The Best Wines You’ve Never Heard of: Maroon Wines
Though Paul Maroon has grown grapes in the Napa Valley and been making his own wine for two decades, his label is not easily located. He has no tasting room; he doesn’t advertise, and his wines are not found in local restaurants. Yet he consistently sells-out of his 10,000 annual cases of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Merlot, Malbec, and Sauvignon Blanc.
How does he do it? He credits his label’s popularity to word of mouth and says his best advertising platform are his club members, many of whom have invited the Pennsylvania native to their out-of-state homes or social clubs in order for him to share his wines with their friends and family, and many of whom have traveled with him internationally. As the vintner host of a 2018 Total Travel Wine/ AMA Waterways river cruise down the Danube, Maroon took center stage aboard ship, sharing his old and new world wine knowledge and expertise.
“Paul is a wonderful wine host,” said Connie Saunders, CEO and Founder of Total Travel and Events, Inc. “He is so friendly and easy to get to know. His wine club members were thrilled to be able to spend a week in Europe traveling with him. And everyone on board got to enjoy his wine.”
Maroon’s participation was so well received that he was invited again for an April 18, 2019 Bordeaux itinerary with AMA Waterways, where most cabins are already sold out. And in July 2020, he’ll take the cruise to the Rhine River and sail from Amsterdam to Basel.
Maroon’s first introduction to wine was during his teen years in Philadelphia when he helped his uncle make wine. “It was terrible,” laughs Maroon. But that didn’t deter his dream of one-day living among the vines in the Napa Valley, a dream realized in 2000, after 30 years in Silicon Valley as a cardiovascular device distributor.
Maroon initially sold the grapes grown on his Coombsville AVA property that borders the Napa County Club. But in 2008, he started making his own single vineyard, low manipulation wines. His Cabernet Sauvignon is made from his estate grapes, and a moderately oaked Chardonnay comes from Oak Knoll district grapes. And he handcrafts an extremely small production of Malbec and Petite Verdot from a variety of vineyard sources that might change year to year.
Maroon is also a distributor for an Australian label that promotes its high resveratrol wines. Most red wines contain a mere 5 mg per liter of this anti- inflammatory agent, while The Wine Doctor Shiraz features 100 mg per liter – the health benefits of which are increasingly proven. Maroon is proud to sell on his website this first resveratrol-enhanced wine.
Article By: Fran Miller