Sequoia Grove was founded in 1979 in a historic barn in the heart of Napa Valley (specifically in Rutherford, CA) with a dream to produce world-renowned Cabernet Sauvignon. With 50+ years of combined winemaking experience, head winemaker Mike Trujillo, who worked with Andre Tchelistcheff and Tony Soter, and winemaker Molly Hill together produce flavorful wines of grace that highlight sense of place and varietal character.
At Sequoia Grove, acquiring the best fruit sources in the valley and utilizing top equipment is key. We sat down with the team at Sequoia Grove to learn more about their approach to winemaking.
What kind of wine do you specialize in?
We are predominantly a Cabernet Sauvignon house, though we make a lot of different varietal wines.
What is a fun fact about Sequoia Grove (or the Sequoia Grove team) that most people don’t know?
Cambium, the name of our flagship wine that comes from a barrel selection of the best lots in the cellar, is actually a scientific name for the part of a woody plant (both trees and grapevines) where new growth arises. It is the life-giving layer which (we think) is a great name for a beautiful bottle of wine, a wine we call the essence of the vintage.
What inspires your winemakers at Sequoia Grove?
At Sequoia Grove, we are inspired by Mother Nature. Each season is different, each vineyard site is complex and variable through the years. And getting to do a deep dive into that expression of the vintage and of site each year is a real treat and a joy.
Share a few of your favorite wine and food pairings at the moment:
Right now, in our Wine and Food Experience, we are pairing our 2015 Haire Chardonnay with crab cakes and our 2014 Tonella Vineyard Cabernet Franc with a garam masala rock cod! Our Stagecoach Cabernet Sauvignon, interestingly enough, is paired with a vegetarian ricotta gnocchi & marinara dish, and it’s just fabulous.
What is your best-seller? And does that differ to your winemaker’s favorite?
It is hard to characterize our best-seller. We are fortunate that all our wines sell out quickly, but we have wine to please everyone: from our Grenache rosé to our vineyard designated Cabernet Sauvignons to our harder to find Cabernet francs, we have something for everyone, you just might have to come in regularly to get a bottle of it.
The winemaker is partial to our Syrah, but she finds joy and satisfaction in blending and expressing each wine produced here.
Are there any new wines in the pipeline? Any vintages or new varietals you’re excited about?
Our winemaker is always looking for varietals or sites to explore and for the 2018 harvest, we have several small-lot vineyards that are new for us at Sequoia Grove. The 2016, that we are currently bottling, is one of best vintages to date and we are very excited about it. The wines are elegant, yet with lots of flavor impact, dark and rich, but not overly tannic, even at this young age.
How do you use Coravin on-site?
We mainly use Coravin to taste limited-release wines that we are not offering on a particular day, especially for big buyers. Tasting wine for small groups in a seated experience where we wouldn’t want to open a bottle. Bonus pours of special wine.
Anything else you want the Coravin wine community to know?
Most of our wines are limited productions wines that are not sold in restaurants and wine shops, but you can purchase them directly from the winery online or by phone. And, of course, you are always welcome to visit!
Hungry for more? We created the video below in tandem with Sequoia Grove to show off some of the best food pairings with a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon.