Cornerstone Cellars was born out of a passion for great wines in 1991 when founders Drs. Michael Dragutsky and David Sloas crushed their first five tons of Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. Today the founders of Cornerstone Cellars and have been joined by Managing Partner Craig Camp, Winemaker Jeff Keene, in the Napa Valley, and a group of Memphis based partners led by Hal Lewis and John Carrier. All share one goal: to make compelling, exciting wines that speak clearly of the vineyard, variety and vintage from which they are born. All of our wines receive minimal, gentle winemaking relying more on nature than technology as the path to making great wine. All come from organic or sustainably farmed vineyards. As BevX.com noted, “Craig Camp and winemaker Jeff Keene have propelled Cornerstone Cellars to the top tier of California wineries.”
While our Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon remains the cornerstone of our portfolio, this year will see the premiere release of a very special wine. Named simply, “The Cornerstone” this wine represents the pinnacle of our vision of Napa Valley winemaking . Each vintage “The Cornerstone” will be selected from our best barrels of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and merlot. The percentage of each only determined by the gifts Mother Nature gives each vintage. This year we will release the 2009 and it is a very, very special wine indeed. Less than 90 cases were produced.
There is such an exciting range of Cornerstone and Stepping Stone wines that you really need to taste them and there’s no better way to do that than visiting our Yountville tasting room, which is located just steps from world famous restaurants like The French Laundry, Bouchon, Bistro Jeanty, Bottega, Hurley’s and Redd.
Stepping Stone by Cornerstone and Cornerstone Cellars are spiritual cousins. They are made with the same focus and attention to detail and are produced from many of the same vineyards, but are different expressions of each harvest. Every vineyard actually gives many wines each vintage and as you taste through the barrels you find a complete palette of styles. With Cornerstone we think of power, longevity and years of cellar age, while with Stepping Stone we think of tonight’s dinner. Those more forward, charming barrels are selected for Stepping Stone. Stepping Stone by Cornerstone also lets us spread our wings a bit and go beyond our traditional wines to craft small lots of wines from varieties and vineyards that inspire us.
The cornerstone of our Stepping Stone wines is our two cabernets. The Stepping Stone by Cornerstone Napa Valley Cabernet Franc is a labor of love for us as we find this variety so compelling, not only for the wonders it can do when blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, but for its wonderful lifted aromatics and bright palate on its own. Our Stepping Stone by Cornerstone Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is more forward and restrained than our Cornerstone Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, but you can’t miss the family resemblance. Each of our Stepping Stone will develop even greater complexity if cellared for several years.
Our “Pick of the Litter” Stepping Stone Cab Fanc and it’s in inventory!
Racy, exciting and bright with just a tang of that wonderful herbal touch that can only be Cabernet Franc. Inspired by the zesty wines of the Loire, but with a depth that is all Napa. For Information on Steeping Stone Cabernet Franc