Yao Family Wines
Yao Family Wines: At the vine
Napa Valley vineyards with a reputation for excellent fruit and selects individual blocks to blend for flavor and texture in its world-class wines. Our wine brand is elegant, refined and powerful.
Located from north to south along the Napa Valley,
- Yao Family Wines consists of three artfully crafted wines.
- Meeting / Conference Facilities:
- Wedding Facilities:
- Picnic Facilities:
- Dog Friendly:
- Winery Tours:
- Wine Tasting:
- Art or Architecture:
- Organic / Biodynamic:
- Wine Club:
- Lodging / Bed & Breakfast:
Under Tom’s direction, Yao Family Wines has garnered prestigious recognition globally including top honors from Robb Report China’s Robb Choice · Best of the Best 2012 where exceptional brands are celebrated for offering the best products in their industries, and a nomination from Wine Enthusiast magazine for 2012 American Winery of the Year following the extraordinary scores of 97 points for the 2009 Yao Ming® Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 95 points for the 2009 Yao Ming® Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Tom’s impressive resume spans over three decades with prior posts at some of California’s most acclaimed wineries: from 2005 to 2010, Tom was President, CEO and Director of Winemaking for Flowers Vineyard and Winery, a specialty Pinot Noir and Chardonnay producer located on the Sonoma Coast.
From 1997 to 2005, Tom was General Manager for Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates and helped develop two famed Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon programs as part of the winemaking teams for Lokoya and Cardinale.
Additionally, Tom supported the winemaking team at Stonestreet Winery and launched the world-renowned Vérité Estate. For seven years, Tom was General Manager at La Crema and Hartford Family Winery where he helped build La Crema into one of Sonoma County’s most prominent wine producers.
At Yao Family Wines, Tom has leveraged his longstanding grower relationships to source some of Napa Valley’s most sought-after fruit, providing him with the top quality grapes necessary to craft the finest Cabernet Sauvignon from the region. This combined with Tom’s deft winemaking approach and exceptional palate has propelled the highly coveted Yao Family Wines to “must have” status world-wide.
Tom has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Toledo and a winemaking certificate from the highly-regarded University of California, Davis. Tom lives in Santa Rosa and Truckee, California, with his wife and three children.
Vineyards and Wine
Yao Family Wines sources the grapes for its YAO MING® Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from prestigious Napa Valley vineyards with a reputation for excellent fruit and selects individual blocks to blend for flavor and texture in its world-class wines. The vineyards are located from north to south along the Napa Valley, where the variation in climate and soils provide the grapes with distinct characteristics that add complexity to the final blend. The grapes are fermented using artisan winemaking techniques and are aged up to 18 months in 100% French oak barrels. Only the best lots were used in the final blend.
Yao Ming is known for his exceptional accomplishments, both on and off the basketball court. Yao flourished as one of the premier players in the NBA for nearly a decade, becoming an NBA All-Star five times over the course of his career. In 2003, Yao was listed in TIME as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. In 2008, Yao played for the Chinese national team in the Beijing Summer Olympics, and was granted the honor of carrying China’s flag into the arena during the opening ceremonies.
Yao’s humanitarian career also began in 2008, when he created the Yao Ming Foundation in response to the devastating earthquake in Sichuan Province, China. The foundation’s long-term mission is to provide educational opportunities for children in the United States and China. The foundation has committed to rebuilding five schools in the earthquake region. The new earthquake resistant schools will provide top-level education for more than 1,400 students, many of whom will board at the schools. The foundation has also made grants to help rebuild four playgrounds in Houston destroyed by Hurricane Ike. Yao has pledged $2 million to the foundation, and has committed to covering all the administrative costs with his personal funds.
Yao also serves as a global ambassador for the Special Olympics and Wildaid. Yao and Sir Richard Branson have recently joined forces with Wildaid in an effort to save sharks from extinction, and Yao has made a global appeal to ban shark fin soup.
Yao has a long-term mission to help contribute to the growth and development of basketball in China, at the youth, professional and national team levels. Yao is now an owner of the Shanghai Sharks, the professional basketball team in the Chinese Basketball Association that Yao played for in his youth.
Yao retired from the NBA in the summer of 2011. He is now focused on his own education, recently enrolling as an undergraduate student at Shanghai Jiao Tong University where he will major in economics. He also continues his humanitarian projects, his ownership role with Shanghai Sharks basketball team, and his new Napa Valley wine venture. Yao makes his home in Shanghai, with his wife and daughter.
