Foley Johnson Winery
Our tasting room is situated in the vineyard, with both an indoor Tasting Salon and casual outdoor tables for an unforgettable experience!
Foley Johnson Winery is located in the prestigious Rutherford AVA of Napa Valley. The winery is conveniently located on the east side of Highway 29 in Rutherford. The hospitality center is housed in an old converted redwood barn built in the 1920s. The winery is a gravity-flow facility located behind the hospitality center. Below the winemaking area is an underground barrel room, wine library and a modern gravity-flow cellar.
- Foley Johnson exemplifies the understated elegance and casual warmth of the Valley.
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Brad Warner was born in Sebastopol and raised along the remote coastline of northern California, somewhere between the tiny towns of Gualala and Point Arena. He spent much of his childhood outdoors camping, fishing and scouring for abalone.
In 1967 Brad moved to the Napa Valley and began his career in the wine industry as a cellar worker for Charles Krug Winery. Three years later he moved to Robert Mondavi Winery to become their cellar foreman.
During his career at Mondavi, Brad completed courses in winemaking and business management at Napa Valley College, UC Davis and Stanford University. He remained at Mondavi for 30 years.
During and after his time at Mondavi, Brad made many trips to the wine regions of France. It helped shape his views on viticulture and winemaking. “I like Bordeaux, but I really love Burgundy. It reminds me more of what we do here in California. The attention to detail, the natural way of grape growing and winemaking, the whole concept of the traditional vigneron… The emphasis is on understanding the vineyard and listening to the wines throughout the winemaking process. The best growers I met in the Cote d’Or had an incredibly deep connection to the land.”
In 1995 Brad helped Charles and Joanne Sawyer produce their inaugural 135 cases of wine from their property in the Rutherford AVA. “Having vinified fruit from all of Napa, I was thrilled to be working with Rutherford grapes,” said Brad. “To me this is one of the world’s finest areas for Bordeaux varieties. The wines offer exceptional varietal accuracy – Cabernet tastes like Cabernet and Merlot tastes like Merlot. You don’t have the blurring between grapes that can happen in other locales.”
“Our Foley Johnson Estate wines come from our vineyards in the AVA. They capture the purity and transparency that are the hallmarks of Rutherford. The tannins are gentle, the fruit is balanced and you can literally taste the terroir. I’m also excited about our Handmade tier of wines. It gives me a chance to work with different varieties and appellations, plus I get to interact with many of the other winemakers in the Foley Family Wines organization.”
Today, Brad lives up on Trinity Road, roughly 2200 feet above the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. His hobbies include camping and fishing – holdovers from his childhood. He also enjoys traveling and cooking. He and his wife Lisa have two Boxers, names Beau and Fawn, and five rescue cats.
David Ramey, Consulting Winemaker
David Ramey is one of the true visionaries who can see all the moving parts – from the first spring vineyard growth – ultimately to how a wine will evolve in the years ahead. David is known for seeking balance and harmony in wines under his care, and for striking results not only for his own winery, but for world renowned wineries like Chateau Petrus and California estates, Dominus and Rudd. He recently joined the Foley Johnson winemaking team to help our team quickly establish itself as one of Napa Valley’s premier, world-class winegrowing estates.
Bill Foley’s passion for great wine inspired his launching of Foley Family Wines in 1996. Since then, Foley Family Wines has grown to become a major producer, marketer and distributor of highly-acclaimed wines from some of the world’s greatest vineyards.
Bill received his B.S. degree in Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He served in the U.S. Air Force, where he attained the rank of Captain. Bill earned an M.B.A. from Seattle University and his J.D. degree in 1974 from The University of Washington School of Law. Bill is Chairman of the Board of Directors for Fidelity National Inc and Executive Chairman of Fidelity National Information Services. Both are Fortune 500 companies.
Carol Johnson Foley, Owner
Bill’s wife, Carol Johnson Foley, was born and raised in Washington. She's a devoted mom of their four children, Lindsay, Robert, Courtney and Patrick. While she is actively involved in Foley Johnson she is also deeply passionate about the plight of underprivileged children in America. To this end, Carol and Bill founded the Foley Family Charitable Foundation which focuses on veterans and ensuring that children have access to visual and performing arts, regardless of financial ability. Carol is also an active Board member of the Jacksonville-based Cathedral Arts Project. Also known as capkids.org, this foundation provides access to instruction in the visual and performing arts for young people in Northeast Florida. By unleashing the creative spirit, they hope to empower underserved, school-aged children to succeed in all areas of their lives.
Practices & Techniques
Estate Vineyards / AVA
Foley Johnson has 50 acres of estate vineyards in the heart of Rutherford, one of the most heralded AVAs in America. In addition to its historical importance, Rutherford is recognized as one of California’s greatest regions for luxury-class wines. The appellation encompasses six square miles and possesses a total of 3,518 acres of vineyards of which 71% are planted to Cabernet Sauvignon. The climate is an arid Region II, with warm days and cool nights throughout the summer months. The soils are primarily gravel, sand and loam. The combination of conditions makes this the perfect place for Bordeaux varieties.
The original vineyard (nearly 40 acres) surrounding the winery extends east from Highway 29 down to the banks of the Napa River. It is divided into 29 blocks based on soils, exposure and aspect. Until 1984, when the first vines were introduced by Bill and Lila Jaeger, the original estate was planted to plum and walnut orchards. Today the site features 14.35 acres Cab Sauv, 12.34 acres Merlot, 1.27 acres Petite Sirah, 1.74 acres Petit Verdot, 1.55 acres Cabernet Franc, 1.10 acres Malbec, 3.38 acres Sauvignon Blanc, and 1.57 acres Sauvignon Musque.
The neighboring 10-acre estate parcel, just south of the original vineyard, offers similar conditions with excellent drainage and a shade more adobe in the soil. It is planted exclusively to Cabernet Sauvignon.