “The ability for ACME to source unique wines and continue to expand our horizons is why we are such ardent supporters. ACME is a delight.”

acme fine wine



Article By: Fran Miller // Photos By: Emma K. Morris