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How to Enjoy the 2018 Expedition


“Expedition is truly the introduction to Seven Apart that will show the potential for all the other wines we will be releasing over time.” ~ Yannick Girado, Seven Apart general manager


The Journal | Special Edition

Advice from Yannick Girardo, Seven Apart General Manager, on how best to enjoy 2018 Expedition. “Expedition is truly the introduction to Seven Apart that will show the potential for all the other wines we will be releasing over time,” says Yannick. “Andy [Andy Erickson, Seven Apart winemaker] and his team have done an amazing job crafting that wine.”

Should Seven Apart wines be decanted? 

Decanting, or at the very least opening the bottle up an hour prior to consuming it, will be of benefit. The 2018 Expedition, for example, is still developing and has been showing a lot of its potential since we bottled it back in May. It is consistently getting better and better. 

Why decant, and for how long?

The 2018 is still young and the alcohol is definitely heavier, should you simply open it and drink immediately. I’ve found that letting it breathe for an hour, and adjusting to room temperature, softens it and shows all the characteristics of the wine. 

Should 2018 Expedition be aged? 

Expedition has been crafted with the thought process that you can enjoy it upon release. Still, it is a wine that has a lot of potential and would certainly show beautifully should you age it for a few years. 

The ageing process will allow the wine to really express itself over time. Two to five years in the cellar will soften the tannin, alcohol and acidity of the wine.

How should Seven Apart wines be stored?

Storing 2018 Expedition and other Seven Apart wines in a 55F degree environment such as a wine cooler or cellar is preferred, especially for those looking to age and collect these wines. 

What if I don’t have a cellar or wine cooler?

If you don’t own a wine cooler or a cellar, consider a dry storage space such as a pantry or closet as an alternative. Choose a spot with limited light exposure, where temperature isn’t fluctuating consistently. If you go this route, we suggest consuming your bottles at a faster pace, since the storage temperature will be higher than the recommended 55F degrees.

What else should I know?

Look forward to upcoming releases: Shale, Basalt and Summit. These single vineyard wines will focus entirely on the Stags Ridge property on Atlas Peak and will showcase singular expressions from different blocks throughout the vineyard.

The Treasures of Napa Valley


“Stags Ridge Vineyard is sort of hidden, yet sort of in the middle of everything.” ~ Andy Erickson, Seven Apart winemaker, on the richness of a Napa Valley vineyard site.


The Journal | Vol. 4

You’ve seen the legendary sign: Welcome to this world famous wine growing region. While Napa Valley is certainly well-known, it’s also exclusive and keeps many treasures. Only 4% of California’s wine production comes from our region, which is actually quite small (about an eighth of the size of Bordeaux) and exceptionally varied. 

Soil + Climate

Though the valley floor is only 30 miles long and just five miles across at its widest point, our local vintners have access to half of the world’s 12 recognized soil orders and more than 100 soil variations. And while Cabernet Sauvignon is the valley’s signature grape, responsible for more than half of the overall crop value, the region is home to dozens of varieties thanks to this generous soil diversity.

A Mediterranean climate, which only 2% of the planet enjoys, provides warm and dry summer days that often creep into the 80s or 90s. Overnight, cool fog from the Pacific Ocean moves in, which can drop temps into the 50s or even 40s. But as the sun crosses the sky, the fog burns off and the process begins again. 

Because Napa Valley grapes ripen in the sun, and cool off overnight, they experience a long growing season capable of retaining acidity and balancing sugar. Very little rain falls during the growing and harvest season, allowing for vintage to vintage consistency and little moisture-related disease pressure.

The area is so distinct, and so precious as a wine grape growing region, that The Napa Valley Ag Preserve, the first of its kind in the U.S., was established here in 1968. Active land-zoning protects nearly 90% of the region from development such as urban sprawl and industrial growth.

Looking Back, Way Back

150 million years ago, the Napa Valley was born from plate tectonics and volcanic activity, mixing up a parent material of bedrock and soil, which was eroded and exposed over the years.

With the formation of the San Andreas Fault, two mountain ranges were born. To the west, the Mayacamas Mountains separate Napa from some of the coolest influences of the Pacific Ocean. To the east, the Vaca Range helps shield the heat of the Central Valley. And let’s not forget the Napa River, which starts gently and grows as it rolls southward.

