Miner Winery A Napa Favorite
A Family Story
By: Philip S. Kampe - May 01, 2018
Through the years, I have had respect for the high quality of Miner Family Winery in Oakville, in Napa Valley.
Dave Miner began his wine career in 1993, after realizing, like most of us, wine is more fun then most other industries especially the software industry. In which he was making a name for himself. His uncle and wine connection, Robert Miner, recruited Dave and appointed him as President of Oakville Ranch Vineyards, a position that catapulted Dave into the wine industry.
As wine stories go, Dave met his future wife, Emily, in the tasting room of Oakville Ranch Vineyards, where she worked as the manager. It didn’t take too long (1996) when the couple decided to start their own label. Fortunately, Gary Brookman, who is Oakville Ranch’s winemaker, took on double duty and helped establish their label. The common factor is that they sourced grapes from Oakville Ranch and the winemaker could make wine under their label, thanks to family ties.
In 1999, after a complete excavation of the land, creating a 20,000 square foot cave, on Oakville Ranch’s property, the Miner Family Vineyard took on the world.
The success of what transpired since has been astounding. In 2004, the winery was named as one of the ‘Top Five’ in America.
The Oracle, made with sourced fruit, became the iconic wine that was hailed worldwide as one of the best Bordeaux blend wines to come out of Napa.
Success loomed again, this time with the Wild Yeast Chardonnay, a White House favorite.
Many changes have occurred in the twenty years since Miner has been in operation. The business runs totally off of solar power. Gary Brookman is now the General Manager and Director of Winemaking. Stacy Vogel took over as head winemaker in 2013.
Emily Miner lost her battle to cancer in 2011 and in 2016, Emily wine was launched by Dave Miner. He donates a portion of the proceeds to cancer research.
So much has happened since 1993 and Dave’s introduction into the family business.
The Miner Family Winery has been famous throughout the years with their exceptional Bordeaux style wines (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Sauvignon Blanc), Burgundy styles (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay) and Rhone styles (Syrah, Grenache, Viognier, Marsanne and Roussane) plus varietals of Tempranillo, Rosato and Sangiovese.
Rather then review all of the wines, I’ll focus on the two latest releases, the 2016 Miner Napa Valley Chardonnay ($30) and the 2017 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($20).
The 2017 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc is a screw top bottle containing 100% Sauvignon Blanc, with grapes sourced from Stage Creek Vineyard (52%), Shartsis Vineyard in Rutherford (40%) and Crossroads Vineyard (8%). The grapes were both fermented and aged in stainless steel. At 13.5% alcohol, the seamless Sauvignon Blanc was restrained with tropical flavors, highlighted by the balanced acidity of grapefruit and lime with hints of peach, nectarine and honeydew melon.
By contrast, the 2016 Napa Valley Chardonnay, at 13.5% alcohol, was full of mixed aromas of apricots, pineapples and pears. On the palate, the buttery and toasty oaky flavor balanced the citrus flavors that encompass this beautiful wine.
Both wines warrant merit and should be on your wine merchant’s shelves any day now. With less then 2500 cases produced, I am confident that this reasonably priced wine will sell out in a short time.
Miner Family Winery sells their wines online.
Visit www.minerwines.com to learn more.