David Clinton Wine Cellars was created as the result of friendship, so it stands to reason that a spirit of camaraderie and connection continues to inspire the boutique winery’s two founders. “We believe that life is about meaningful relationships, especially family and friends,” said co-founder David Huang. “Clint (Holdsworth) and I created David Clinton Wine Cellars to pursue our mutual passions for making wine and building such friendships. Our wines are made by two friends, for friends, to share with friends.”
Holdsworth and Huang met as Napa Valley neighbors and quickly discovered their shared interest in wine, particularly Zinfandel. They started experimenting with winemaking at home, offering their wares to friends, neighbors, and family. Their appreciative audience encouraged the duo to pursue a full-fledged winemaking business, and thus, David Clinton Wines was founded with a first vintage in 2010.
A mere 300 cases of three Zinfandels are produced annually at a Mt. Veeder custom crush facility- two single-vineyard Dry Creek Valley Zinfandels and a traditional port-style Zinfandel.
The two make their wines in the style they prefer. “For me, wine is about fruit,” said Huang. “And I love the fruit character of Zin.” “Zinfandel is flexible and compat- ible with so many different foods,” said Holdsworth. “It’s also very enjoyable to sip on its own. Our style of Zinfandel offers so many ways for wine to be enjoyed. We knew we wanted our wines to be food-friendly and approachable with prominent fruit and moderate alcohol. The most satisfying comments we hear from buyers and critics is that our wines are very well balanced. This is intentional, and we are very proud of our style.”
Though their output is small, their reach is significant. David Clinton wines can be found at restaurants such as The French Laundry, Cole’s Chop House, Allegria, Napa Valley Bistro, TORC, and Alexander’s Steakhouse, to name just a few. They have no tasting room, and for marketing, they rely on word of mouth as well as a Napa-based wine broker.
“It’s literally just the two of us,” said Holdsworth, a former pharmaceutical industry executive, now retired. Huang is a Napa Valley physician and in the reserves with the Air Force. When starting their venture, the two took enology and viticulture classes together at Napa Valley College. They are active in ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates and Producers), and they pour their wines regularly at wine country events. Their wines have been reviewed by critics both local and national and have received numerous 90-point ratings.
“Our wines are made by two friends, for friends, to share with friends.”
“When we started this venture, neither of us had visions of becoming wealthy wine- makers,” laughed Holdsworth. “We simply viewed wine as a medium to bring people together. After ten years of producing David Clinton wines, our truest measure of success is hearing from an ever-growing number of new friends who have had memorable experiences sharing and enjoying our wines.”
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