So how is this bountiful diversity categorized for the wine lover? The key is the sub-appellations, or sub AVAs. Napa Valley itself has been an American Viticultural Area (AVA) since 1981, California’s first and second for the U.S. as a whole. 

Peppered inside Napa Valley are 16 “nested” appellations: Atlas Peak, Calistoga, Chiles Valley District, Coombsville, Diamond Mountain District, Howell Mountain, Los Carneros, Mt. Veeder, Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley, Oakville, Rutherford, Spring Mountain District, St. Helena, Stags Leap District, Wild Horse Valley and Yountville. 

Of these, Seven Apart occupies two: Atlas Peak and Stags Leap District, both exceptionally capable of producing a string of award-winning wines year after year.

How Seven Apart Fits Into Napa Valley

Stags Ridge Vineyard is on Atlas Peak, the most prominent point in the Vaca Range. Icons such as Acumen, Alpha Omega, Antica, Chapellett, Duckhorn, Elan Vineyards and Stagecoach have been drawn to the appeal of fruit from this high elevation environment, with cool bay breezes and remarkably thin soils. 

These thin soils force the vines to struggle, resulting in a tighter yield comprised of small, highly concentrated grapes. It’s a truly distinct area from the valley floor, expressed by complexity and purity derived from the volcanic soils “If you drive to the top of Atlas Peak, you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere,” says Seven Apart winemaker Andy Erickson, who describes Atlas Peak wines as dark, dense, and aromatic.

The second Seven Apart parcel is Base Camp Vineyard in the Stags Leap District, known for wines of silky texture and supple tannins. In the rolling foothills where Silverado Trail meets Soda Canyon Road on the base of the Vaca Range, mixed volcanic soil promotes deep root growth to pull nutrients and water from below the surface. 

Wine lovers around the world often associate Stags Leap District as one of the most famous in Napa Valley. At the Judgement of Paris in 1976, French judges blindly awarded the 1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon first place, an accolade that elevated it above several French producers, including Mouton-Rothschild and Haut Brion. When the event was restructured ten years later, Stags Leap District rose to the top again, with first place going to the 1972 Clos Du Val Cabernet Sauvignon. 

Other icons here are Silverado Vineyards, Shafer, Cliff Lede Vineyards, Pine Ridge, and Chimney Rock…and now Seven Apart, led by winemaker Andy Erickson, a name synonymous with superb Napa Valley winemaking.

TREAT YOURSELF TO THE GOOD LIFE SWEEPSTAKES OFFICIAL RULES

NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE OR PAYMENT WILL NOT INCREASE A PERSON’S CHANCES OF WINNING.

AGREEMENT TO OFFICIAL RULES. Participation in the “Treat Yourself to the Goodlife” Sweepstakes (“Sweepstakes”) constitutes entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of these Official Rules and the decisions of Summit Vineyards Holdings, LLC d/b/a Seven Apart Wines (“Sponsor”), 4057 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA 94558. Winning a prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein. This Sweepstakes is not sponsored, endorsed, or administered by Facebook or Instagram, and none of Facebook or Instagram is associated with the Sweepstakes in any way. Any questions, comments, or complaints regarding the Sweepstakes must be directed to Sponsor, and not to Facebook or Instagram. You are providing your information to Sponsor and not to Facebook or Instagram.

ODDS OF WINNING. The odds of winning depend upon the number of eligible entries received. 

ELIGIBILITY. This Sweepstakes is open only to legal residents of the United States (including residents of Washington D.C., but excluding residents of UT, MS, AL, KY, DE, or RI) who are 21 years of age or older as of date of entry.  All directors, officers and employees of Sponsor, and its parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, and advertising and promotion agencies, are not eligible to participate in the Sweepstakes, as well as their immediate family members (spouse, parents, siblings, and children and their respective spouses, regardless of where they live) and household members of each such director, officer, or employee, whether or not related, are not eligible to participate in the Sweepstakes. All federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations apply. Void where prohibited by law.

