Meet the Harvest Headliners: Roy Estate

Nestled at the foothills of the Vaca Mountains, Roy Estate focuses on the quality of their wine over the quantity. The dedication to their craft is noticeable in every sip. They will be pouring their wine at Roy Estate Celebrity Winemaker Dinner at Cuvee 30A on November 4th at 6pm.

1. Why did Roy Estate decide to participate in this event?

Roy Estate has had a long relationship with DCWAF. The strength of this relationship is built on our love of the people there. John, the rest of his team, and the many event patrons we see each year are like family. There are many notable causes that we devote our efforts to across the county, but the feeling of community that DCWAF fosters is truly unmatched. Returning for the 2021 Harvest Festival, particularly after the hardships of 2020, feels like a homecoming. November can't come soon enough.

2. What makes Roy Estate Wines special?

Roy Estate wines are "estate grown" in the most classical sense of the word. There are very few wineries in the Napa Valley that can claim to have planted the first grapevines on a single piece of untested land. Since Roy Estate's inception over two decades ago we have remained steadfast in our dedication to that same vineyard site, producing wines exclusively from that single parcel. Fans of Roy Estate can experience firsthand exactly how that parcel has developed over the years simply by tasting through our vintages.  

3. What are some of your favorite Roy Estate wine and food pairings?

The Roy Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is certainly unbeatable with a grilled ribeye steak or even Wagyu beef when we are feeling particularly luxurious. But we like to get creative, too. Barbecue brisket or pulled pork are homerun pairings when things are a bit more casual.

Our Roy Estate Mr. Evans is great with a charcuterie board to start off a dinner party, but when we're in northwest Florida we love to pair the wine with local gulf seafood. A firm fish like mahi-mahi will certainly stand up to this lighter of our Cabernet-based wines.

4. What is one thing everyone should know about the estate?

Before Roy Estate was officially founded, it was famed PGA golfer Johnny Miller's Double Eagle Ranch. Now for a bit of trivia. Johnny never planted grapevines on the property, leaving much of the expansive estate as pasture land for his livestock. Why refrain from planting grapevines in the world's greatest winegrowing region? It was Johnny's Mormon faith that prevented him from doing so. With that said, Johnny remains a big supporter to this day--in spirit, if not in consumption--and we have great relationships with several other PGA athletes, too, who certainly enjoy our wines.

5. What do you hear most often when people try your wines for the first time?

People are most impressed by just how different our wines are, despite all of them coming exclusively from our single, 17-acre vineyard site. Our site is defined by the stream that divides the vineyard into two halves, resulting in two very different soil types. We make one wine, our Roy Estate Mr. Evans, from the vineyard blocks below the stream where the vines thrive in rich alluvial soils. The other wine, our Roy Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, comes from the steeply sloped hillside vineyard blocks above the stream. Although only about 15 yards separate these two halves of the vineyard, the character of each wine is undoubtedly unique.

6. What is the best part of being in the wine-making business?

The small team at Roy Estate works on the vineyard everyday. There is a direct connection between the vines that surround us and the wines that find their way into the bottle. What we look forward to most is sharing that connection with guests that visit us on the estate and other passionate wine drinkers we meet across the world at events like the Harvest Festival.

7. Tell me about the Roy Estate wine-making process.

Roy Estate is lucky to work with renowned winemaker Philippe Melka and his talented team. We have been partnering with Philippe since 2005, so his understanding and familiarity with our site is second to none. Philippe hails from Bordeaux, and we believe that the cooler conditions found in our vineyard, sitting just north of the San Francisco Bay, allow him to craft wines that evoke that more elegant, Old World style.

Published on Thursday, July 22, 2021