Volker Eisele Family Estate

Tasting Notes - Volker Eisele Family Estate 2006 Napa Valley Red Wine


Volker Eisele Family Estate creates enticing wines from the Chiles Valley appellation of the Napa Valley. Organically farmed for forty years, the Estate produces wines of uncommon balance and finesse. All fruit for the four limited production wines is grown in our Chiles Valley vineyard. The Cabernet Sauvignon is known for its elegance, depth and complexity. Terzetto is a unique proprietary blend of co-fermented Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, while Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc, combined in the Bordeaux style, create the luscious Gemini.

Location Description

Volker Eisele Family Estate is situated in the Chiles Valley District, one of fifteen grape growing appellations within the Napa Valley Viticultural Area.


  • Celebrating 40 years of organic farming.

Additional Information

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The four hundred acre estate was originally part of the "Rancho Catacula" land grant, given to Joseph Bollinger Chiles in 1843 by the last Mexican governor of California. The Chiles family later sold a portion of their land to Francis Sievers, a German pioneer. In the 1870's, Sievers founded Lomita's Vineyard and Winery on the site. The original winery building, some of the tanks, and the original press constructed by Sievers still remain on the Estate. The oldest cabernet vines were planted by the Eiseles in 1975 and continue to yield fruit of superb quality.

The Team

During the early 1970s, Volker Eisele was a graduate student in sociology at the University of California in Berkeley. He found weekend respite from the pressures of academia in the tranquil foothills of the Napa Valley. Enlightened by the peaceful beauty, he and his family moved from their Berkeley home to plant their seeds in the breathtaking 400 acre valley estate on which the vineyard is located. In 1974 Volker became a scholar of grape growing.

Renowned as one of Napa Valley’s finest quality grape growers, Volker has dedicated over three decades to mastering the art of sustainable organic viticulture. His passion for grape growing and land preservation serve as a beacon to others. He is past president of the Napa County Farm Bureau as well as of the Napa Valley Grape Growers and was presented the Napa Valley’s 2008 Agriculturalist of the Year award.

Volker’s approach to fine winemaking is simple: exceptional fruit produces exceptional wine. Guided by this overarching principle, he began bottling wine under the Volker Eisele Family Estate label in 1991.

Liesel, Volker’s wife, winery partner and landscape architect, brings an entirely different dimension to the winery. She concentrates on the aesthetics of the family estate as well as the horticultural well being of plant life in Chiles Valley. Her firm has designed the landscape plans for many residential and commercial projects including numerous wineries in the region. With her love of the land and deep understanding of the “terroir” that makes wine so unique, she continues to be an indispensable partner in the success of Volker Eisele Family Estate.

Alexander Eisele grew up on the vineyard and, while it might be said that he has followed in his father’s footsteps, has taken the science of growing superb grapes to another level. As a small boy he often snacked on the juicy fruit right off the vine and refined his taste buds at an early age. His choice of career was no surprise. Alexander, who is fluent in German and Spanish, obtained his degree in International Business and is well equipped to manage the challenge and complexity of a family winery. With his business degree, foreign language skill, refined wine palate and love for the land, Alexander is the ideal successor to his father.

Christiane, like her brother Alexander, also grew up on the ranch. Her love of wine led her to complete a degree in Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis. From there she moved on to Medical School and a specialty in Emergency Medicine at Charity Hospital in New Orleans. While she lives away from Napa and is following a career in medicine, she still finds time to indulge her passion for wine and to assist her wine-making family whenever possible.

The newest addition to the family is Catherine, Alexander's wife. She is a Napa native and has been exposed to wine and vineyards since childhood. Her job as manager of an accounting firm in St. Helena has given her valuable business experience. Catherine has also become an indispensable member of our tasting team and assists Alexander with marketing strategies.

Practices & Techniques

Over the past 35 years the Eiseles have enriched the vineyard soils through use of organic farming practices. No herbicides, pesticides or chemical fertilizers have been used. The vineyard is certified as organic by both the California Certified Organic Farmers and the California Department of Food and Agriculture. It has been set back from the property's creeks to substantially increase riparian vegetation. Oaks and other native tree species have been planted on the creek banks to prevent erosion. Throughout the property creeks and associated riparian areas have been protected and enhanced.

Estate Vineyards / AVA

The Estate's sixty acres of vineyard grow at elevations of 900 to 1100 ft on east, west and south facing slopes as well as on the valley floor. Soils vary from clay-loam to shale. After purchase of the vineyard property, the Eiseles began an extensive redevelopment and restoration of both the vineyard acreage and the riparian corridors. Presently 72% of the vineyard is planted in Cabernet Sauvignon, 12.5% Merlot, 10.5% Cabernet Franc, 3% Semillon and 2% Sauvignon Blanc. Seven different Cabernet clones have been incorporated to provide diversity of flavor.

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3080 Lower Chiles Valley Road
St Helena, California 94574
United States

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