HOW TO ENTER. The Sweepstakes begins at 12:01:00 AM Pacific Standard Time (“PST”) on August 10, 2020, and ends at 11:59:59 PM PST on August 30, 2020 (the “Entry Period”). The Sponsor’s computer system shall be the official timekeeper.  To enter the Sweepstakes, during the Entry Period, (i) entrant must click on Sponsor’s designated Sweepstakes advertisement featured on Facebook or Instagram, and (ii) complete and submit the official Sweepstakes entry form by filling in all required information, including entrant’s phone number, email address and zip code. If you wish to enter the Sweepstakes and you do not have a Facebook or Instagram account, you may create one by visiting www.facebook.com or www.instagram.com. Facebook and Instagram accounts are free, and Facebook’s and Instagram’s respective Terms of Use apply. For details, visit https://www.facebook.com/terms and www.instagram.com/legal/terms. You must be an active holder of a non-private Facebook or Instagram account to be eligible to enter this Sweepstakes.  If you submit an entry using a mobile device on a wireless service provider’s network (as opposed to a Wi-Fi network), your carrier’s data rates will apply. You should consult your wireless service provider’s pricing plan for details. You agree to incur any and all charges demanded by your wireless carrier.

Limit of one (1) Sweepstakes entry during the Entry Period.  Sponsor is not responsible for lost, late, incomplete, illegible, invalid, unintelligible or misdirected or stolen entries, which may be disqualified.  Any attempt by entrant to obtain more than the permitted number of entries by using multiple/different email addresses, identities, registrations, or any other methods may void your entries and you may be disqualified from the Sweepstakes.  In the event of a dispute as to the identity of any entrant, the entry will be deemed submitted by the authorized account holder of the e-mail address associated with the entry. “Authorized account holder” is defined as the natural person who is assigned to an e-mail address by an Internet Access Provider, online service provider, or other organization (e.g., business, educational institute) that is responsible for assigning e-mail addresses for the domain associated with the submitted e-mail address. Winners may be required to show proof of being the authorized account holder. If a dispute cannot be resolved to the Sponsor’s satisfaction, the potential winner will be disqualified.  Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any individual found, in its sole opinion, to be tampering with the operation of the Sweepstakes, to be acting in violation of these Official Rules or to be acting in an unsportsmanlike manner or with the intent to disrupt the normal operation of a Sweepstakes. CAUTION AND WARNING: ANY ATTEMPT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE THE SWEEPSTAKES OR TO UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES OR OTHER REMEDIES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON(S) RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ATTEMPT TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.

DRAWINGS. Sponsor will hold a random drawing on or about August 31, 2020 from among all eligible Sweepstakes entries received by Sponsor during the Entry Period and will select four (4) potential winners in the drawing from all eligible entries received.

WINNER VERIFICATION. Each potential winner is deemed to be a potential winner pending verification of his/her eligibility and compliance with these Official Rules as determined by Sponsor, at Sponsor’s sole discretion. All potential winners will be notified by phone or e-mail provided on the entrant’s entry form. Note: phone messages will not be left during the winner notification process. If entrant declines in writing to accept a prize, any required prize documents are not returned within the specified time period, prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable, the Sponsor is unable to contact a potential winner within a reasonable time period, or a potential winner is not otherwise in compliance with these Official Rules, the prize will be forfeited and, at the Sponsor’s sole discretion and time permitting, it may select an alternate winner from all remaining eligible entries. There will be three (3) alternate drawings after which the prize will remain unawarded. Prizes will be fulfilled approximately seven (7) business days after the conclusion of the particular drawing.

PRIZES. Each winner will receive one (1) Snake River Farms®* American Wagyu porterhouse. Approximate retail value (“ARV”) of each prize is $159. All ARV for all prizes in this Sweepstakes is $636.  Limit of one (1) prize per person/household for the Sweepstakes. Prizes are subject to all terms and conditions of gift voucher. The prizes are provided as-is with no guarantee. All warranties, whether express or implied, including the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, are hereby disclaimed by the Sponsor. All prize details are at Sponsor’s sole discretion. Prizes are non-transferable and non-assignable, and will be provided only to the winner, with no substitutions except at the Sponsor’s sole discretion.  The winner is fully responsible for any and all applicable federal, state, and local taxes associated with prize use or acceptance. All costs and expenses associated with prize acceptance and use not specified herein are the sole responsibility of the applicable winner. No interest will be paid on any prize. Other restrictions may apply.