Larry Bradley - Consulting Viticulturist:
Larry has a strong background in both developing and managing vineyards throughout the known world. His particular expertise lies in soils and conservation and his extensive resume includes vineyard management and viticulture consulting experience with Clos du Val Winery, Clover Hill (Australia), Domaine de Nizas (Languedoc, France), Elyse Winery, Falcor Winery, Flowers Winery, Morisoli Vineyards, Taltarni Winery (Australia) and V. Sattui Winery among others.
Larry has Bachelors and Masters degrees in Plant Science from the University of California, Davis.
Practices & Techniques
Director of Winemaking, Tom Hinde, blends four of the five classic Bordeaux varietals for the YAO MING® Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The predominant grape is Cabernet Sauvignon with small percentages of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot added to provide texture, color intensity, flavor and tannin balance to the final blend. Each variety in each block is farmed separately to achieve maximum flavors and ripeness.
Harvest begins when the grapes exhibit textural ripeness, mature tannins and optimal Brix to produce wines with structure and elegance. The grapes are hand-harvested in the early morning to ensure cool temperature delivery to the winery.
Once at the winery, grapes are hand-sorted and de-stemmed, then lightly crushed and placed in stainless steel tanks. Tom tracks each lot of grapes from individual vineyard blocks and ferments them separately under cold temperature-controlled conditions. He uses artisan winemaking techniques throughout the entire process to allow the character of the vineyards to speak in the wines.
The basic character of the wines forms early in fermentation when color, tannin and flavor components begin to emerge. Fermentation is conducted using native yeasts from the vineyard, which create subtle nuances in the wines from each individual site. The wines undergo an extended maceration and stay in contact with the grape skins and seeds to extract more color, tannin and flavors. Following fermentation, the wines are gently pressed in a traditional small wooden basket press. The wines are then aged exclusively in 100% French Oak barrels for at least 18 months. Individual barrels from each lot are then hand selected by taste for the final blend.
Estate Vineyards / AVA
The Napa Valley is bordered by the Mayacamas Mountains to the west and the Vaca Mountains to the east. The floor of the main valley gradually rises from sea level at the southern end to 110 meters (362 feet) above sea level at the northern end in Calistoga, at the foot of Mount Saint Helena. The soil in the southern end of the valley consists mainly of sediments deposited by earlier advances and retreats of San Pablo Bay, while the soil at the northern end of the valley contains a large volume of volcanic lava and ash. The open southern end of the valley floor is cooler during the growing season due to the proximity of San Pablo Bay while the sheltered, closed northern end is often much warmer. The eastern side of the valley tends to be more arid because winter storms tend to drop more precipitation on the western mountains and hills.
Yao Family Wines sources the grapes for its Yao Ming® Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from prestigious Napa Valley vineyards with a reputation for excellent fruit and selects individual blocks to blend for flavor and texture in its world-class wines. The vineyards are located from north to south along the Napa Valley, where the variation in climate and soils provide grapes with distinct characteristics that can add to the complexity of the final blends.
Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard in the Vaca Mountains has very rocky, well-drained alluvial and volcanic soils which allow the vines to struggle, resulting in highly concentrated fruit, the hallmark of great wine. Yao Family Wines sources grapes from 6.9 hectares (17 acres) on the western benchland.
Tourmaline Vineyard located in Coombsville and Tulocay, is heavily influenced by its proximity to the maritime climate of San Pablo Bay. The cool breezes and fog that shroud the vineyard provide a special micro-climate for the vines. Named after the birthstone of November, Tourmaline fruit is typically picked in that month, later than most vineyards, due to its cool weather patterns. Yao Family Wines sources grapes from 3.4 hectares (8.4 acres) on gently sloping terrain.
Circle S Vineyard resides at an elevation of 427 meters (1,400 feet) on Atlas Peak, making it one of the highest vineyards in Napa Valley. The high elevation ideally situated in cool mountain air prolongs the growing season and allows the grape clusters to develop slowly and achieve textural ripeness. Yao Family Wines sources grapes from 3.2 hectares (7.8 acres) on densely planted vines in gravely volcanic loam soils.
Broken Rock Vineyard, located in Soda Canyon, is on a steep, western facing slope, giving it ample afternoon sun, and has extremely low fertility volcanic, granite-like sub-soil. The rocky terrain provides excellent drainage and naturally devigorates the vines, producing wines of concentration, elegance and character. Yao Family Wines sources grapes from 3.7 hectares (9.2 acres).
Silverado Hill Vineyard is located in Yountville, in the Oak Knoll district. Yao Family Wines sources grapes from 1.3 hectares (3.1 acres), planted on alluvial fan and clay loam soils.
Wollack Vineyard is located in St. Helena in the heart of Napa Valley. Yao Family Wines sources grapes from 1.1 hectares (2.6 acres).