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A Storied Winery Runs Toward Tech, Reaps the Rewards Here's a toast to the Napa Valley mainstay that's fomenting -- and fermenting -- a wine revolution.

By Jason Ankeny

This story appears in the November 2015 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Jake Stangel

Sometimes an ending is also a beginning.

Around 6:30 a.m. on Feb. 2, 2006, firetrucks from across Napa Valley raced to the Oakville, Calif., site of Silver Oak Cellars, one of the region's oldest and most celebrated boutique wineries. Smoldering fireplace ashes discarded in a nearby dumpster had caught fire sometime before sunrise, and the flames soon engulfed Bonny's Chai, the 7,000-square-foot erstwhile dairy barn that served as Silver Oak's original winemaking facility in 1972, the year Ray Duncan and Justin Meyer began crafting the first vintage of their signature cabernet sauvignon.

No lives were lost in the blaze, but the historic Bonny's Chai was destroyed. The fire also claimed about 70 barrels of Silver Oak's 2004 Napa Valley Cabernet, valued at roughly $2 million, and caused heat and smoke damage to other buildings on the property.

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