PUBLICITY RIGHTS. By participating in the Sweepstakes and accepting any prize, each entrant agrees to allow Sponsor and/or Sponsor’s designee the perpetual right to use his or her name, biographical information, photos and/or likeness, and statements for promotion, trade, commercial, advertising and publicity purposes, at any time or times, in all media now known or hereafter discovered, including live television, worldwide, including but not limited to on the World Wide Web and Internet, without notice, review or approval and without additional compensation except where prohibited by law.

RELEASE AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITY. By participating in the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to release and hold harmless Sponsor, Facebook and Instagram, and each of their respective parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, and advertising and promotion agencies, and their respective directors, officers and employees of each of the foregoing (the “Released Parties”) from and against any claims, costs, injuries, losses and damages of any kind (including, without limitation, reasonable attorneys’ and investigation fees, expert and consultant fees, and other litigation costs) (collectively, “Losses”), arising out of or in connection with the Sweepstakes, whether under a theory of contract, tort (including negligence), warranty or other theory, including: (a) lost, late, incomplete, stolen, misdirected, postage due, or undeliverable email notifications or postal mail; (b) any computer, telephone, satellite, cable, network, electronic or Internet hardware or software malfunctions, failures, connections or availability; or garbled, corrupt or jumbled transmissions, service provider/Internet/Website/UseNet accessibility, availability or traffic congestion; (c) any technical, mechanical, printing, or typographical or other error; (d) unauthorized human intervention in the Sweepstakes; (e) any prize that has been lost or stolen after being received by the recipient;  (f) inaccurate capture of registration information, or the failure to capture, or loss of, any such information; (g) injury or damage to any person or property that may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from entrant’s participation in the Sweepstakes or acceptance, receipt, use, or misuse of any prize, including any and all applicable federal, state, and local taxes; and (h) any claims based on publicity rights, copyright/trademark infringement, intellectual property rights, defamation or invasion of privacy and merchandise delivery.  If, for any reason, an entry is confirmed to have been erroneously deleted, lost or otherwise destroyed, corrupted or for any other reason not accepted as an entry in the Sweepstakes, entrant’s sole remedy is to enter the Sweepstakes again and to receive another entry. If for any reason, Sponsor believes the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned, Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes and/or proceed with the Sweepstakes, including the selection of winners in a manner it deems fair and reasonable.  In the event that entrant breaches any of these Official Rules, Released Parties shall be entitled to and may seek indemnification, to the extent permitted by law, from entrant for recovery of all losses that may be incurred by Released Parties as a result of the aforementioned breach.  

Each entrant has agreed to the foregoing release freely and without any inducement or assurance of any nature, and intend it be a complete and unconditional release of all liability to the greatest extent allowed by law, and agree that if any portion of such release is held to be invalid, the balance notwithstanding shall continue in full force and effect. Each entrant acknowledges the language of Section 1542 of the California Civil Code (“Section 1542”), which provides: A GENERAL RELEASE DOES NOT EXTEND TO CLAIMS THAT THE CREDITOR OR RELEASING PARTY DOES NOT KNOW OR SUSPECT TO EXIST IN HIS OR HER FAVOR AT THE TIME OF EXECUTING THE RELEASE AND THAT, IF KNOWN BY HIM OR HER WOULD HAVE MATERIALLY AFFECTED HIS OR HER SETTLEMENT WITH THE DEBTOR OR RELEASED PARTY. Each entrant hereby expressly waives the protection of Section 1542, or similar protections under any other law.  Each entrant understands and agrees that the released claims or facts in addition to or different from those which are now known or believed by such entrant to exist may hereafter be discovered.  It is each entrant’s intention to waive fully and release all of the claims that such entrant now have against the Released Parties, whether known or unknown, suspected or unsuspected, except as to the released claims that cannot lawfully be released.

