Since its inception in 2003, Red Cap Vineyards has only produced two wines: the Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon and their Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc. The Cabernet Sauvignon is organically grown and hand farmed at Red Cap’s estate vineyard near the summit of Howell Mountain, in Napa Valley. Under the careful management of Alfonso Elena, the vines thrive in the distinctive, volcanic, brick-red soil. The unique terroir helps to produce fruit of incredible depth and richness. This growing environment is also the inspiration behind the name “Red Cap.”
The rocky, volcanic soil and unique Howell Mountain microclimate produce fruit of exceptional character and quality. Planted on virgin land at 1900 feet, the Aiken loam soil is deep, red and peppered with fractured rock. The terrain is a rolling plateau at the top of the mountain. The vineyard yields about two tons of grapes per acre, planted to Cabernet clones 4, 7 and 169 on 101-14 rootstock spaced at five by seven feet.
Winemaker Rudy Zuidema, formerly of Robert Craig Winery, believes that great wine begins with respectful cultivation of the land. He follows organic and biodynamic farming practices to naturally enhance the flavourful diversity of the estate’s rich tapestry. This natural approach continues in the winery, where he emphasizes classic, small-lot techniques and gentle handling to craft balanced wines that embodies a sense of elegance, purity and power.
Over the past 20 years, Red Cap has established a cult following, with only about 300 cases at most being produced during true bumper crop years; these wine are a rarity and sell out almost instantaneously on release with no press or advertising.