The Next Chapter for Constant Diamond Mountain Vineyard
Following the winding narrows of Diamond Mountain Road in Calistoga, one will discover a winery seen by only a lucky few. Constant Diamond Mountain Vineyard sits atop of the summit on a property that straddles the Napa and Sonoma border. Their mountainside vine- yards, Diamond Peak, Diamond Mountain Vineyard, and Constancii, are some of the valley’s most revered locations for grape growing. With a location above the fog line, their vines experience a longer growing season and less temperature variance than the valley floor, creating a temperature sweet spot that is particularly suitable for Bordeaux varieties and even smatterings of Chardonnay and Syrah. Their focus is on single varietal wines, specializing in Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot, as well as their proprietary blend, a Claret, that capture the true essence of their unique sites.
Constant is one of the oldest vineyard properties on Diamond Mountain, first planted with grapevines in 1895. The property was acquired in 1993 by Fred and Mary Constant, a couple who invested their time, money, and passion into their vision to build the stunning property and develop an exceptional winemaking tradition. The winery entered a new era in September 2016 when Sai You and Aries Liu became the property’s new caretakers – just the fourth family to own the property in 120 years. With Aries and Sai at the helm, Constant has been working to refresh and modernize the remote estate, which is still anchored by a Howard Backen-designed private home to this day. More importantly, they added winemaker Kevin Vecchiarelli to the winery’s close-knit team in May 2019.
Kevin is a Napa wine industry veteran who offers decades of experience as well as a palpable passion for and intensive educa- tion in biochemistry. Although only a few months into the job, Vecchiarelli already has big plans for Constant. Staying true to the winery’s unwavering commitment to quality, he is excited to work alongside his small team and with Consulting Winemaker, Paul Hobbs. “Constant is a winemaker’s dream,” says Vecchiarelli. “The beauty of this place is that we’re so small and hands on.” Their small size allows Constant to control every aspect of the winemaking process from growing to aging to bottling.
“ Winemaking starts in the vineyard, but great winemaking begins when we focus on every detail.”
Attention to detail for Vecchiarelli means picking in small batches and at ideal grape maturity come harvest time, and not being confined by a schedule.
“It is truly all about the grapes and our one-of-a-kind location here,” declares Vecchiarelli. This is exemplified in their gloriously-rendered wines from vintage to vintage. Only a handful of people are behind the magic at this small-scope winery that produces just 1,200 cases a year. Each of their hand-crafted wines perfectly com- municates a sense of time and place from Constant’s remarkable vineyards that are steeped in history and tradition. With a nod to their past and eyes on the future, Constant, under the leadership of new winemaker Kevin Vecchiarelli, is eager to see what the next chapter will unfold.
CONSTANT DIAMOND MOUNTAIN VINEYARD
Article By: Marisa McCann