MISCELLANEOUS.  The decisions of Sponsor are final with respect to all aspects of this Sweepstakes.  The Sweepstakes and these Official Rules will be governed, construed, and interpreted under the laws of the State of California, USA, without regard to choice of law principles.  Except where prohibited, entrant agrees that: (a) any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Sweepstakes or any prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by the United States District Court Northern District of California or the appropriate California State Court located in Napa County, California; (b) any and all claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering this Sweepstakes, but in no event attorneys’ fees; and (c) under no circumstances will entrant be permitted to obtain awards for, and entrant hereby waives all rights to claim, indirect, punitive, incidental and consequential damages and any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses, and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased. For purposes of these Official Rules, (i) the words “include,” “includes” and “including” shall be deemed to be followed by the words “without limitation”; (ii) the word “or” is not exclusive; and (iii) the words “herein,” “hereof,” “hereby,” “hereto,” and “hereunder” refer to these Official Rules as a whole.  In the event of any conflict with any Sweepstakes details contained in these Official Rules, and Sweepstakes details contained in any promotional materials (including, but not limited to, point of sale, television and print advertising, promotional packaging and other promotional media), the details of the Sweepstakes as set forth in these Official Rules shall prevail.

PRIVACY POLICY. By participating in the Sweepstakes, entrant authorizes the Sponsor to collect, use, process, transfer and store all data provided by entrant, including without limitation, personal data, in the United States, or any location(s) throughout the world that the Sponsor deems necessary, whether within entrant’s country of residence or elsewhere, and with such party(ies) as the Sponsor deems appropriate, for purposes of administration of the Sweepstakes. All information submitted to the Sponsor as part of this Sweepstakes will be treated in accordance with the Sponsors’ privacy statement, available at https://sevenapart.com/privacy-policy/. Sponsor will only use entrant’s personal information to: (a) provide information about the Sweepstakes; (b) contact and publicize potential winners; and/or (c) if an entrant selects to receive additional information from the Sponsor, to send additional information to that entrant during or after the Entry Period. Entrants to the Sweepstakes may be given the option to receive commercial e-mails from the Sponsor; however, eligibility to participate in the Sweepstakes is not dependent upon entrant’s consent to receive such e-mails. Entrants must fully complete and submit all non-optional data the Sponsor requests to be eligible. Entrants have the right to withdraw and correct their personal data, but entrants are not allowed to re-submit their entries for additional entries in the Sweepstakes.

WINNERS LIST. To obtain a list of the names of the winners (first name, first initial of last name), interested individuals should send a self-addressed stamped envelope to be received by February 28, 2021 to: Summit Vineyards Holdings, LLC d/b/a Seven Apart Wines, c/o Treat Yourself to the Goodlife Sweepstakes, 4057 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA 94558.

SPONSOR. Summit Vineyards Holdings, LLC d/b/a Seven Apart Wines, 4057 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA 94558.

© 2020 Summit Vineyards Holdings, LLC. All rights reserved.

*Snake River Farms is a registered trademark of AB Holdings, LLC.  AB Holdings, LLC is not affiliated with Sponsor and does not sponsor, endorse, approve or have any responsibility for this Sweepstakes.

Vineyard Views


“As mother nature provides different challenges every year, our vineyard practices are being modified.” ~ Vineyard manager Victor Fuentes, on realizing the potential of Seven Apart Vineyards


The Journal | Vol. 3

Many of the world’s greatest winemakers say that wine is made in the vineyard. This adage is a nod to the philosophy that farm and field directly impact the final product. Victor Fuentes, the vineyard manager here at Seven Apart, has years of experience balancing the challenges and potential of world class vineyards.

“I started working with Stags Ridge Vineyard on Atlas Peak in 2009, just after finishing college. In that time, I’ve learned a tremendous amount from this property,” says Victor. “It has allowed me to gain experience in higher elevation farming along with understanding the nuances of the vineyard’s topography.”

All the labor in Seven Apart vineyards is done by hand, providing Victor and his team the opportunity to become intimate with the vines, soil, climate, and other aspects that make these growing sites outstanding. 

Victor says the Seven Apart vineyards have distinct features that make them special in his book. 

Stags Ridge Vineyard, Napa Valley

Planted in 1999 on Atlas peak, along the western slope of the Vaca Range facing Pritchard Gap, Stags Ridge bumps elbows with neighbors Pritchard Hill, Stagecoach Vineyard, Cordes Vineyard, and Soda Canyon Ranch Vineyard. These vines have a long heritage of producing top-scoring wines, and the Seven Apart team are the new custodians of this treasured spot, which they farm organically.

