Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Most of what follows is taken from their website, www.renteriawines.com where this family-owned company rightly sets forth their proud history, which is another example of the All-American success story.

In 1962 Mexican immigrant Salvador Renteria was hired at Sterling Vineyards as a grape picker.  Because he demonstrated leadership skills in the field he was promoted to a supervisory role.  Renteria also seemed to have an instinct about grape cultivation that surpassed what might be expected from someone without a formal education in the field.  As he was subsequently employed by Beaulieu, Clos Pegas, Cuvaison, and Silverado, Renteria experimented with canopy management and trellising, always demonstrating keen insights that usually proved successful. 

In 1987, Renteria Vineyard Management was formed and the company client base expanded to include Robert Mondavi, William Selyem, Caymus, Etude, Rombauer, and Duckhorn.  What Salvador brought to these wine companies through his experimentations in the field were the lower yields of higher quality fruit that resulted in the highly extracted fruit-driven wines that Robert Parker and other contemporary critics adored.  In 1993 Salvador's son, Oscar Renteria, took over management of the company.

Here's where it gets interesting.  The wine industry has always had a reputation for benevolence toward others, offering a helping hand to those in need of support for their own projects.  Usually it is the ones who have "made it" who are willing to help the upstarts.  In Washington, Chateau Ste. Michelle is known to be that kind of patron.  The esteemed reputation of Renteria Vineyard Management was so high in 1997, when Oscar approached his clients for juice to start his own wine label, of course, the juice started flowing from many of those giants listed above.  Eighty cases of Cabernet was the yield from that 1997 vintage.

Today Renteria Wines markets Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir under three labels from juice sourced from the Stag's Leap District, Carneros, Mount Veeder, Russian River, and Sonoma Coast.  Renteria now supplements his contracted juice with his own vineyards in Mount Veeder, Russian River, and most recently, Carneros.  They have now built a winery in Yountville and the production is up to 2,000 cases annually.

In the store at this time are the Renteria Carneros Pinot Noir, Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, and Stag's Leap Cabernet Sauvignon.  They are priced between $35 and $65 per bottle.  When I tasted these wines five years ago at a large trade show in Atlanta they were amongst the best wines in the show.

Please join us Friday, August 16th from 5 to 7pm as David Hobbs of Prime Wine & Spirits leads us in a tasting of Vina Ventisquero Chilean wines.  The wines to be tasted are mostly reserve level reds and whites that over-achieve compared to most on the market.  David is also the Renteria distributor for the Atlanta market so consider him to be another resource on the subject.  Please join us for that one.

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