New plan at Stags’ Leap Winery

on 03/03/11 at 11:59 am

Wine

At a time when even cult California wines are languishing in warehouses, things are humming at Napa’s Stags’ Leap Winery.

Through the recession and a global wine glut, Stags’ Leap has managed to keep its customer base and has a five-year plan to increase production annually.

“We have very faithful fans for Stags’ Leap,” says general manager and winemaker Christophe Paubert, 49, who came aboard only 18 months ago. “We’ve seen no drop in our merlot sales and I’ve been asked to bottle more cabernet sauvignon. We’re really investing in our own ability to sell our wines in the future.”

The 81-acre winery, founded in 1893 by Horace Chase, takes its name from a native Wappo legend about a stag escaping hunters along the palisades. (Confusingly, another, wholly unassociated winery named Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars was founded in 1970.)

Part of the plan is to give Paubert more leeway in refining the winery’s style.

“I love the chemistry of wine but am very traditional, so I’m always wary of new technologies,” Paubert says. “The other day, a guy showed me a plastic tank with wooden staves inside and said it was better than an oak barrel. I said goodbye to him quickly.”

{Full story via Press Democrat}

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