Beau Vigne in Napa Valley was founded in 2002 by Ed and Trish Snider. Their Stags Ridge Vineyard is in the Atlas Peak appellation and includes nine acres planted mostly to Cabernet Sauvignon, with small amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petite Verdot. Beau Vigne also sources grapes from nearby, select vineyards. Ed Snider descends from a family of Swiss and Italian winemakers who made wine in Napa Valley in the early 20th century. Beau Vigne is known for its Cabernet Sauvignons, but also produces Merlot, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Robert M. Parker Jr. has called Beau Vigne “one of my favorite unheralded producers in Napa Valley. The wines have off-the-charts richness, great balance, and the potential to be aged for 20 or more years. There is a striking purity and intensity to these wines that merits attention.”
Stags Leap District AVA in southern Napa Valley has a storied history. It is home to Stag’s Leap Cellars, whose 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon won the famous Judgment of Paris blind tasting that included several of Bordeaux’s most exalted First Growths. Vineyards were started in area in the late 19th century, but the district’s rise in prestige started in the late 1960s when Nathan Fay planted Cabernet Sauvignon. Fay later sold his estate to Warren Winiarski, founder of Stag’s Leap Cellars. The district was given its own AVA designation in 1989, and today there are 1,400 vineyard acres. The AVA is especially notable because it was the first in the U.S. to be granted AVA status based on terroir. Its distinctive soils is a mix of volcanic soils, river sediment and loamy clay-like soil. Because the soils don’t retain water well, vineyards in Stag’s Leap tend to grow fruit with great intensity and flavor. Cabernet Sauvignon accounts for 95% of the grapes planted in Stags Leap.
One of the most widely grown grape varieties, it can be found in nearly every wine growing region. A cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. It’s a hardy vine that produces a full-bodied wine with high tannins and great aging potential.