Nominated for: BEST Napa Winery
Ristow Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is grown exclusively in the Quinta de Pedras Vineyard located on the Silverado Trail, just south of Stags Leap District in the Napa Valley. The eighteen acre vineyard lies on a gently sloping, south-facing hillside and is planted solely to Cabernet Sauvignon. Each year only a small portion of the crop is selected for bottling under the Ristow Estate label, while the remainder of the grapes are sold to neighboring wineries for blending into their premium Cabernet Sauvignon.
Brunno & Urannia Ristow purchased the property in 1983 and planted the first vines in 1989. Originally the land was deemed too rocky and difficult to farm, leading Brunno to name the property Quinta de Pedras, meaning "Place of Stones" in his native Portuguese. It took several years and encouragement from neighboring vintner Gene Trefethen, who extolled the virtues of south facing hillside land and rocky terrain as a wonderful combination for growing Cabernet Sauvignon, to convince the Ristows to plant vines. In 1989, the Ristows broke through the rocky terrain, planted ten acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, crossed their fingers and hoped for the best. The young fruit from this first planting proved to be of the highest quality and encouraged the Ristows to purchase and plant a contiguous eight acres into Cabernet Sauvignon. The Ristow Estate has since been surrounded by other notable Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards with Signorello to the West, Shafer's Ridgeback Vineyard to the North and Darioush to the South.