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Cuvaison Celebrates 50th Anniversary Throughout 2019

Submitted By: Miriam Pitt, June 06, 2019
Cuvaison Celebrates Milestone 50th Anniversary Throughout 2019

Napa Valley, Calif. – June 6, 2019 – Founded in 1969, Napa Valley’s Cuvaison winery is excited to announce that it will be celebrating its golden 50th anniversary throughout 2019. As one of the pioneering wineries of the modern era—and one of the few to remain independent and family-owned—Cuvaison joins a short list of iconic wineries that have achieved this remarkable milestone. To honor this important anniversary, Cuvaison created a one-of-a-kind anniversary auction lot for the 2019 Auction Napa Valley, which was sold for a bid of $170,000. The winery will also be hosting a number of special events and experiences throughout 2019, including a celebratory wine club dinner on July 12th featuring a selection of library wines, and a 50th Anniversary Reunion and Community Celebration for 200 people at the winery on July 13th. In addition, Cuvaison will be releasing commemorative 50th anniversary bottlings of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir crafted from special blocks of the winery’s historic estate vineyard in the Los Carneros appellation of Napa Valley.

Originally founded by Thomas Parkhill and Thomas Cotrell, Cuvaison’s inaugural vintage of Napa Valley Chardonnay was crafted in 1969. A decade later, Cuvaison was acquired by the Schmidheiny family. As fourth-generation vintners, the Schmidheiny family immediately began cementing Cuvaison’s emerging focus on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir by acquiring 400 acres of highly prized land north of San Pablo Bay in Napa Valley, establishing initial plantings for what would help establish the Los Carneros AVA. The site was selected for its ideal mix of clay and loam soils, and for its unique marine-influenced microclimate, where summer temperatures rarely exceed 80o F, providing ideal conditions for Burgundian varieties. In the years since, Cuvaison has been recognized for playing a key role in pioneering cool-climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in California, while helping to catapult Napa Valley onto the global stage as one of the world’s most revered wine regions.

“When my mother first visited Napa Valley more than 40 years ago, she was so taken with the beauty of the land and its potential for making world-class wines that she brought home a sample of the soil in a handkerchief to show our family,” says Cuvaison’s owner, Thomas Schmidheiny. “Our family’s connection with the land has endured for over four decades. As one of California’s first post-Prohibition wineries, and an early champion of the cool-climate wines of Los Carneros, we are honored to have played a role in the storied history of Napa Valley.”

Working with longtime Winemaker Steve Rogstad, and renowned wine industry executive Dan Zepponi, who was named Cuvaison’s president and CEO in 2016, the Schmidheiny family is dedicated to keeping Cuvaison family owned for generations to come. “Over the last several years, we have worked to ensure that Cuvaison remains as relevant and dynamic throughout the next half century, as it has been over the course of its first 50 years,” says Zepponi, whose father, Gino Zepponi, cofounded ZD Wines the same year Cuvaison was established. “We have done extensive replanting of our 200-planted-acre estate, unveiled new wines, branding and packaging, as well as a new website, and have made significant investments in our winemaking and hospitality programs. We have also expanded our team to include Consulting Winemaker Scott McLeod and Viticulturist Kelly Maher to help focus our winemaking and winegrowing direction into the future.”

“When you look at the world’s most revered wineries, there are several common threads,” adds Zepponi. “They are often family-owned wineries that have spent generations focusing on a few core varieties, while nurturing a remarkable piece of land. They are also wineries that have helped to pioneer and define their regions, while making wines that captured the imagination of wine lovers with an intimate sense of place. These ideas have always been the cornerstones of Cuvaison, and they are the foundation we are building on as we look toward our next fifty years.”

About Cuvaison
Founded in 1969, Cuvaison is one of the pioneering wineries that helped to shape the modern era of California winemaking. Family owned for five decades, Cuvaison is dedicated to making estate-grown Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs from its 200-planted-acre, certified-sustainable estate vineyard in the cool Los Carneros appellation of Napa Valley. Made from this exceptional fruit, Cuvaison’s wines have earned acclaim as quintessential expressions of Napa Valley Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, recognized for their seamless balance and vineyard-inspired character and complexity. To learn more, visit www.cuvaison.com.