An Illuminous Tale: Leto Cellars
In a time of uncertainty, there is a light that encapsulates the beauty and integrity of the wine industry. With a history rooted in winemaking and wine operations, Leto Cellars is an integrated partnership interwoven with dedication, artistry, and experience.
For 53 years, Brad Warner, Winemaker, and co-founder of Leto Cellars has dedicated himself to a profession that he loves. Starting his career in the cellar at Charles Krug Winery, Brad’s aptitude for wine garnered the interest of Robert Mondavi, whom he met at the local fuel station. After working at both wineries for his first harvest, Brad moved to Robert Mondavi Winery full time, eventually gaining the title of Vice President of Production during his almost 30-year tenure. A scholar of wine, Brad traveled to the Bordeaux and Burgundy regions in France to learn the classic methods of winemaking and cellar operations before returning to the states where he developed cellar protocols that are still used in winemaking facilities today. Brad’s ultimate position would be next to his wife, Lisa, in an adventure of a lifetime, Leto Cellars.
Lisa Warner, Vintner and Co-founder of Leto Cellars, began her career in the purchasing department of Robert Mondavi Winery. Lisa’s journey, now in its 31st year, would encompass sophisticated facilities planning projects, all aspects of wine production, and sales and marketing roles working with wineries, both large and small. Lisa’s experience led her to learn the business intimately, with a sought-after trait of maximizing efficiencies and solving problems. With her husband Brad as her mentor, she has added production assistant and winery owner to her resume.
“Brad invited me to lunch, and through- out the meal, he proposed the idea of our own brand. Something we could do together,” said Lisa.
Founded in 2008, Leto originates from the Greek word, meaning “the hidden one.” A name that embodies their behind-the- scenes experience working for other pro- ducers. With the commitment to “embrace what each vintage has to offer,” the Warner’s dedication to independent growers, old-school winemaking techniques, and personal approach to hospitality gives way to their genuine authenticity.
With just 1,000 cases per vintage, The Warner’s produce premium, terroir-driven wines showcasing the strength and vitality of the region. Located in the Warehouse District in South Napa, the Leto Cellars tasting experience is like none other. Tastings in the cellar are completely private and always hosted by proprietors. Lisa said, “The goal is to provide a behind- the-scenes experience that immerses our guests in the process. We share stories, knowledge, and really personalize each visit.” Now offering a series of virtual tasting experiences, Leto Cellars is com- mitted to “bringing the magic of the Napa Valley into people’s homes.”
Though times may be uncertain, the boutique wine brand continues to illuminate in the wine community. A tale of passion, integrity, and beautiful wine, Leto Cellars is an inspirational story for all to hear.
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Article By: Valerie Owens