ODETTE ESTATE GRAND OPENING
Odette is a fabled princess… a mistress…a judge…a heroine. Odette is both of antiquity and modernity. You will find her in works of fiction and tales from history. Odette encapsulates our inspiration for this property – femininity, strength and power. Enchanté. Tucked into the dramatic palisades of the Stags Leap District, sits Odette Estate on 45 voluptuous acres. As the newest addition to the beloved region, Odette looks to serve as a “breath of fresh air” to the historic District. Contemporary architecture and design, paired with a contemporary stance on environmental responsibility, Odette is symbolic of the future of Stags Leap. With its two sister properties, PlumpJack and CADE (located in Oakville and Howell Mountain respectively), Odette rounds out the trio of wineries committed to producing full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignons that are notable for the combination of power and elegance, while simultaneously showcasing the unique properties of the AVA.
Located in the heart of the Stags Leap District.
- Effortlessly Elegant, Deliberately Bold.
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Average Bottle Price
As Cal Poly began expanding their Wine & Viticulture department, Jeff began exploring classes in the department on the suggestion of friends. He immediately fell in love. What began as a minor, ultimately evolved into a full-fledged major at the University—which Jeff jumped at being a part of, ultimately becoming part of Cal Poly’s first graduating class in Wine & Viticulture.
After graduation, in the fall of 2005, Jeff spent his first harvest internship at the highly respected Cakebread Cellars here in Napa Valley. After his experience working at a larger production winery, Jeff wanted an opportunity to work at a more boutique facility. After a great deal of research, Jeff handpicked a select group of wineries to apply to—one of which was PlumpJack. Hired initially as a cellar worker in February of 2006, Jeff quickly rose up through the ranks becoming a vital member of the winemaking team. Promoted to Enologist in 2007, followed by Assistant Winemaker for PlumpJack in 2008, Jeff gained an intimate knowledge of the property, as well as winemaking as a whole.
Ahead of the 2010 harvest, Jeff was presented an opportunity to move to Howell Mountain as CADE’s Assistant Winemaker. With CADE’s addition to the PlumpJack portfolio, the new winery provided an opportunity for Jeff to further expand his winemaking expertise. At CADE Jeff was tasked with learning an entirely different style of winemaking, including heavy tannin management—a skill that has proved invaluable here in Stags Leap.
After two harvests on Howell Mountain, yet another opportunity for growth presented itself to Jeff with the purchase of a 3rd winery by PlumpJack, this one located in Stags Leap. Beginning in February of 2012, Jeff was named Head Winemaker for the new property. Having been part of the close-knit team during CADE’s inception, he had a unique knowledge of the process behind setting up a new winery—with still more to learn. With his team in place going into the 2012 harvest, he worked closely with Vineyard Manager, Dave Pirio, on perfecting the vineyards during the growing season as well as selecting superlative times to pick during harvest. Despite the learning curve set by the new property, the 2012 vintage turned out to be a blockbuster debut for Jeff and the Odette team.
Competitive by nature, that same spirit translates to his approach with winemaking. “I want to make the best wine possible.” Jeff is focused on crafting wines that are “energetic, expressive and approachable from day 1 to 25 years.” While thoroughly enjoying his professional life, Jeff is also enjoying a busy home life as husband and father to his beautiful family.
Adrien Halpin, enologist, has been an integral part of Odette Estate’s early development. Adrien was Odette’s first hire by winemaker Jeff Owens in April 2012, and together the two have worked diligently in creating wine representative of the estate’s distinct terroir.
Despite growing up far from wine country (hailing from Leucadia, CA), Adrien’s parents fostered a deep appreciation of wine at an early age through their travel to esteemed grape-growing regions in France and Italy. While struggling to decide on a collegial path, a chance encounter with a chemistry class his senior year of high school helped to spark a newfound academic interest in the sciences. When it came time to decide on a major to pursue in college, Adrien hoped to find something that satisfied interests in both art and science– thus leading him to pursuing a degree in Viticulture and Enology at California Polytechnic University: San Luis Obispo in the department’s first freshman class in Fall of 2005.
While at Cal Poly during his second year, Adrien began working at a local restaurant and wine bar in San Luis Obispo where he continued to nurture his interest and knowledge of wine through working closely with the restaurant’s wine buyer before eventually being promoted to Wine Director of the restaurant in 2009.
Prior to joining Odette, Adrien also spent three consecutive harvests from 2009-2011 interning at three Central Coast wineries all specializing in a variety of different wines. When asked to describe the decision to move from the Central Coast and establish a career in the Napa Valley, Adrien likens it to being called up to “the big leagues.”
In addition to a pre-existing interest in moving to the renowned valley, Odette in particular appealed to Adrien due to the focus on estate-made wines, as well as the property’s dynamic soil composition and the unique micro-climate of the site. Furthermore, joining the team at Odette has allowed him to “be a part of something,” in building the brand and the winery literally from the ground up. The winemaking practices that Jeff and Adrien have established at Odette are truly something to be revered, as is evident by the first wines released.
Practices & Techniques
Enlightened wine estate owners today, including Odette, know that going organic in their vineyards makes for healthier soil, more biologically balanced and pest-resistant grapevines, and more natural and complex wines. Organic farming avoids synthetic fertilizers and insecticides, and encourages the use of compost and manure to create soil rich with natural nutrition and beneficial plant and animal life that help sustain the vines from year to year.
Planting a cover crop of grass, clover or mustard between the vine rows is an essential part of organic farming. In California, the cover crop grows during the rainy season of winter and spring. Growers rarely if ever harvest it, but usually mow it short for the summer. The cover crop encourages natural predators of the vines’ insect enemies, increases the “tilth” or cultivating capacity of the soil, and when plowed under it adds oxygen and nutrients.
Composting — creating soil amendments by “fermenting” plant material that is then tilled back into soil — is another key element of organic vine growing. It helps build soil fertility on the premise that a healthy, living soil produces healthy plants which are more resistant to pests and disease and have higher nutritional value.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture stipulates that American farms, including wine-grape vineyards, may gain certified organic status with a rigorous yearly inspection conducted by certified USDA inspection agencies. The non-profit California Certified Organic Farmers association holds Odette to these high standards.