Turnbull Wine Cellars in Oakville was founded in 1979 by William Turnbull, a noted Bay Area architect, and Reverdy Johnson, a lawyer. The two had worked together on the creation of the famous Sea Ranch development on the coast north of San Francisco The winery was then called Johnson Turnbull. In 1993 it was bought by publisher Patrick O’Dell, who updated the winery and bought additional property, bringing the estate to 148 acres. Turnbull makes Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Wine Advocate rated Turnbull’s 2010 Fortuna Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon at 100 pts and called it “perfection…A magnificent effort that should turn out to be one of the great modern classics of Napa Valley…”
Oakville AVA is one of the two or three most prestigious appellations in the United States. Located in the heart of Napa Valley, its 5,000 vineyard acres produce some of the world’s most acclaimed Cabernet Sauvignon, including such California “cult” Cabs as Screaming Eagle and Harlan Estate. Before those boutique producers rose to fame in the 1990s, Oakville was already renowned as home to Robert Mondavi, Opus One and Groth Vineyards, among others. Along with the famous wineries, there are premier vineyards in this AVA, including Martha’s Vineyard and To Kalon Vineyard. To Kalon was first planted in 1868 by H.W. Crabb, one of California’s first viticultural researchers, and he named the vineyard after the ancient Greek phrase for “most beautiful.” Though many grapes can be successfully grown in Oakville, Cabernet Sauvignon is king. Merlot and Chardonnay are also frequently planted. Oakville Cabs are prized for their richness, complexity and weight. Oakville was designated as an AVA in 1993.