When it comes to single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, fruit from this area has been revered by such names as Phillip Titus at Acumen Napa Valley, Henrik Poulsen at Alpha Omega, and Heidi Peterson Barrett, John Schwartz, and Jim Barbour’s Au Sommet. Capable of garnering a collection of 90+-point wines, this is a sweet spot for some of today’s most unforgettable (and collectible) bottles from Napa Valley.

Stags Ridge sits above the fog line at over 1,400 feet in elevation, basking in full sunlight throughout the day. The altitude also allows for cooler daytime temperatures than on the valley floor, as well as warmer nights. 

The basaltic red volcanic soils tend to be shallow and well-drained, which Victor says “capture a true sense-of-place in every bottle of wine.” The vineyard site is about ten acres, 8.4 of which are planted with primarily Cabernet Sauvignon, and a small amount of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. 

Base Camp Vineyard for Cabernet Sauvignon

Base Camp is composed of mature, organically farmed vines which are believed to be around 15 to 20 years old. Over their life cycle, these vines have developed several unique qualities, Victor explains. Fruit concentration is one of them, which means slightly lower fruit yields but with more concentrated wine. Also, the roots of these vines run deep into the soil, which is a mix of sand, silt, clay and gravel, pulling nutrients and water from below the surface, which increases drought tolerance.

The site is about eight acres, half of it planted with vines, mostly Cabernet Sauvignon but also home to Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and several other varieties that are sold to neighboring wineries. 

“Following a desire to be good stewards of the land, we farm Base Camp organically, paying close attention to the details in our work to ensure the health of the vines while minimizing the impact we have on the surrounding environment,” adds Victor. 

Iconic Napa Vineyard, Iconic Napa Winemaking

Of course now Victor works in partnership with Seven Apart’s winemaker Andy Erickson, but he’s not the first iconic vintner to make wine with Stags Ridge fruit. Victor says that during his tenure with Stags Ridge, the vineyard has played an essential role in some of the most sought-after bottles of wine from Napa Valley. 

“I have had the pleasure to collaborate with high-caliber winemakers such as Dave Phinney, Kirk Venge and now Andy Erickson,” recalls Victor. “Working with these winemakers and coming to understand their perspectives on farming, coupled with my experience, has not only helped me to grow the best fruit possible but also bolstered my understanding of how that translates into the bottle.”

2020 and Beyond at Seven Apart

Victor shares that this year has brought new challenges, and that long term concerns are still at hand in Napa Valley. The health pandemic has caused his team to focus on the safety of the vineyard workforce. 

“We are meticulous on how our farming operations are being handled from social distancing, daily temperature checks, and continuous education,” explains Victor. He also says that the vineyard team continues to acclimate to slightly warmer temperatures, fires, and drought, meanwhile relying on new technology, gathering vineyard data to contribute to farming practices.

More about Victor

Victor is a Fresno State alumnus with a degree in Viticulture, the first in his family to complete college. His study experience includes summers in Mendoza and Valle del Maule in Chile. Victor’s first job out of college was with Vino Farms as a viticulturist, and after three years there he moved on to Regusci Vineyard Management where he became a vineyard manager and helped his team oversee 700+ acres in different regions of Napa and Sonoma.

Today, Victor works alongside his father Juan. Together they own and run a vineyard management company named after Victor’s mother. Victoria’s Vineyards, established in 2009, specializes in handcrafted wines with an attention to detail. Other winery clients include Lokoya, Cardinale, and Sebastiani.

At First Sight


“The stars aligned.” ~ Proprietor Don Dady, on Seven Apart’s stellar inception


The Journal | Vol. 2

Don Dady is not your typical proprietor of a world class Napa winery. He has spent the majority of his professional life immersed in the world of finance, pioneering innovations within retirement planning. Throughout his career, however, Don has been a passionate collector of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon and a lover of wine since his teenage years. A native of Sonoma’s Russian River Valley, he passed through a valley of vineyards on a daily basis and dreamed of one day owning his own winery in Napa. 

Though the story of Seven Apart is not quite that simple, there were some benevolent forces working together to make the dream of “jumping over the hill” a reality.

