Sill Family Vineyards
Sill Family Vineyards is a family-owned and operated winery and estate vineyards dedicated to hand crafting exceptional, ultra-premium, limited production wines. As a Court of Master Sommelier, Winemaker, Igor Sill became passionate about Bordeaux wines after being introduced to Château Margaux, Château Latour, Château Haut-Brion and Château Lafite Rothschild in the late 1970s by H. Lyman Emerson, a renaissance gentleman and noted fine wine collector. We hand craft award-winning, world class volcanic, high elevation Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Chardonnay and a uniquely obscure Rosé combining new world vineyard advancements with the graceful sophistication of old world Grand cru Bordeaux and Burgundy. Robert Parker extended a 97 points rating to this vineyard’s 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon vintage and Wine Spectator rated it 98 points. Our 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon received the coveted CWSA 2018 Wine of the Year award, as well as the Double Gold Medal. Some wines are worth remembering, a rare few are unforgettable.
Located in the quiet hills of Atlas Peak in Napa Valley.
- - Industry first Burgundian & Bordeaux styled très Chardonnay de Rosé. - National Wildlife Federation certified which provide a thriving habitat for our wildlife. Protecting our habitat and ecosystem remains an integral priority for our vineyards and the surrounding environment.
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Igor went on to become a Court of Master Sommelier, judging wine competitions including the annual International Wine Challenge, earned his Masters at Oxford University’s Merton College and learned his winemaking craft via UC Davis’ viticulture program. He worked at Italian wine producer, V. Sattui Winery and Opus One Winery in Napa. Igor acquired the St. Helena appellation property some twenty nine years prior and fell in love with Napa’s numerous microclimates and unique terroirs. Thereafter, he started a thorough search for an extraordinary volcanic mountain vineyard. That search lead to the purchase of the twenty four acre Atlas Peak Mountain Winery property (formerly Ardente Estate Winery) in 2016, turning his passion for collecting fine Bordeaux and Burgundian wines into a love for producing it with an artisian Old-World approach.
Igor chose Napa’s high elevation Atlas Peak volcanic appellation on the Vaca mountain ridge given its longer sun exposure and cooler nights because it presents an obscure, distinctive area for truly great wines, those with profound boldness, elegance, density and character. There are numerous soil characteristics which provide this specific site with the mysteries that unfold in this volcanic mountain plateau’s exceptional terroir. This vineyard represents a unique piece of Napa winemaking history as it was one of the most difficult to plant, hard to farm and its quality is truly exceptional. Of course, the small size of the vineyard limits production, but then, it also produces some of the greatest cabernet fruit Napa has to offer each and every year. This secluded piece of land is turning the heads of wine critics and collectors worldwide.
There is an undeniable interest in wines born of volcanic origin, interest which seems to have evolved into a significant upward trend in the wine world. Any restaurant with pretensions of discovering beautiful, ultra premium wines will have an Atlas Peak red wine listed these days. Igor spends considerable time walking this volcanic vineyard, developing an appreciation for every row of vines in his Atlas Peak mountain vineyard. The rootstocks receive excellent drainage as a result of the igneous volcanic rock’s structure, moisture retention and aeration characteristics when combined with ideal exposure to sunlight. These wines possess all the elements of greatness, an individuality combined with elegance, extraordinary complexity, remarkable aging potential, remaining faithful to the vineyard’s pedigree. It’s this understanding and an integrated natural and precision farming approach to growing grapes that allows him to produce wines that reflect the essence, soul and spirit of this volcanic mountain range, because exceptional wines are truly created from exceptional grapes.
Like any other great work, his arose out of the passion for uncompromised quality in creating exceptional wines. As a result, his wines are receiving world-wide rave reviews for their powerful expressiveness, density, character, elegance and silk-long finish. “We’ve uncovered an amazingly serene and peaceful lifestyle along with the challenges that volcanic viticulture and Napa Valley offers.” Fine wine, sunshine, great food and romance are enticements that seduces everyone who visits here.
Practices & Techniques
Wild yeast is exactly what the name implies, it is the naturally existing yeast blowing and circulating in the vineyard’s air, much as pollen does. The yeasts in vineyards seem to flow from wind-ruffled trees, transported by mild breezes, bees, and insects that surround the vineyard. Wild yeast attaches to surfaces of the grape skin and, as it hangs onto the skins, it faithfully represents its surroundings, the air, sunshine, temperature, bees, vines and many other elements. It’s a complex organism that fuels and drives many processes in the crafting of wine and certainly influences the final, finished product.
Winemakers believe that the land speaks to them of possibilities. My sole ambition is to fully express those possibilities, capturing the very best of what this magical land offers. This care and attention is manifested in our vineyard’s sustainable precision farming practices.
We are committed to maintaining the beauty of our natural habitat with sustainability as the focus of our green farming practices. We take into account the impact of every vineyard decision on the native ecosystems under our stewardship. We plant a diverse array of cover crops which are matched to our specific soil type to naturally improve soil nutrients, health and promote indigenous insect growth while using organically produced compost in our plants, soils and vineyards.
Our precision farming practice utilizes a total systems approach, essentially treating the vineyard as an overall component of a much larger ecosystem. We emphasize minimal soil tilling, smart energy use, waste management and water conservation as good stewards of these lands, while creating wines that are uniquely expressive. We employ an extensive winery waste water management system that captures waste water to prevent run-off and soil erosion.
We understand that what is best for our vineyards is ultimately best for Mother Nature and our planet Earth and we hope to continue this commitment of responsibility to the environment for generations to come.
Estate Vineyards / AVA
Court of Master Sommelier - Cabernet Sauvignon
Superb! Sill Family Vineyards' Atlas Peak Estate tres Cabernet Sauvignon received the coveted DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL and the 2018 Wine of the Year award from CWSA, the largest international wine competition with 100 blind tasting judges.