For centuries, man has used the compass and mapping coordinates in order to navigate and organize the globe. The waypoint is the culmination of those efforts as the spot marking the intersection of latitude and longitude, the precise identifier of place. Waypoint Vineyards takes that concept to America’s top winegrowing properties, and recognizes the uniqueness of each site in the bottle. It is our tribute to the special ability of wine to reflect its birthplace.
Bounty Hunter's Winemaker Tim Milos and each Winemaker associated with their particular vineyard, have personally identified their properties as among the finest they have worked. These vineyards have all been planted and farmed with the sole purpose of yielding world-class fruit, and they consistently deliver on that goal. As a single-vineyard producer, Waypoint is about focus, quality and long-term partnerships with tremendous growers. Their names are on the bottle too, so there’s no hiding from responsibility and quality in the vineyard. It’s truly a “we’re in this together” approach. Join us in raising a glass to a lineup of very different personalities as determined by their growing conditions and location.
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Beckstoffer To Kalon – Oakville, Napa Valley, California
First planted in 1868, Andy Beckstoffer’s portion of the historic To Kalon vineyard is one of Napa Valley’s oldest fine wine sources. Located directly across Highway 29 from Opus One, it is situated in one of California’s finest Cabernet Sauvignon microclimates (noted wine critic Robert Parker has called it “the tenderloin of Napa Valley.”) To Kalon wines are widely recognized for their richness, depth and longevity.
Beckstoffter Dr. Crane – St. Helena, Napa Valley, California
Nestled at the base of the Mayacamas Mountains west of St. Helena is a prized addition to the Beckstoffer vineyard stable. A 25-acre plot replanted to top clones of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, it has only recently begun appearing as a vineyard designate from producers like Paul Hobbs and Behrens and Hitchcock. It is poised to become a reference mid-Valley property for luxury wines.
Hidden Ridge – Sonoma County, California
Planted to a stunning natural amphitheater on the Sonoma side of Spring Mountain, winemaker Tim Milos calls Hidden Ridge “one of the most extreme vineyards in California, maybe the world.” Painstakingly developed on vertigo-inducing slopes, it offers a rare combination of ripening potential above the Pacific marine layer and serious backbone from mountain soils. It promises to rival the best Sonoma properties for Bordeaux varietals.
Donum Vineyard – Carneros, Napa/Sonoma Valley, California
A gifted talent in the vineyard, Anne Moller-Racke is considered by some to have been at the forefront of the California viticultural revolution. After the turn of the last century, word got out that Buena Vista was changing hands, and she was able work out a deal to secure the 45 acre Donum Estate parcel in Carneros, as well as a few other sites. Turns out, this was some of the best fruit on the entire Buena Vista estate – we don’t think luck had much to do with that.
Together with winemaker Kenneth Juhasz, the two share the common goal of producing the purest possible expressions of vineyard and vintage. Having kept a close eye on these guys for a few years now, we were not exactly sure what Anne had up her sleeve, but her ability to coax more quality and fruit expression from each vine is unparalleled and evident in each bottling.
The Donum Estate comprises three vineyards uniquely suited to Pinot Noir, all farmed by Anne Moller-Racke to the same high standards. Planted by Anne in 1989-90, the Donum Ranch includes 45 acres of vines divided into 11 blocks and sub-blocks. A variety of Pinot Noir clones and selections grows here, including “heirlooms” like Calera, Chalone, Hanzell, Martini, Roederer and Swan, and Dijon clones 115, 667 and 777.
Blue Farm Vineyard – Carneros, Sonoma Valley, California
Anne Moller-Racke has farmed in Carneros for almost 30 years – she’s watched viticulture and winegrowing evolve over those three decades and learned to become a better grower and steward of her fruit in the process.
When Anne planted the Blue Farm vineyard, she had a wine in mind and not just a site. She specifically chose the plant material to give her that wine: clone 115 for its perfume and completeness, Swan for the beautiful texture it brings to a wine, and 667 for structure and finish. As a winegrower, Anne looks for uniformity as well as responsiveness in her plants. She keeps yields low and canopies open, and, because her Carneros vineyard dries out early in the season, she says deficit irrigation sets the signals to ripen the fruit, lignify the wood and ripen the seeds. Fruit from Blue Farm Vineyard have some of the highest tannins in the area, which gives the Pinot Noirs real complexity. As Anne says “I like my wines to speak of a site.” This is just one of the reasons we work with Anne. Blue Farm speaks volumes.
Brittan Vineyard – McMinnville, Willamette Valley, Oregon
“My selection of this particular site was the culmination of extensive research of potential vineyard sites. The deciding factors in selecting this site were the compelling mix of soils, solar orientation and micro-climates indicative of the world’s greatest Pinot Noir vineyards.”
When we bought into the world of single-vineyard Pinot, we had no illusions about the stakes of the game. Dealing with one of the world’s most fickle grapes is a Texas Hold ‘Em proposition of risk and reward. Fortunately, we’ve played enough hands to know who the true pros are, and we’ve placed our bets accordingly.
Bob Brittan was the winemaker at Stags’ Leap Winery for 16 years and was almost singlehandedly responsible for making their Petite Sirah a cult phenomenon. But like many who have worked with “big reds,” the siren song of Lady Pinot was too strong to resist. When he hung up his cleats in Napa Valley, Bob wanted to continue his winemaking career with a grape and region that spoke to his passion, and Oregon’s Willamette Valley turned out to be the ideal match. Bob and his wife scouted out vineyard real estate and fell in love with a property that tickled the winemaker’s intellectual side with soils, exposures and weather patterns begging for Pinot to be planted. Having been on board with his wines from the beginning, we had the utmost confidence his was the sort of skill we could enlist to farm the fruit for our Waypoint project.