“The lifeblood of Napa Valley is these young people experimenting and making great wine.”
When Juan Mercado called Andy Beckstoffer in 2002 looking for grapes from To Kalon Vineyard – arguably one of the finest vineyards in Napa Valley -- Realm Cellars didn’t even exist. Nonetheless Andy decided to take a chance on Juan. “He appeared to appreciate fine wine and he was passionate.” The move was actually in sync with Andy’s long term vision: by selling his grapes to a number of small wineries with known or promising winemakers – who would bottle them as single vineyard wines -- he’d be able to prove that his vineyards were exceptional, that it was the grapes driving the quality of the wine. It’s a vision that has proved enormously successful for Andy, who moved to California in 1970 to direct all vineyard operations for Hublein, Inc., which at the time owned Beaulieu Vineyards, Inglenook and Italian Swiss Colony. In a grape growing career that has spanned over forty years, the Richmond, Virginia native and graduate of Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth has assumed ownership of some of the most prestigious vineyards in Napa Valley, including Beckstoffer To Kalon and Beckstoffer Dr. Crane. Andy has also established himself as one of the valley’s most visible grape growers, with leadership positions that have included Founding Director and second President of the Napa Valley Grape Growers Association, and Founder and first President of the Rutherford Dust Society. A tireless advocate for grape and wine quality, land preservation and geographic integrity, Andy was elected into the Culinary Institute of America’s Vintners Hall of Fame in 2010, the first grower to be honored with this prestigious wine industry award. Realm Cellars has purchased grapes from Andy’s To Kalon Vineyard every year since 2002 and from his Dr. Crane Vineyard since 2005.
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