Emh Vineyards


Our tiny operation produces wine exclusively from grapes grown on our less-than-an-acre vineyard, with no additions of purchased fruit. What is in the bottle directly represents what is grown in our vineyard. EMH's Black Cat are impressed with the consistency of quality and character that emerges from each vintage we produce.

Location Description

Located in the valley floor near Pickett Road in Calistoga, California.


  • Produces outstanding fruits wine.

Additional Information

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The winemaker for EMH’s first nine vintages was Art Finkelstein. Art founded the well-known Whitehall Lane Winery, and after he sold that winery, Art opened Judd’s Hill Winery and custom crush facility. As the business grew, Art hired Kenn Vigoda to assist him in the winemaking, selecting someone whose philosophy of winemaking matched his own. Sadly, Art succumbed to cancer in 2010, leaving his son Judd to run the business and putting Kenn at the helm of EMH’s winemaking process. Kenn’s careful guidance allows the elegant, finesse style character of EMH’s “Black Cat” wine to take center stage..

Placido Garcia is the vineyard consultant. Placido began his career in the early 1960s, tending vines for the Christian Brothers. After a brief hiatus from the vineyards, he began working for Chateau Montelena in 1974, and currently holds the title of vineyard foreman for that same winery.


Merrill Lindquist, is a native of Massachusetts. She purchased the property in 1999, fulfilling a dream to own a country house surrounded by vineyards. From the 2000 harvest she kept a half-ton of grapes, and had them crafted by Finkelstein into EMH’s first wine. It was named “Black Cat” after Sparkles, the black cat who shares the property with the owner and her daughter Emily. The remaining tonnage was sold to another winery.

That wine was placed in a double-blind tasting at Jim Gallagher’s Wine Seminars of San Francisco, and it placed ahead of many high profile Napa Cabernets. A decision was made to stop selling grapes to other wineries, and to reserve all EMH grapes for an increased production of “Black Cat” wine. With the required time in the barrel and bottle, it was only with the 2003 vintage that production reached one hundred cases.

Estate Vineyards / AVA

Cross Creek Vineyard:
In the valley created between Howell Mountain and Glass Mountain lies Cross Creek Vineyard. Originally planted in the 1870’s with fruiting trees including walnuts and prunes, it was decided by Dr. Lewis Carpenter in the mid-1960’s to begin planting wine grapes. Since then the term ‘harvest’ has become more synonymous with Cabernet Sauvignon than prunes, though three rows of the original walnut orchard remain intact and provide us with a delicious annual crop.

The property, stretching from the perennial Howell Creek in the west to the year-round natural springs of Howell Mountain in the east, is incredibly bountiful and explains why most of our wildlife sightings occur in and around this vineyard. The vineyard reservoir hosts a growing family of fowl including ducks, a pair of Canadian geese, and the ever-present blue heron. In the creek and around the vineyard – to the dismay of neighbors with chickens and cats– we regularly spot bobcats, hawks, owls, coyotes, and even the occasional shoal of salmon.

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25 Rosedale Road
Calistoga, California 94515
United States

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