Appellations 2018-06-06T19:50:39+00:00

Our focus is on mountain and hillside Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons inspired by these renowned appellations.

– Rob Lloyd

Featured Napa Valley Districts, Plus…

We invite you to learn about the terroir of our wines by their unique appellations: Calistoga, Rutherford, Oakville, Stags Leap, Mt. Veeder (the future source of our ‘Three Words’ flagship blend), Oak Knoll, Coombsville, Carneros, and Sta. Rita Hills (the only area we source from outside of Napa Valley).

If you’re not already a Handwritten Circle Allocation member, learn more about joining our family of wine aficionados, collectors and storytellers.

The Calistoga District

The 2500 acre Calistoga District, established in 2010, is contained within the larger Napa Valley appellation and is Napa Valley’s northernmost District and abuts to the Diamond Mountain District southwest, Knights Valley the northwest, and the Saint Helena to the south.

The entirety of the Calistoga District is underlain by volcanic bedrock and sediments, making it geologically uniform, yet topographically diverse, ranging from steep mountains to valley floor. Diverse as the Calistoga District may be, it is known particularly for its intensity and minerality.

The Carneros District

Spanning the most southerly point of both Sonoma and Napa Counties, the Carneros, or Los Carneros District benefits from its proximity to the cooling effects of the nearby Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay. Summer fog, balanced by warm days and a long growing season make for ideal conditions for varieties such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Merlot. Though the vine was first planted here by pioneers of Californian Viticulture such as Agoston Haraszthy before 1870, it was not until the 1980’s that the region was first defined as an American Viticultural Area and sprung to public notice.

In a very short time, our Carneros District Chardonnay became a Handwritten Circle Allocation member favorite, selling out quickly with each release. Now we are one of only two wineries in the Napa Valley to produce a Carneros Cabernet Sauvignon. The vineyard block actually lies on a northern-most hillside of the District, giving the grapes an extraordinarily long hang time.

The Coombsville District

The Coombsville District, established in 2012, is the 16th sub-appellation in Napa Valley. The 11,000 acre region is bound by the Napa River on the west, Mt. George to the north, and the Vaca Range on the east.

Vineyards are located at altitudes ranging from sea level to 1,900 feet. Coombsville vineyards are located in alluvial deposits with significant rock and gravel, along with volcanic ash in some areas of the appellation.

The Oak Knoll District

The Oak Knoll District lies at the southern end of the Napa Valley where the growing season is longer—cooler in summer than the warmer Upper Valley and drier in winter allowing soils to warm earlier in the spring.

The marine influence from San Pablo Bay is strong here with foggy mornings and cool summer nights. This creates the longest growing season in the valley, allowing fruit to achieve bright acidity, great texture, fruit-forward aromas and elegant flavors. Hillside locations like the one that our Handwritten fruit is harvested from are rare in Oak Knoll.

The Oakville District

North of Yountville and Stags Leap District is the Oakville District, home to such distinguished wineries as Dalla Valle, Far Niente, Harlan Estate, Opus One and Screaming Eagle. In addition, two of Napa’s most highly regarded vineyards, To Kalon and Backus, are located in Oakville.

The appellation is two miles wide and extends to 600 feet up the Vaca Mountains to the east and the Mayacamas Mountains to the west. Oakville red wines are typically described as rich and full-bodied with cassis, black currant, black-licorice, and cedar flavors.

The Rutherford District

The Rutherford District is in the northern half of Napa Valley between Oakville and St. Helena. With its more northern location being further away from San Pablo Bay and narrower width, Rutherford is slightly warmer than Oakville and Stags Leap.

The Rutherford area west of Highway 29, stretching from the highway into the base of the Mayacamas Mountains, is commonly referred to as the “Rutherford Bench” and contributes to Rutherford’s reputation as a premiere grape growing area.

The Stags Leap District

The Stags Leap District is just 2,700 acres with only half of that under vine. It’s nestled like a puzzle piece in the western side of the Yountville District. Though they share a border, the Stags Leap District may experience temperatures in excess of 10° higher.

The elevations on some rocky hillside vineyards rise up to 400 feet. On the Valley floor, volcanic gravel-loams and hard bedrock clay sub-soils offer low fertility. The craggy hillsides hold mid-day heat, radiating it out to the surrounding hillsides, while cool afternoon marine winds give the region its wide diurnal swing. The District is renowned for lush, velvety and deeply complex wines.

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