Dakota Shy was founded in 2008 by Todd Newman, who had worked in fine dining and at Revana Family Vineyard. But he wanted to create a luxury wine estate, so he teamed up with his friend Tom Garret, a winemaker and Napa Valley native whose winemaking experience included stints at Turley Wine Cellars, Joseph Phelps Winery, Robert Mondavi and Revana. Dakota Shy has an estate at the base of Pritchard Hill, but it also sources grapes from all over Napa Valley. The estate makes Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and a rosé. The wines have earned ratings in the mid-90s from reviewers. Vinous has noted that the estate’s flagship wines “are contemporary Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons that offer a compelling interplay of richness and structure, with perhaps a slight leaning toward the more extroverted end of the spectrum.”
Calistoga AVA is one of Napa Valley’s newer appellations, having been given appellation status in 2010. It is notable for its volcanic soil, which is unusual in the Napa Valley. Calistoga also experiences the greatest average 24-hour temperature swing of any Napa Valley AVAs, which Calistoga grape growers insist give the grapes time to “cool down” at night, making for better balanced wines. The 1,500 Calistoga vineyard acres are planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Syrah and Petite Sirah, along with smaller amounts of other varietals. Calistoga is at the northern end of Napa Valley, northwest of the Diamond District and St. Helena AVAs. Longtime winemaker Bo Barrett of Chateau Montelena, which is located in the Calistoga AVA, proposed the creation of the appellation.
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.