Frank Altamura’s lifelong pursuit as a winemaker is fueled by his passion for viticulture. Born and raised in Napa Valley, Frank began working with his cousin, a vineyard manager, right out of high school and knew that this would be his life’s calling. Formal viticultural training began at Sterling Vineyards in 1976 under the tutelage of Ric Forman where he began to explore what winemakers were looking for from the vineyard. This concept was further developed from the winemaker’s perspective at Caymus with friends Chuck Wagner, Randy Dunn and mentor Charlie Wagner.
Altamura Vineyards and Winery, established in 1985, is the only winery located in Wooden Valley. Stags’ Leap Winery, Pahlmeyer and Caymus purchase grapes from this area, yet Altamura is the first to capture Wooden’s special characteristics in a bottling. Napa natives Frank and Karen Altamura have a decidedly hands-on approach to every step of the growing and winemaking process. Thus, a natural production limit is established and the wines reflect the Altamura’s deep commitment to reflecting the terroir of their Wooden Valley Ranch.
Altamura has been quietly and consistently producing among the finest Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons and Sangiovese since 1993. An exacting, no-compromise policy in the vineyard each year, where up to half of the crop is dropped to the ground, produces focused, concentrated fruit flavours and rich texture. Using only free-run juice gives Altamura wines the purest expression of both the varietal and the vintage. It is a long-term approach that Altamura fans can count on year after year.