1250 Cuttings Wharf Road
Napa, CA 94559
Etude Wines is dedicated to mastering the craft of winegrowing. In classical music, an etude is a composition with a technical focus that allows the musician to practice a particular technique. Similarly, Etude wines are the product of deliberate concentration on the instructive variables of the craft. The end game is not edification alone, but rather the wine itself as a source of enjoyment. Chopin piano etudes are notoriously difficult but sublimely beautiful… this is an example of the practicing craft transformed to art. Founder and self described winegrower Tony Soter puts it this way: “There’s no better vehicle with which to study or practice the craft of winemaking than Pinot Noir. It is the most challenging, unforgiving and quixotic of all wine grapes, and yet the most delicate and transparent.” “Make no mistake it is a humbling pursuit, but when it’s right, Pinot Noir is a glorious and moving thing. It is in the pursuit of that experience that we all work.” Laboring alongside Soter in this oenological quest for perfection are veteran winemaker Jon Priest and viticulturalist Franci Ashton. Together, this talented trio works to transform the very finest Carneros and Napa Valley grapes into world-class wines sought out by the most discriminating wine lovers. In addition to its widely acclaimed Carneros Pinot Noir and legendary Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Etude has also developed a loyal following for Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Merlot.
Tucked away in the far northwest corner of the esteemed Carneros Appellation is a rambling tract of grazing land that is bisected by the Rodgers Creek Fault Line at the southern toe of Sonoma Mountain. Unlike customary Carneros acreage, which is largely uplifted bay bottoms with soils composed of clay, the soils on the Etude Estate site are variations of volcanic origin. They are well drained, rocky upland soils. Combining these soils with the extreme western location closer to the Pacific Ocean makes this site a decidedly distinct destination (if not entirely atypical for Carneros). Unlike many vineyards that are planted in grids that maximize efficiency, the blocks for Etude’s Estate Vineyard were customized to conform to the various soil types and the changing contours of the topography. Individual vineyard blocks average only 8 acres in size. The spacing is dense to ensure low per vine yields of fully concentrated fruit.