When eighth-generation winemaker Gerhard Reisacher, co-founder of Delectus Vineyard and Winery, moved from his native Austria to pursue his passion for wine in California, he brought along his liquid résumé--29 bottles of self-made wine. He worked at well-known Napa Valley wineries, met and married his wife Linda and together they established Delectus in 1995. The couple then searched for the perfect vineyard property until they found a unique piece of land perched above Calistoga, overlooking the beautiful Knights Valley, in 2005.
The 112-acre estate boasts a diverse terrain and distinct soils, providing a unique platform to match the five red Bordeaux varietals. Delectus, Latin for "ultimate choice", is known for its handcrafted red wines that are serious yet playful. The moment a bottle of Delectus is opened, the wine begins to tell a story about its distinctive terroir, showcasing the single vineyard designation.
Gerhard's winemaking expertise stems in part from his family's influence, as well as his years of experience at some of the Napa Valley's top-rated wineries. Since Delectus's inception, he has received high praise and accolades for his expressive red wines. The Reisachers pride themselves on producing artisanal wines from grape to glass.
One of Delectus Vineyard and Winery's signature wines is Cuvée Julia, a Cabernet-based blend with only the best fruit from that vintage. The wine is appropriately named after the couple's daughter, Julia. The whimsical labels are hand-chosen every year from her collection of school art projects to grace each vintage.
Delectus offers an intimate wine-tasting experience, by appointment, at their satellite winery location in South Napa, where friendly canine pals and winery mascots Fannie Mae and Splash welcome guests as they arrive on the property. Gracious hospitality staff lead a special guided tasting of Delectus's fine wines, where they often pour barrel samples and current releases, providing a friendly educational experience.
What to Buy:
'08 Cuvée Julia -- Chocolat- covered cherry, blackberry cobbler, rose hip and spice, long velvety finish $135
'08 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Knights Valley -- Clove, rich black fruit, flint, and hints of anise $100
'08 Cabernet Franc -- Creamy vanilla, cherry liqueur, cinnamon, and hint of graphite $75
Tasting Room Open Mon--Fri by Appt
908 Enterprise Way, Suite C
Napa, CA 94458
Mention this Touring & Tasting article and receive one complimentary tasting for every paid tasting