Mayacamas

MAYACAMAS VINEYARDS

MAYACAMAS VINEYARDS
MAYACAMAS VINEYARDS
MAYACAMAS VINEYARDS

Founded in 1889 and carved into the side of a dormant volcano crater, Mayacamas stands as a beacon of Napa history, renowned not only for its location atop the majestic Mount Veeder but also as one of America's most iconic wineries. Over its illustrious 125+ years, this mountain-top estate has remained unwavering in its commitment to traditional winemaking, producing some of California's most celebrated and enduring wines. As its name, derived from the mountain range dividing Napa and Sonoma valleys, suggests, Mayacamas has always been intrinsically linked to its terroir. Famed for its elegant, ageworthy Cabernet and Chardonnay, the winery has continuously championed wine purity, resisting fleeting trends in favour of time-honoured techniques passed down through generations.

Having weathered earthquakes, fires, and the challenges of Prohibition, the estate witnessed a resurgence in 1941 when Englishman Jack Taylor breathed new life into it, naming it Mayacamas after the Native American term for the estate. The winery's true renaissance, however, commenced with Bob Travers in 1968. Travers, not only a former trainee at the iconic Heitz Cellars but also a protégé of the legendary Andre Tchelistcheff—often hailed as the "dean of American winemaking"—brought with him a depth of knowledge and tradition. Under his guidance, Mayacamas soared to new heights, notably with its showcase during the landmark 1976 Judgment of Paris tasting, solidifying its reputation as one of California's premier wineries. The narrative took another turn when the Scottenstein family stepped in, purchasing the estate in 2013. They faced the aftermath of the 2017 wildfires, subsequently entrusting the winemaking legacy to Braiden Albrecht in 2018.

IN THE VINEYARD:

Mayacamas' vineyards sprawl across some of the most challenging yet rewarding Napa's hill-top terrains. This elevated location gifts the estate with a unique terroir characterised by the volcanic soils of Mount Veeder, a by-product of ancient eruptions, intermixed with patches of fossilised seabed. This rich diversity of soils provides complexity and character to the wines. The altitude and rugged hillside terrain allow for a longer growing season compared to the Napa Valley floor, offering grapes extended time to develop intricate flavours. Importantly, the estate's position near the San Pablo Bay introduces cooling influences, which temper the grapes, ensuring balance between acidity and ripeness. In a testament to their commitment to nature, innovative viticultural practices are embraced at Mayacamas, including no-till farming which bolsters soil health while reducing carbon footprints.

in the winery:

Guided by the expertise of Braiden Albrecht and consulting winemaker Andy Erickson, Mayacamas remains steadfast in its pursuit of authenticity over industry trends. With a nod to the legacy laid down by Bob Travers, fermentation is carried out in concrete tanks, harnessing native yeasts without relying on artificial interventions. The wines are then aged, first in venerable wooden casks reminiscent of those favoured by traditional Barolo producers, and then in aged barrels. This restrained extraction and absence of new wood, alongside a modest alcohol content, produces wines that, while reserved in their youth, unfurl with age into expressions of ethereal elegance. This timeless approach stands in contrast to the more opulent styles proliferating in the Valley, ensuring Mayacamas' wines remain distinctive in character and pedigree.

DID YOU KNOW?

The name 'Mayacamas' is derived from the language of the indigenous Wappo people, translating to 'call of the mountain lion'.

IN THE PRESS:

"Both the wines and the property of Mayacamas feel like a world away from their surroundings, and there is a palpable mix of the old and the new throughout the vineyards, cellar, and overall ethos." - Matthew Luczy, Decanter

ON THE BLOG:

10 THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT MAYACAMAS

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About Us

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Awards & Press Our Latest Awards

Decanter Best Specialist Retailer USA 2022,  Decanter and IWC Specialist Merchant of the Year 2019 for our USA range.

Awards
Decanter Retailer Awards | Best USA Specialist
International Wine Challenge 2019 | Specialist Merchant of the Year USA

Roberson has 'bust out dancing' from the pandemic, its USA range outstanding in California but also beyond, and its achingly cool events featuring Californian tacos, live graffiti and 'the sweet beat of retro vinyl'.

Decanter Retailer Awards 2022