Raymond Vineyards in Napa Valley was founded in 1971 by Roy Raymond, whose family had been winemakers in the valley for several generations. The Raymond family owned Beringer until 1971, when they sold it to start Raymond Vineyards. Today the estate is owned by Boisset Family Estates, a Burgundy-based, family-owned wine producing and importing conglomerate. Boisset owns more than 20 wineries in France, Canada and the U.S. Raymond today includes 300 acres and produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot.
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.