A brief history
We arrived in Napa Valley for a 50th birthday celebration, with no intention of leaving as vintners.
Little did we know that the ethos of Napa Valley would send us on an exciting new journey.
Having rented a house that was a bit off the beaten path, we scheduled an intimate tasting with our friends Mike and Leah Smith.
We have been drinking Mike’s incredible Cabernets and watching his meteoric rise in the wine industry for a nearly a decade, and that night, naturally, the wine and conversation began to flow effortlessly.
At one point, Mike mentioned that certain rows of Cabernet Sauvignon in the historic Beckstoffer Vineyard Georges III might be available.
We knew that vintners waited years for the opportunity to work with grapes from Georges III, and that many never got the chance. Mike described to us in detail the premium terroir of the available rows, and wondered if we might be interested in procuring the grapes.
Did we mention that we had no intention of becoming vintners?
The possibility had never crossed our minds, but the chance to make Cabernet Sauvignon from one of Napa Valley’s sacred heritage vineyards was exhilarating. And when Mike offered to make the wine and lend us the decades of experience that both he and Leah have acquired over the course of their incredible careers, our path was charted.
At that very moment, the Monarch completed our four-leaf clover: Good fortune and great timing offered us a portal into the fascinating world of winemaking, and a thrilling, once-in-a-lifetime challenge.