Frank Family Vineyards was founded in 2007 when former Disney executive Rich Frank purchased the Kornell Champagne Cellars in Calistoga, Napa Valley. The winemaker is Todd Graff, who worked in Europe and at such Napa Valley estates as Stag’s Leap and Schramsberg before joining Frank Family Vineyards. The winery’s nearly 200 acres of vineyards our located in Rutherford, Carneros and just east of the Vaca Mountain range. The locations are among the most prestigious in the area. Frank Family produces Chardonnay, Zinfandel and Pinot Noir, but is best known for its Cabernet Sauvignons, including some highly limited production Cabs that are made available only to the estate’s mailing list.
Rutherford AVA is just north of the Oakville AVA in the heart of Napa Valley, and it is equally distinguished. It is home to Beaulieu Vineyard and inglenook, arguably Napa Valley’s most historically influential wineries. Inglenook started making in wine in the late 19th century, and Beaulieu Vineyards was producing by the first years of the 20th century. BV founder Georges de Latour is particularly esteemed for having recruited Andre Tchelistcheff, a renowned research oenologist, to move from France to Napa Valley in 1938 and run BV’s winemaking. The legendary Tchelistcheff brought European winemaking techniques to Napa Valley and vastly improved wine quality. Other Rutherford winemakers followed his lead. Today there are 5,000 vineyard acres in Rutherford and many acclaimed producers. The famous Silverado Trail with its exclusive, limited production wineries, runs partly through Rutherford AVA. Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignons are characterized by supple tannins, richness, notes of cherry and plum, depth and the ability to age for several decades. Besides Cabernet Sauvignon the AVA also grows Chardonnay, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel. It received its AVA designation in 1994.
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.