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.
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,