We were sorry to hear that there is no Marie Howard. It is actually the middle names of the proprietors, Brad and Lisa Warner, owners of Leto Cellars. They chose to make a second label so they could access grapes outside Napa Valley and offer outstanding wines at exceptional prices. We're glad they did.
Brad began his career more than 50 years ago, working at the Charles Krug Winery in Napa. From there, he went on to Robert Mondavi, where he worked his way up to Vice-President of Production, a position he held for over 30 years. Lisa also worked at Mondavi, handling purchasing and planning.
They were finally able to pursue their dream in 2008 when they founded Leto Cellars. Leto, in Greek, means "the hidden one." It commemorates both their positions earlier in the wine business as being hidden behind the scenes.
Large wineries usually develop second labels because of oversupply, and they want to keep their primary labels at a price point that would sell out every year. For a small winery, Like Leto, it allows them to buy less expensive grapes outside Napa Valley, but still use the same care and expertise in creating them.
In this case, the grapes were purchased outside Napa Valley, which is an Appellation of Origin, but still in Napa County. The grapes are similar; only the price is different because of the designation. We still get the clean, ripe flavors we love. We pay less for it!