Eagle & Rose Estate
In 1995, Norman Alumbaugh planted his first vineyard on Eagle & Rose Estate. He has since built production facilities and caves as well. His property was previously used for parachute training and has a runway for small planes.
The winery is located in Pope Valley just north of the Chiles Valley AVA. Alumbaugh makes wines under the Eagle & Rose and Skyhawk labels. All of his wines are estate grown and bottled.
The Skyhawk Cabernet Sauvignon is actually a blend of 86% Cab and 14% Merlot. 340 cases are produced each year. At only $15, it is an excellent value. It is rare to find a red wine from the Napa hills at this price.
The Eagle & Rose Sauvignon Blanc underwent most of its fermentation in stainless steel tanks. Right before the last of the sugar was converted to alcohol, Alumbaugh moved the wine to small oak barrels to complete its fermentation. He then let the Sauvignon Blanc age for and additional seven months in the barrel sur lie.
Allowing the wine to age in contact with the dead yeast cells and other debris from fermentation gives it a smooth vanilla flavor. This mingles nicely with the bright citrus flavors that are characteristic of the Sauvignon Blanc varietal. Alumbaugh also makes an additional Cab, two Merlots, and a Viognier.