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By Beverage Trade Network
Ehlers Estate's history is one of love, patience, and hard labor, all interlaced like the tendrils of vigorous vines that have graced the landscape since the mid-1800s.
The allure of winemaking enticed Bernard Ehlers to purchase a small, dying vineyard in the late 1800s and go on a mission to establish the winery that bears his name today.
He replanted his freshly acquired 10-acre vineyard, created the olive grove that still thrives today, and finished the stone barn that is now our lovely winery building in 1886. His original Bale Mill Winery remained in operation long after his death, first by his wife until the 1920s, then by successive new owners who capitalized on its prime position and distinct terroir. Developing the winery had become a passion project for the winery's second owners and philanthropists, Jean and Sylviane Leducq, which they shared long after selling their other successful European businesses.
In an Interview with Sommelier Choice Awards, Laura Diaz Munoz, General Manager and Winemaker at Ehlers Estate, was asked, What she finds unique about Ehlers that attracted her to work for them? She said: “I believe this vineyard site is amazing. The soil composition, the location. Prime terroir! I was also driven by history. The winery dates from 1886. And the fact that it is a small size, and I could be able to manage all aspects of the business was an excellent opportunity for me to grow. Additionally, being part of the Leducq Foundation, even in a small capacity, is very rewarding.”
The Ehlers Estate vineyard is situated on an old winegrowing site in Napa Valley's renowned St. Helena appellation. Since the mid-1800s, grapes have been grown in this desired spot. In 1995, the vineyard was replanted with various clone and rootstock selections under the supervision of renowned enologist Jacques Boissenot. The Ehlers Estate vineyard, which produces superb Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Sauvignon Blanc, is now farmed according to organic farming standards.
The Estate vineyard has a one-of-a-kind Old World configuration that is fairly rare in California. The old Ehlers winery building is situated in the heart of the estate vineyard. The property's farthest point from the winery is around 600 yards away, providing the Ehlers team complete control over all aspects of the viticulture program, resulting in greater focus and quality.
Ehlers Estate has won multiple awards for its quality wines. Ehlers Estate 1886 won the "Wine Of The Year" category at the 2022 Sommeliers Choice Awards in San Francisco, USA, with 97 points. The 2019 vintage of Ehlers Estate 1886 Cabernet Sauvignon was also named "Wine Of The Year By Varietal," "Wine Of The Year By Country," and "Red Wine Of The Year."
Image: Ehlers Estate's
This is Ehlers Estate's flagship wine, a true reflection of the Estate vineyards and the timeless value of wines made to last. The 2019 vintage is derived from various blocks on the Estate vineyards and is made up of four clones of Cabernet Sauvignon.
According to the judges of the Sommelier Choice Awards 2022, Ehler’s Estate’s 1886 2019 vintage Cabernet Sauvignon received top scores and multiple awards.
Tasting notes given by the judges: “A dense, lively, poised but powerful wine that is seamlessly stitched together in aromas, flavors, and structure. A brilliant balance of dark fruits and oak notes with firm tannins followed by a chocolatey finish.”
Article by Aakriti Rawat, Beverage Trade Network