Ric Forman founded his eponymous winery in 1983 to fulfill a dream of producing, as sole proprietor, small quantities of classically-made Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. After a three-year search of the Napa Valley for the perfect location, he purchased the current winery/vineyard site in 1978, perched on a ridge at the base of Howell Mountain overlooking the town of St. Helena. A remarkable site, it has produced some unusually elegant wines: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot.
A philosophy of winemaking based on tradition, as opposed to technology, appeals to Ric. Familiarity with European technique has influenced the style and design of the winery.
Grapes are gently handled from harvest through fermentation. Small stainless steel fermentors for red wines and new Burgundy barrels for white are well-suited to a winemaker who pays close attention to detail during fermentation. Deep caves that maintain a cool, dark, humid environment were constructed to age red wine in new French oak barrels. Here, the wines literally age in the soils from which they grew. The small stone cellar settled in the hillside, surrounded by a courtyard and connected to the deep caves below recalls the mood of a tiny European estate.
With a wonderfully situated vineyard and mindfully planned cellar, Ric is fulfilling his dream. He is vigilant in personally taking each step without compromise in pursuit of producing the finest possible estate wines.