bart-barb-barrels-drop.jpg We purchased the winery from John Costello. The land had been in John’s family since 1928; our lot line runs out into the middle of the road as there were no roads when the lot lines were drawn.

From 1928 to 1978, the Costello family ran a plum orchard on the 40 acres of land. Then the “Judgement of Paris” took place in Paris in 1976, when French judges judged Napa wines to be superior to First Growth Bordeauxs. This turned Napa’s attention toward wine and away from other agricultural products and started the vineyard and winery boom.

John planted the vineyard in 1978 and built the winery and home 2 years later. He planted 33 acres of Chardonnay and made approximately 9,000 cases of Chardonnay until 1995 when his vineyards were attacked by the Phyloxera fungus. He re-planted in 1996, but then decided to sell the vineyard to us in 2000 so he could retire to mid-town Manhattan in New York City.

Because our winery was built in 1980, it is one of the earlier wineries in Napa Valley. When Robert Mondavi build his winery in 1967, it was the first new winery to be built following the repeal of Prohibition. So in 1980 there were probably no more than 40 wineries at most; today there are over 420. Not all of these are estate wineries such as ours; in fact, less than 200 are. Many wineries purchase their grapes from a vineyard and pay another facility to make it into wine.

All of our wine is made from grapes grown in our single vineyard, without pesticides or herbicides, and made into wine in our winery. We are the real thing.
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