So people as, you know why did you build this winery? And the answer is really simple, to make the best wine we can. I certainly can’t think of a domestic winery that has built a winery around a single wine, which is so unique for me and really any winemaker making the quantity of this wine that we are. This facility has so many things that will affect wine quality over the next 10, 20, 50 years. We’ve had a foundational philosophy at Silver Oak that we have yet to make our best bottle of wine. If you’ve been drinking our wine for a long time you know that is one of our core sayings next to “Life is a Cabernet.” We just wanted to continue to pursue our march towards excellence for our customer, for our fans and to continue to deliver on the promise that Silver Oak is.
Since 1992 we had one winery, which was in Geyserville, making Silver Oak for the Alexander Valley and in Oakville we made wines just for the Napa Valley. So we hadn’t really begun the what Silver Oak could be. In 2006 it was handed to us in a tragedy with the fire. To have that opportunity to rebuild every single thing became a blank piece of paper, yet we had 35 years of experience. We knew who we were, we knew what we were. In hindsight, it was fun, it was great. After we finished that project it really became apparent we needed to do the same thing in the Alexander Valley. We needed a new home and the family really wanted to make the investment to improve wine quality and really take that next step. So that was the goal.
There is no spot in the tasting room that you can’t see the vineyard. It really was the idea of putting the tasting room here is that it would be part of the vineyard. What happens in the vineyard is so critical to making wine, and I think that gets lost in today’s day and age with 100 point scores and different opinions and all that kind of thing. We have to remember that what happens in the vineyard is what is directly translated into the bottle. I really wanted to bring that experience, especially for our consumers, when they come here and visit.
There’s not a lot of tours you’re going to go on through a vineyard where you are going to have to stop and let a tractor go by. We really wanted this to not be a demonstration vineyard, but an actual working vineyard. We created a tour path right between one of the blocks that then takes you to the wine barrel storage. We have the ability to go over the crush area, you can see all of that and then the area they can stand and view the entire fermentation facility. From a bird’s eye view, you really get a sense of what all these different devices do and what the goal of the layout is. You get to see every last little bit of what we do, you’re right there, but you’re sort of removed. You get to see it from a great angle.
To be in the heart of Alexander Valley, I think is a tremendous thing for Silver Oak and for the brand and for our customers. I feel incredibly lucky to have been a part of such a big project. My chest sort of swells with pride at just being involved with something like this. We took what we have learned over the years, we took what we like to do and works well for us and we sort of perfected it. We have so much to look forward to now with this new facility and new winery and tasting experience and this beautiful amazing place.