John Caldwell is a true maverick of Napa Valley viticulture, probably best known for smuggling vine cuttings from France to start his vineyard with the best of Bordeaux. John also (legally) imported 43 ENTAV-INRA clones under contract with the French government in the 1990s, helping Napa Valley and America more generally gain an enormous boost in grapevine quality.
Caldwell’s rolling oak meadows and steep hillside vineyards perch inside an ancient volcanic caldera 300-600 feet above sea level in Coombsville, Napa Valley’s southernmost sub-appellation. The proximity to San Pablo Bay ushers in cool, dense morning fog, which the caldera’s half-bowl shape collects and holds. This cooling effect creates a longer growing season and slower, more complete ripening of the grapes. Caldwell fruit is known for its rugged intensity and luxurious ripeness.
|Soil Types||Aiken series, alluvial bands of volcanic ash and rhyolitic tuff|
|Varietals||Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon|
|Clones||Syrah 470 & 877; Cabernet Sauvignon 169|
|Average Vine Age||Syrah: 18 years; Cabernet Sauvignon: 11 years|