Araujo Estate is committed to producing estate grown wines of the highest caliber and distinction,
each expressing the unique terroir of the property.
Each vintage, we produce four Araujo Estate wines: Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard; Altagracia; Syrah Eisele Vineyard; and Sauvignon Blanc Eisele Vineyard. A Viognier Eisele Vineyard is bottled in some years as well. Our wines are made from the grapes grown at our estate; in the case of Altagracia, we also use grapes from certain other outstanding Napa Valley vineyards, farmed to our specifications. Each harvest, separate parts of the vineyard are hand-picked selectively as the fruit matures. Within minutes of picking, the grapes are transported to the winery for vinification in small lots.
Here, the winery crew makes a final sort of the grapes, and the berries are then moved without pumping to the stainless steel or concrete tanks for fermentation. Ageing of the wines takes place in the depths of the wine cave in French oak barrels, where temperatures and humidity are ideal for wine. Only after tasting and rigorous selection are the very best lots chosen to be included in the final cuvees. Araujo Estate wines emerge from a seamless cycle that begins in the vineyard, matures in the stillness of the cave, and culminates in the bottling of each wine. We work closely throughout the year on each factor influencing the ultimate quality of the wines.
To produce the estate's flagship wine, three quarters of the 38-acre Eisele Vineyard is dedicated to Cabernet Sauvignon and its companion varieties, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot. The resulting wine is an intense expression of the Eisele Vineyard proprietary clone and terroir, exhibiting characteristic flavors of cassis, blackberry, cedar and chocolate, with a lingering mineral finish. Cabernets from the Eisele Vineyard are highly regarded for their complexity, concentration, weight without heaviness, silky texture and ability to age for decades.
Altagracia, named after Bart's paternal grandmother, is a Bordeaux-style blend vinified in the same manner as the Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. Fruit for Altagracia is sourced both from the Eisele Vineyard and from certain other Napa Valley vineyards where we hold long-term grape contracts and which are farmed to our specifications. This Napa Valley Red Table Wine, while very ageable, is readily enjoyable in its youth.
Syrah was first planted on the estate in 1978. After making wine from the few remaining vines in 1991 and 1993, we made a serious commitment to this ancient and noble grape, increasing the plantings in the vineyard. Araujo Syrah is a profound, mysteriously compelling wine that reveals yet another aspect of the Eisele Vineyard's unique terroir.
Sauvignon Blanc is the estate's white wine. The blending of two Sauvignon Blanc clones: Sauvignon Musque with its tropical fruit flavors, and Sauvingon Blanc with a lean, gravely structure, produces a wine of great complexity that speaks of the long warm summers and the dry cobbly soils. In some vintages, a small amount of Viognier adds fresh floral notes.
Viognier was planted for blending with our Sauvignon Blanc, and is also used to co-ferment with our Syrah. An unreliable bearer, Viognier in some years provides us with enough crop to bottle on its own, producing a profoundly aromatic and seductive wine redolent of honey, apricots, orange blossoms and spice.
Grappa is grape-based brandy distilled from the grape skins, stems and seeds, or pomace, left over after pressing. Immediately after pressing at Araujo Estate, fresh Cabernet Sauvignon pomace and some fermenting must from the most aromatic lots are driven to St. George Spirits, a local Bay Area distillery. There, the pomace is fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks and then distilled in hand-crafted copper alembic stills expressly designed to preserve the intensity and complexity of the fruit. The resulting Araujo Estate grappa is rich, smooth and creamy, full of the fruit and earth tones that grappa lovers particularly appreciate.