Filed under: Wine
Duckhorn Vineyards, located in St. Helena, Ca., is the winner of the Readers' Choice Award for Best Domestic Red Wine.
Co-founded by Dan and Margaret Duckhorn in 1976, Duckhorn Vineyards has spent nearly 35 years establishing itself as one of North America's premier producers of Bordeaux varietal wines. From its modest inaugural vintage of 800 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon and 800 cases of Merlot in 1978, to its addition of Sauvignon Blanc in 1982, Duckhorn Vineyards has crafted a tradition of quality and excellence that continues today.
Duckhorn made an early decision to focus on the production of Merlot. Though many Napa Valley wineries were using Merlot as a blending grape in the late 1970's, few were exploring the potential of this varietal as a stand-alone wine. A great fan of Merlot since traveling to St. Emilion and Pomerol, Dan Duckhorn felt that this elegant varietal was under appreciated in North America. "I liked the softness, the seductiveness, the color," says Duckhorn. "The fact that it went with a lot of different foods; it wasn't so bold, didn't need to age so long, and it had this velvety texture to it. It seemed to me to be a wonderful wine to just enjoy. I became enchanted with Merlot."
Gallery: Duckhorn Wine Company