A Diamond in the Rough

Don believes one of the biggest challenges in discovering unique opportunities is being patient enough to find the “proverbial diamond in the rough.” After decades of dreaming about a winery, the stars finally aligned in 2018 when he, along with his longtime friend Jason Kyle, discovered that Stags Ridge Vineyard, which sits on top of Atlas Peak, was for sale.

When evaluating opportunities, as a rough rule of thumb, Don has always looked for seven things to set a venture apart–a lesson that his finance professor William Nye taught him in college. Through Don’s career, whether he was building a new business, evaluating a potential investment, or starting a winery, he has known that he has something special on his hands when he can find seven distinct qualities that set it apart.

Seven Apart’s Stags Ridge Vineyard is one of those rare instances. Don discovered seven characteristics which would collectively set it apart:

  1. Soil
  2. Topography
  3. Climate
  4. Orientation
  5. Winery facility
  6. State-of-the-art equipment
  7. Top winemaker

When Don first saw Stags Ridge Vineyard, he was intrigued by the way in which it sat beautifully in a valley on top of Atlas Peak. Yet he was also shocked by the property’s extreme terroir.

“As you get closer and start to walk through the vineyard, you can’t help but notice the volcanic soil and ash is primarily rock,” said Don. “You ask yourself, ‘How does anything even grow here?’  The soil, or lack thereof, is so rocky that it’s almost like you’re walking down a cobblestone street.”

The vineyard is perched along the western slopes of Vaca Ridge in a valley 1,400 feet above the fog line facing the Pritchard Gap. The vineyard not only soaks up the early morning sun thanks to its elevation, but also has a perfect layout to capture a cool afternoon breeze that flows in from the San Francisco Bay. It is no wonder that Stags Ridge Vineyard has consistently produced wines that have scored from 95 to 100 points under the original Beau Vigne brand.

Don knew he had found his diamond in the rough. To make Seven Apart one of Napa’s recognized jewels, he believed the vineyard had to enact operational improvements and to hire a world-class winemaker. Hence, Don built a state-of-the-art winery to have complete control over the quality of the winemaking. He also began networking with one of Napa’s most reputable winemakers: Andy Erickson.

A self-described romantic when it comes to Cabernet, Don fell in love with Stags Ridge Vineyard, and luckily so did Andy, a Napa icon whose legacy includes Screaming Eagle, Staglin Family Vineyard, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars and Ovid Napa Valley.

Don was a “huge fan” of Andy’s work prior to acquiring the vineyard. When his partner Jason suggested they reach out to Andy through a mutual friend just two months before harvest, Don was excited to put a breakfast meeting on the calendar.

At the Top

The trio talked shop over breakfast, and when Andy asked if they could reconvene later that day, Don and Jason were thrilled. At 11 a.m. they sampled their wines and then drove to Stags Ridge to walk the vineyard. At about 3 p.m. after spending nearly the entire day together, Andy left to discuss the project with his team.

Don and Jason were ecstatic when Andy called back shortly after informing them that he would love to take on Seven Apart as his new project. At this point, Don realized Seven Apart would be something special, since they had top vineyards, a top facility under construction, and a top winemaker.

 “The stars aligned,” said Don. “We’ve built a state-of-the-art winery, managed excess capacity, purchased the best equipment, and added a lot of flexibility.” 

For Don, Seven Apart is the realization of a dream conceived during his youth: one of wine as a catalyst for spending quality time with friends and family and creating memorable experiences that last a lifetime.

“I love to expose people to great wine, and Seven Apart makes this happen on an impressive scale,” said Don.

Everyone at the winery is excited to share the upcoming release with the Seven Apart allocation list this fall. 

“Everything about Seven Apart has magically come together,” said Don. “We couldn’t be more excited for others to experience this amazing vineyard for themselves.”

More about Don

Don is the co-founder of Annexus Group, a developer of leading financial services products based in Scottsdale, Arizona. Don is an established thought leader in the financial services industry at the helm of an evolution in retirement planning. Along with his longtime friend Jason Kyle, Don has built Seven Apart to be a world-class brand that blends the art of and science behind winemaking and hospitality.

The Journey Begins


“Man, I’ve got to do this. It’s going to be a lot of fun.” ~ Winemaker Andy Erickson, on joining Seven Apart


The Journal | Vol. 1

As our winemaker Andy Erickson says, Seven Apart is “Napa at its peak.” It’s like nothing he’s ever experienced, nothing like any of us have ever experienced.

