Gabrielle Collection is a series of boutique, luxury Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons and Proprietary Cabernet blends, that are invitingly and food complementary wines. They show the artistry of Winemaker Gabrielle in their balance, suppleness and distinction as she brings the magic of the soil and sun into a glass of wine.
Located in the heart of Napa valley, California.
- An Artistic Expression of Cabernet Sauvignon Handcrafted by Gabrielle.
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Studies include Napa College/UC Davis viticulture program, sensory evaluation and olive oil sensory evaluation.
Wayne heads the production and harvest activities and is part of the blending team. He finds wonderful vineyard fruit sources and assures that fruit for Gabrielle Collection wines is top quality. He worked for his grandfather in the vineyard and cellar growing up and learned old world winemaking methods first hand.
Studies include Napa College/UC Davis viticulture program.
Kyle stresses harvest practices of selective picking: multiple passes to pluck fruit only at its optimum. He works closely with the vineyard crews to gently coax the flavors from the soil. Kyle is responsible for all the technical aspects of winemaking: picking decisions, fermentation, barrel selection, blending trials, bottling.
A native of Napa Valley, Kyle previously worked at San Clement Winery and Robert Craig Winery as Assistant Winemaker, producing several vintages of highly rated Cabernets. He manages the production of high-end boutique wines at the custom Crush facility, Bin to Bottle.
Viticulture: Wine is made in the vineyard. Everyone at Gabrielle Collection is dedicated to this principle.
Patrick Riggs, Jack Neal and Son’s lead Viticulturist and Head of Organic Farming, is the consulting vineyard manager of the estate vineyard. In collaboration with Wayne & Gabrielle, he oversees vine health and quality and implements strategies to keep the vineyards free from damaging pests and disease. Every year, we meet to make farming practice decisions with the goal of producing top grape quality that expresses the unique soil properties of the estate vineyard. Each vine is treated individually in regard to water; fertilizer and pest management needs, always focusing on organic and sustainable practices. Patrick earned a BA at the University of Wisconsin, Soil Science and Bacteriology and Masters degree in Plant Pathology from U.C. Davis.
Practices & Techniques
Estate Vineyards / AVA
Oak Knoll District Appellation, Napa Valley
Located at the southern end of Napa valley about 5 miles from the San Francisco Bay, it enjoys the cool breezes of the San Francisco Bay, assuring long slow ripening and beautiful acidity, creating fruity of elegance and balance.
Climate: The vineyard enjoys cool fog in the evening hours through early morning. The summer days average in the upper 80’s, allowing perfect ripening of the seeds and skins- a key attribute of beautiful, expressive Cabernet Sauvignon. Harvest is usually in October, allowing a low ripening period, resulting in finely grained and integrated tannins.
Soil: The diverse soil results from the convergence of Mt Veeder alluvial soils, Dry Creek gravel & loam deposits, ancient ocean bottom and decomposed volcanic soil.
“I knew something special was going on beneath the ground of our estate gardens. When planting large trees and shrubs they often languished for a few years before they had a huge growth spurt. When we excavated a 20’ deep drainage trench, we discovered alternating striates of gravel, 12” cobble and loam. Now I understood- the roots had to forge through this complex structure. But when they did they, they flourished!
And so was with our vineyard. The result: very small concentrated fruit growing next to vigorously vines. They each demanded their own water, pruning and fruit management program. But this offers us excitingly varied grape flavors, which you will discover in our unique wine.” -Gabrielle
Each block has had its own geological history, which provides distinctive flavors. As the roots of the vines forge deep into the earth, their individuality becomes more pronounced.
Cabernet Sauvignon Clone 337
When the vineyard was developed, Gabrielle insisted on saving the heritage apple tree. She strongly believes in bio-diversity of the vineyard environment and this tree provided shade and sweet treats to the horses living in the former corral surrounding the apple tree. It still produces delicious apples and is a beautiful accent to the adjoining vineyard.
The Apple Block has gravely soil due to its proximity to Dry Creek. Fine gravel continuously washes to the surface and its soil does not have great moisture retention. Those qualities create very concentrated fruit that resulting in a richly textured wine. When visiting the vineyard, our guests observe that the canes are much smaller in diameter than the Olive Block only 15 feet across the driveway- a result of less rich soil, less water available to the roots and challenging navigation through dense layers of river cobble. The Apple Block is managed to lower fruit volume to not overstress the vines and extract maximum flavors. This vineyard ripens 1-2 weeks later than the neighboring Olive Block, so hand harvesting must be done in phases, each determined by the block’s ripening schedule. Harvest is dictated by its unique soil structure.
Cabernet Sauvignon Clone 337
Historic Mission olive trees are the namesakes of the Olive Block. Gabrielle propagated the trees herself from the last known original Mission Olive Grove (1797) located near Santa Barbara, California, that she discovered while researching California Olive history for her book, The Ultimate Guide to American Olive Oil.
The canes of the vines in the Olive Block are almost double the size of the Apple block, as the soil has more loam, less gravel and more water retention. This block was the edge of the ancient creek bed and had rich soil deposits. In average rainfall years, minimal or no irrigation is required by the vines to remain vigorous. The vines like to carry more fruit and be harvested earlier producing a wine that is sensuous and mouth filling.
French Gate Block
Cabernet Sauvignon Clone 337
An elegant antique French Gate opens to reveal a complex vineyard. A result of a mix of gravel from long gone small streams, volcanic sub soil structure and a thin layer of loam, these vines must be treated as individuals- a specialized drip system imparts water only to some, vines are fertilized with compost in accordance with their requirements. They are pampered! The end result is a firmly structured wine with beautifully complex flavors.
Cabernet Sauvignon Clone 11 & 7
Dry Creek winds around this block and still floods about every 10 years. Sine the vines are dormant, this does not impact the vines. But it is a big cleanup job. As a teen, Preston O’Connell dog a 15’ deep trench to build a fort in the middle of what was then a field of grasses and wild flowers. He uncovered a finely structured layer cake of rich loam, sand and gravel alternating in 1-3” layers. He uncovered the history of the soil, which determined the clones and rootstock selection perfectly suited to these conditions and subsequent vineyard management practices.
Petit Verdot Block
Along 200’ tall Eucalyptus trees, and a field of lavender, tightly spaced Petit Verdot grows, a small lot production that is a powerful component to the vineyard blend.