Cliff Lede Vineyards was founded in 2002 in the Stag’s Leap District. Lede is a Canadian businessman who collected Bordeaux and other wines before he decided to start his own 60-acre estate in Stag’s Leap. David Abreu replanted the vineyards for Lede, and Lede named vineyard blocks after some of his favorite rock songs and albums, such as “Dark Side of the Moon.” Lede has since acquired a small Anderson Valley winery which he renamed FEL Wines as an homage to his mother, Florence Elsie Lede. In addition to Cliff Lede’s Stag’s Leap vineyard the estate owns twenty acres in a Calistoga sub-appellation. Rising star Christopher Tynan has been winemaker since 2012. The estate makes Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux-style blends, and Sauvignon Blanc. The flagship Cabernet Sauvignon is called Poetry. The 2013 Poetry earned 100 pts from Wine Advocate, which has written that “elegant, well-made Cabernets continue to emerge from this reputable as well as increasingly high quality producer."
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,