Andy’s been making wine in Napa Valley for over 25 years, and in that time he’s worked with the greatest vineyards, absolute classics. For fans of Napa wine, he’s an icon. And though he’s tied to some of Napa’s cult Cabernets, including world-renowned Screaming Eagle, he never makes wines to match the image of other top wines. Instead he crafts wine that expresses the place where it was grown. There is no other terroir like that of Seven Apart.

“I haven’t taken on any new wine projects in four years, and to be honest, I wasn’t looking to,” says Andy. “But when I heard about Seven Apart, I couldn’t refuse.”

One of the great vineyards in Napa Valley

Seven Apart’s Stags Ridge Vineyard sits on the rocky, volcanic soil up on Atlas Peak—the valley’s most prominent summit—on the western slopes of the Vaca Range. It was largely this setting that compelled Andy to work with Seven Apart, which he was introduced to over coffee one morning in September 2019.

After less than a day absorbing the potential of Seven Apart, he was all in: “By 6:00 pm, I called my wife.” Andy says he told her on the spot: “‘I’ve got a new project.’ It’s cool when everything comes together.”

To get a feel for what Andy saw when he took in the vineyards that day, imagine being at the top of one of the world’s greatest wine growing regions, a setting eons in the making. Volcanic rocks waited for two million years until this plot was prepared. Planted in 1999, this vineyard is elevated 1,400 feet above the foothills of the Stags Leap District, northeast of Napa town. 

“If you drive up Atlas Peak,” says Andy, “You feel like you are in the middle of nowhere.” It’s rugged (a “surface mine” of volcanic rock, according to Andy) but beautiful. Stunning. Harsh. There’s very little water up here, and there’s a healthy dose of cool bay breezes.

“You get these dark, aromatic, color-dense berries,” says Andy. “I love wines from great places, this is one of those things where this vineyard is really great.” 

Seven Apart Winery

This is what makes Seven Apart the most anticipated wine in decades. Four distinct, handcrafted bottlings from Atlas Peak will be available by allocation only, with the first released in Fall 2020. These wines will age for decades and are sure to represent the next generation of excellence from Napa Valley. 

“The goal is to push this vineyard to the limit and produce the most exciting wine possible,” says Andy. “This truly is Napa at its peak.”

Where everything comes together

Seven Apart is crafted in a state-of-the-art facility, seven miles down the mountain where Soda Canyon Road meets Silverado Trail. Andy says this winery has “everything you’d want to make wine.” Here he works with his acclaimed winemaking team, including associate winemakers Jessica Tarpy Shaheen and Patrick Nyeholt, and cellar master Jorge Lopez.

Seven Apart’s second plot, Base Camp Vineyard, thrives in the rolling foothills that surround the winery, at the end of Soda Canyon Road. Growing here is Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. Replanting plans are underway for some of the vines.

This location is, as Andy says: “Sort of hidden, sort of in the middle of everything.” Grapes from this vineyard are blended into Seven Apart’s first wine, Expedition, which Andy describes as “classic Napa Valley.” In Fall of 2020, 60 barrels of Expeditions 2018 vintage will be released via the winery’s allocation list.

Over the horizon is Seven Apart’s exquisite tasting facility, under the guidance of wine industry veteran, general manager Yannick Girardo. The team hopes construction will kick off later this year and be complete in 2021. Watch this space for news.

Seven Apart Winery team in vineyard

About Napa Valley winemaker Andy Erickson

Andy has a Master’s degree in Enology from University of California in Davis, and has worked with wineries in California, Chile, Argentina and South Africa. Time spent in France, including a summer abroad during university, fueled Andy’s passion for the concept of terroir. 

He’s also the founder of Favia wines, which he co-own with his wife, viticulturist Annie Favia. He brings his own winemaking team to support him at Seven Apart.

In addition to Seven Apart, his current winemaking clients include Dalla Valle, Arietta, Mayacamas, Ellman Family Vineyards, Cervantes Family Vineyards, and To Kalon Vineyard Company in the Napa Valley. His past experience includes work at Screaming Eagle, Staglin Family Vineyard, Harlan Estate, Spottswoode, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars and Ovid Napa Valley.