One True Vine Fortunate Son is one of the newer luxury cuvées from Jayson Woodbridge, one of Napa Valley’s most successful iconoclasts. Woodbridge is a one-time Canadian military paratrooper and investment banker who turned himself into a world class winemaker and wine entrepreneur based, mostly, in the Napa Valley. Woodbridge is the force behind such wildly diverse labels as Layer Cake, a portfolio of modestly priced international wines, Cherry Pie and the prestige Cabernet Sauvignon Hundred Acre. Woodbridge owns vineyards in various locations in Napa Valley, including St. Helena, Calistoga and Howell Mountain. Fortunate Son, like most of his luxury labels, is generally available only through a mailing list. Reviewers have been complimentary. Robert M. Parker Jr. has noted that “Woodbridge makes some of the most unique, deeply personal wines in Napa Valley. Very late harvests and minimal intervention in the cellar, including no rackings until bottling, are just some of the choices that inform these wines… (Woodbridge’s) no-holds-barred Cabernets aren’t for everyone, but they are compelling and highly individualistic, just like Woodbridge himself.”
Napa Valley AVA is the most famous winemaking region in the United States and one of the most prestigious in the world. With nearly 43,000 acres of vineyards and more than 300 wineries, it is the heart of fine wine production in the United States. Winemaking started in Napa in 1838 when George C. Yount planted grapes and began producing wine commercially. Other winemaking pioneers followed in the late 19th century, including the founders of Charles Krug, Schramsberg, Inglenook and Beaulieu Vineyards. An infestation of phylloxera, an insect that attacks vine roots, and the onset of Prohibition nearly wiped out the nascent Napa wine industry in the early 20th century. But by the late 1950s and early 1960s Robert Mondavi and other visionaries were producing quality wines easily distinguishable from the mass-produced jug wines made in California’s Central Valley. Napa Valley’s AVA was established in 1983, and today there are 16 sub-appellations within the Napa Valley AVA. Many grapes grow well in Napa’s Mediterranean climate, but the region is best known for Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay is also very successfully cultivated, and about 30% of the AVA’s acreage is planted to white grapes, with the majority of those grapes being Chardonnay,
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.