The colorful history of Vine Hill Winery begins in 1870 when George Burrage and Thomas Tucker purchased a mountain side property that was once part of the Yount Estate. It was owned by George C. Yount after whom the city of Yountville was named. They started wine production one year later and built an impressive winery with underground caves for storing barrels and bottles, which are still in use today.
The winery passed through several hands and ceased to make wine during prohibition. The decline took its toll until Nell Sweeney, matriarch of the Sweeney family who are hoteliers in Hawaii, purchased Vine Cliff in 1985. It took several years before they could release any wine due to the condition of the winery, but the family has returned Vine Cliff to its former glory. The grapes for this gem came from one of the benchmark appellations in Napa, Carneros. Here, the foggy days during the growing season protect the vines from the harsh sun on the valley floor, elongating the growing season, allowing the roots can pull more nutrients to the branches above ground.
This condition is no less than perfect for growing Chardonnay. The compound structure of the finished wine allowed it to be placed in barrels for 14 months without overpowering the delicate fruit. Instead, the lovely green apple and cinnamon notes prevail, revealing a long and extracted finish with a surprising grip. Without question, here is a classic rendition that would honor a lobster thermidor or seared scallops in Beurre blanc.