There lays a vineyard nestled in the hills of Pope Valley on the edge of Howell Mountain AVA, Calla Lily Vineyards, producing some exceptional red wines. The winery was built in 2010 and is a fully equipped and modern winery. The tasting room is unique with dark wood cabinetry, crown molding, old-fashioned gilt ceiling tin paneling with a bar you find in an old western. Just a very comfortable atmosphere. We spent some time with part owner and winemaker, Cary Gott (4th generation Napa Valley) and assistant wine maker Kelly Deianni to learn more about Calla Lily Vineyards.
When we arrived, Cary and Kelly were in the middle of tasting the 2018 lot vintages of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Cary invited us to sample the wines from different barrels, as well as, different lot locations and give our analysis. They do this about 3 times a year before settling on the correct blend before bottling. Wow, what an opportunity! Also from these samplings they determine which Cabernet Sauvignon grapes go into their flagship wine, “Audax”.
We walked the property of 20 acres planted with 12 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon (Clone 7 – our favorite) also on two different root stocks (another story), 5 acres Petit Syrah and 1 acre each of Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Pope Valley is the last area in Napa Valley with ample undeveloped land to grow grapes but as with most areas, water plays the determining factor on receiving approval from the county supervisors which could take years.
Calla Lily produces three wines for sale, Ultimate Pinot Noir, Ultimate Cabernet Sauvignon and Audax (which means “Bold” in Latin). Calla Lily Vineyard wines can be purchased in few of restaurants around Napa Valley or on their website at www.callalilywines.com
The tasting room is not open to the public and visits are by appointment only. We appreciate the time given to us by Calla Lily’s winemaking team of Cary and Kelly.