Fred Schrader founded Schrader Cellars in Calistoga in 1998 after making wine for six years with Ann Colgin, who was then his wife. Colgin-Schrader Cellars launched in 1992, a banner year for start-up Cult Cab producers. Screaming Eagle and Bryant Family also produced their first vintages in 1992. After Schrader and his wife parted ways Schrader started Schrader Cellars, where his Cabernet Sauvignons have earned outstanding reviews. His grapes come from two of Napa Valley’s most prestigious vineyards, the Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard in Oakville and the Beckstoffer Georges III Vineyard in Rutherford. Schrader's current winemaker is Thomas Rivers Brown, one of California's star winemakers. Robert M. Parker Jr. admires Schrader’s wines, and called the 2006 Schrader CCS Cabernet Sauvignon “utter perfection.” Parker rated it at 100 pts. Like other limited production Cult Cab producers in Napa Valley, Schrader Cellars wines generally sell out through its mailing list.
To- Kalon is one of the most famous vineyards in Napa Valley, often called the first “grand cru” California vineyard. It has always inspired those who live near it. Native Americans called the area around it tu-la-halusi – meaning “beautiful land.” And later residents called it To-Kalon, Greek for “the most beautiful.” Originally planted by Hamilton Crabb in 1968, it today is owned by Andy Beckstoffer, the Robert Mondavi Winery and Opus One. Beckstoffer owns the lion’s share, with an 89-acre vineyard planted to Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Beckstoffer sell To-Kalon grapes to such acclaimed producers as Schrader, Paul Hobbs, Tor Kenward, Realm, Alpha Omega and the Morlet Family. Beckstoffer Vineyards, a vineyard management business, owns and farms more than 3,600 acres of highly prestigious grape growing acreage in Napa Valley, Mendocino County and the Red Hills of Lake County. A senior executive with Heublein in the 1960s, Andy Beckstoffer is credited with steering Napa Valley vintners towards improving farming and the quality of the grapes used for wine.
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.