Famed Winemaker Behind Napa’s Legendary Wines Is at It Again

Published April 2020 on wineindustryadvisor.com

Overlooking Napa Valley at 1,400 feet atop Atlas Peak, the new powerhouse label, Seven Apart, has entered the Napa Cabernet fray. Legendary winemaker Andy Erickson has joined Seven Apart to launch his first project in over four years. In addition to bringing on Andy, Seven Apart has constructed a world-class winery at the base of Atlas Peak at the intersection of Silverado Trail and Soda Canyon Road. The base-level winery sits seven miles away from the label’s prized Stags Ridge Vineyard, which has a prolific history of producing award-winning wines.

For 25 years, Erickson has crafted lauded California wines. His expertise and nuanced approach have transformed wines from some of the most well-known wineries, including Screaming Eagle, Harlan Estate, Staglin Family Vineyard, Ovid, Spottswoode, and Dalla Valle. Erickson’s goal is to highlight the character of each site where he works. Though he has not taken on a new project in years, he could not resist the opportunity to join Seven Apart.

“Seven Apart is a dream come true due to its unparalleled Stags Ridge Vineyard and the brand-new winemaking facility,” said Erickson. “Each day I wake up with the goal to make the best wine Mother Nature affords us and with Seven Apart, the sky’s the limit. I was drawn to the team’s commitment to push the vineyard to its limits and to allow the grapes to shine.

The new winery is outfitted with the most advanced equipment and is prepared to craft beautiful wines Napa Cabernet wines. The Seven Apart team will begin construction on a hospitality building later this year and aims to start welcoming guests in 2021.

Erickson now oversees the famed Stags Ridge Vineyard. This vineyard was the primary source of fruit for Beau Vigne, a boutique label which Arizona businessman Don Dady acquired in 2018. Don, partnering with his longtime friend Jason Kyle, knew this property was a hidden jewel given its perfect blend of natural elements for growing Cabernet Sauvignon. By combining this already phenomenal wine with the right winemaker, a brand-new winery and great equipment, the team knew that they could build one of Napa Valley’s finest labels.

The Stags Ridge Vineyard sits on a volcanic plateau composed of shale, gravel and boulders found below the topsoil. The vineyard’s elevation reaches that which only few of Napa’s elite vineyards reap the benefits of. Stretching above the fog line, the vineyard enjoys the early morning sun and a refreshing breeze coming off of the San Francisco Bay in the afternoon. Undoubtedly, Mother Nature has blessed this site with the optimal conditions for growing Cabernet Sauvignon. Producing small berries rich in color and tannins, Seven Apart generates wines that are both intense and full of character.

For those looking to be the first to savor Erickson’s newest wines, Seven Apart will selectively release its first vintage this fall. Named “Seven Apart Expedition,” this 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon will be available through the label’s allocation list. With only 96 barrels produced, the wine offers a small taste of the exciting bottlings soon to come from Seven Apart.   

“We are beyond excited to finally unveil our first wine as we set out on this journey,” said Seven Apart proprietor Don Dady. “Andy has done an outstanding job blending and crafting this vintage and developing our signature style of wine. We look forward to our future releases and building upon the legacy of the Stags Ridge Vineyard.”

Those interested in bringing home the first release from Seven Apart can join the allocation list on the website www.sevenapart.com. Quantities will be limited per person to accommodate the already wide demand for Erickson’s newest hit.