Stags’ Leap Winery Released Book about Estate
There’s a story behind every wine you drink. Some are about the long history of a vineyard, battling through prohibition and phylloxera infestation; and others describe the journey from vine to bottle.
However compelling the story may be, it’s rare that you know about it. But wineries are realizing that many of their consumers are interested in their stories. This is evident if you visit winery websites, where the first link is to the winery’s “story” or “history.” This is a great way to get the public to associate with your wine.
One producer who has taken this idea to the next level is Stags’ Leap Winery. On July 10th, they celebrated the release a five volume book about the life of their estate, which began in 1893. The books took over five years to complete, and through the process, took on a course of their own.
The project was lead by poet and designer Theresa Whitehall. Whitehall designed the books as well took on the arduous task of organizing and putting together the content for the story.
The original idea for the books came from former winemaker Robert Brittan, who envisioned a book that could be read by visitors of the winery. After Whitehall began delving into the property’s history, it evolved into much more than that. Unfortunately, Brittan left before the project was finished, so the current winemaker, Kevin Morrisey finished the task.
The first volume, titled “The Book of Rules,” is about the games played at Stags’ Leap Winery. These include bocce ball, eight-ball, cribbage, rummy and dominoes. Artist Dana DeKalb was responsible for the artwork and design of “The Book of Rules.”
The second volume is devoted to the culture and history of the estate. This book was designed by artist Patrick McFarlin and photographer Olaf Beckmann. Whitehill interviewed winery staff and family members to put together this part of the story.
The Chase Family, who founded the estate, was the focus of the third volume, entitled “Ne Cede Malis,” which means “Never give in to misfortune.” According to a press release, the title of the book was appropriate because it was “a useful guiding philosophy from the turbulent 1880s through Prohibition, the Great Depression and the revitalization of the property in the 1970s.”
The fourth volume is a book of lists called “Cartography.” The focus of this volume is on the environment of their estate, including; native plants, rocks, plants in the Moon Garden, rootstocks and of course, the vines. The art was designed by sculptor, printmaker and landscape architect Roberto Rovira.
The last of the five volumes is a collection of experts from the interviews and statements of people who have been involved with Stags’ Leap Winery. This book, appropriately titled, “Voices from the Leap,” features each quote on a separate piece of paper with a water color.
Only 1,000 copies of the five volume set were printed, and is priced at $750.