Frazier Winery

Winery

About

We produce consistently high quality, handcrafted wines which express the unique terroir of our Napa Valley vineyards. Bill Frazier started the Frazier label in 1995. His daughter Kim and her husband Adam now head up winery operations & sales. Frazier wines are made from 100% free-run juice, free-run being considered the highest quality juice one can get from the grapes. All of our fruit is handpicked and sorted 4 times to ensure that only the best fruit is used in crafting the Frazier wines.

Location Description

Located high on a hill in the Coombsville area of the Napa Valley.

Features

  • Producing handcrafted, boutique wines.

Additional Information

  • Meeting / Conference Facilities:
  • Caves:
  • Wedding Facilities:
  • Picnic Facilities:
  • Dog Friendly:
  • Winery Tours:
  • Wine Tasting:
  • Art or Architecture:
  • Organic / Biodynamic:
  • Awards:
  • Wine Club:
  • Lodging / Bed & Breakfast:

Winemaker

Kirk Venge is a second-generation winemaker who grew up in the Napa Valley. Kirk learned the art of winemaking at a young age from his father Nils Venge. Kirk graduated from UC Davis with a viticulture and enology degree in 1998. While at Davis, Kirk began working harvest at Mumm Napa Valley and continued on there for 5 vintages. Once he graduated, Kirk went abroad to work harvest at Rapaura Vintner's in New Zealand where he learned new winemaking techniques and broadened his wine knowledge. In 1999 Kirk partnered with his father Nils to start Venge Vineyards. During that time Kirk made a name for himself developing world class wines of his very own. Kirk now brings that experience to Frazier. We are excited to welcome Kirk to the team at Frazier and look forward to working him to continue on our journey to make wines of quality and distinction. At Frazier, Kirk will guide the development of our future releases from our estate vineyards as well as assist in the creation of new estate and non-estate varietals, including Frazier's first white wine made from Chardonnay vines planted on the estate in 2008.

History

In 1982 Bill Frazier purchased 15 rolling acres of land on the east side of Napa where he built a home for his family and decided to settle down. In 1990, Bill planted 9.5 acres of Cabernet and Merlot grapes on two opposing hillsides below his residence. At the time, Cabernet Sauvignon was not routinely planted this far south in the valley. Recent years had seen Merlot come of age in the Carneros region, just southwest of the Frazier Estate. The Merlot being grown in this cool region was particularly elegant, with great finesse and backbone, in addition to rich fruit. This young success influenced Bill Frazier's thinking and is what led him to take a risk, planting both Cabernet and Merlot in his east Napa location.

The young fruit from this first planting proved to be of the highest quality and in 1995 Bill made the decision to start a winery. The first releases of the Frazier wines garnered glowing reviews from wine critics and publications. Robert Parker of the Wine Advocate commented that “Frazier's impressive 1995 Merlot...” would leave him “searching out subsequent vintages”. After selling out his first few vintages with little effort Bill decided it was time to expand.

In 1998 Bill purchased a neighboring 46 acres of land and began a second planting. This new block of 11 acres contained Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. In 2001 Bill completed the construction of a 50,000 gallon winery facility where the Frazier wines were made from 2001-2010. In 2003, Bill drilled 10,000 square feet of cave into the hillside on the Rapp Lane property creating an optimum environment for storing and aging barreled wine. The cave, with its natural rock wall, quickly became the signature of the property.

In 2011 Bill and his family made the decision to sell his property and move to a virtual winery model. His daughter Kim and her husband Adam now manage the business and run it alongside Bill. They plan to put all of their efforts into the wines now having the opportunity to source fruit from top Napa Valley Vineyards. They will continue to work with Kirk Venge to produce wines in a similar style that rival the best in the Napa Valley.

The Team

Bill Frazier - Founder:

Bill Frazier started Frazier Winery in 1995. Since then, his whole family has contributed to the business in one way or another.

Kim - Operations/General Manager:

Kim has been working at Frazier Winery since 2002. After graduating from UC Davis with a degree in Managerial Economics Kim moved to San Diego where she sold wine for two years before moving back to Northern California. Kim has done everything from wholesale sales and tasting room to events and marketing. Currently, she runs the winery as Operations/General Manager.

Adam Caterino - Sales/Marketing:

Adam Caterino graduated from San Diego State in 2001. From there he went on to be one of the top admissions representatives at The San Francisco Culinary Academy. Adam became the face of Frazier Winery when he managed our tasting room and now manages our national sales, marketing, and grower relations.

Jon Frazier - Vineyard Manager:

Jon Frazier worked as the vineyard manager at the Frazier Family Estate until 2011 when the vineyards were sold. Jon's familiarity with the vineyard and all of it's nuances helped to shape the Frazier wines through the 2010 vintage.

Practices & Techniques

All of the Frazier wines are barrel-aged for an average of 18-24 months in French oak before they are blended and bottled. The blend and oak program for our wines vary from vintage to vintage to ensure a balanced and complex wine even in the most difficult vintages. These winemaking techniques contribute to the depth, structure, complexity and finesse of the Frazier Wines.

Estate Vineyards / AVA

The Frazier Estate is perched high on a hill in the Coombsville area of the Napa Valley. In 2006 this area of Napa, previously under the broad Napa Valley AVA, was submitted to the TTB for consideration as its own unique appelation. This new area would be called Coombsville and at this time is still pending approval.

The original planting, in 1990, was unusual for two reasons. First, Cabernet Sauvignon was not routinely planted this far south in the valley. Recent years had seen Merlot come of age in the Carneros region (just southwest of the Frazier Estate) and this young success influenced Bill Frazier's thinking. The Merlot grown in the cool Carneros region was particularly elegant, with great finesse and backbone, in addition to rich fruit. Bill decided to plant his site to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc.

In a second break from tradition Bill decided that the accepted spacing of 8 X12 (with approximately 450 vines per acre) was not appropriate for this location and this varietal mix. Accordingly, he planted his vineyard to a 6 X 31/2 spacing yielding approximately 2100 vines per acre. Putting this additional stress on the vine encourages the vine to produce fewer berries that are smaller in size, resulting in a wine of increased intensity and concentration.

The vineyard consists of two opposite facing hillsides. The Northern Hill, facing due south has a 14% downward slope. The soil is shallow with varying depths of 6" to 24". Vines are trained in the unique Scott-Henry trellis system, which alternates the training of one vine vertically upward and the next vine vertically downward. This allows the fruit to be exposed 100% to sun in both the morning and the afternoon and insures excellent ripening conditions.

The Merlot vines were planted as dormant benchgrafts with 2 different clonal selections on 5BB and 5C rootstock. The initial Cabernet vines were also planted as dormant benchgrafts with 4 clonal selections on 5BB, 5C, 1616, and 1103P rootstocks.

In 1998 Bill purchased the neighboring 46 acres and began a second planting. Completed in 1998, this new block of 11 acres contains Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. As the science of viticulture evolves planting decisions become both more complex and more significant. The issue of matching site to rootstock and scion wood becomes increasingly important in the quality of resulting fruit. For the new planting owner Bill Frazier, winemaker John Gibson, and noted viticulture consultant Rex Geitner chose 101-14 and 3309 as rootstocks for this site, Cabernet clones 337 and 15, Merlot clone 181, Petit Verdot clone 2 and Cabernet Franc clones 312 and 332. The first crop from this new block was harvested in 2000.

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Address

2270 Alysheba Ct
Napa, California 94559
United States

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