We sourced our grapes from vineyards throughout Napa Valley, collecting fruit from several locations to show the diversity and depth of this world-renowned wine region. A portion of the wine comes from Rutherford, where the famous Rutherford Dust gives distinctive notes of cocoa powder, juicy fruit and complex tannins. The mountain vineyards provide rich aromatics, briary intensity and a bright pop of boysenberry. The northern Napa Valley floor vineyards complement the profile, providing rich texture and luscious tannins.
This wine makes a fine accompaniment to braised short ribs or pasta carbonara.
Sterling Vineyards was born in the 1960s, a time when creativity and entrepreneurial spirit abounded, especially in California. In 1964, Peter Newton, once a paper broker in England, purchased 70 acres of land in Calistoga and became a Napa Valley winemaker. He planted grapes others did not, bottled varietals others did not, and built a dramatic winery with an aerial tramway. His innovations put Sterling Vineyards into the public eye and helped establish the Napa Valley as a premier travel destination. When Newton began planting his estate, Cabernet Sauvignon was the preferred variety. He planted the esteemed Cabernet, but his decision to also plant Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot was a bold move. His Merlot vines were the first significant planting of that variety in the Napa Valley. Newton saw potential in the soft, velvety Merlot fruit, and in 1969 he took a chance by releasing California’s first vintage-dated Merlot. This decision flew in the face of traditional standards, which held that Merlot was merely a blending grape, and forever changed the perception of red wine. People started to enter a restaurant and ask for a glass of Merlot!