Napa Valley pioneer, William "Bill" Hill
Bighorn Cellars was created in 1994 with one very clear ambition in mind: to handcraft limited quantities of exceptional varietals from vineyards where their grapes grow best. This may sound like a lofty goal, until one is reminded that Bighorn Cellars was founded by longtime Napa Valley pioneer, William "Bill" Hill.
It was more than 30 years ago--when vineyards were just beginning to multiply in the flat, fertile stretch of the Napa Valley--that Bill first looked to the surrounding hillsides. He saw their potential and began planting vines. By 1992, Bill's namesake William Hill Winery had grown to more than 100,000 cases per year, along with Bill's reputation for developing premium hillside vineyards and highly acclaimed wines. But
Bill recognized that great wine is also grown in vineyards beyond the Napa Valley. When he sold his winery in the '90s and founded Bighorn Cellars, he also formed a partnership with longtime St. Helena resident, Richard Wollack, to develop high-end vineyards. The enterprise, Premier Pacific Vineyards, is developing a portfolio of extraordinary grand cru vineyard properties that currently stretch from Oregon to Sta. Rita Hills. In these fruitful vineyards, Bighorn Cellars wines begin.
The utmost attention to detail is practiced throughout the winemaking process to ensure that the wines give the highest expression of their variety and terroir. The grapes are handpicked and sorted to guarantee that the pick of the crop is selected and then each lot is kept separate--down to the exact vineyard block and clone-- to assure that each part will add to the final blend. Bighorn Cellars uses a unique simulated gravity flow system that uses nitrogen gas pressure to gently move the wines without oxygenation. All wines are then aged in 100 percent French oak for up to 24 months, then bottle aged for up to a year before their release.
Bighorn Cellars wines are made in the Napa Valley at Silverado Trail Wine Studio, a custom crush facility on Silverado Trail. The casual, family-friendly tasting room overlooks the winery's home vineyard, where yet another new great Bighorn Cellars varietal is quietly being born.
What to buy:
'04; Broken Rock Vineyard Merlot Fruit forward and luscious. Notes of Bing cherry and spiced plum $36
'04; Sugar Loaf Mountain Vineyard Syrah Deep purple, blueberries, exotic spices, dark ripe stone fruit, blackberries $36
'03; Coombsville Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Alluring aromas, waves of succulent mouthwatering flavors $40
707.226.8569; Fax: 707.257.2990
3105 Silverado Trail
Napa, CA 94558
Tasting Room Open Fri-Sun 11-4;
Mon-Thurs by Appointment
From Hwy 121 in downtown Napa, follow signs toward Wine Train Station on Soscol Ave. Follow Soscol until it dead ends at Trancas Ave. Turn right on Trancas. Turn left on Silverado Trail. Go about two miles to winery entrance on right.
1.Co-Proprietors Dick Wollack and Bill Hill 2. The Winery selects grapes from grand cru vineyards in several carefully selected regions. 3. Each year the winery hosts a country-themed hospitality party in its barrel room.