John and Maggie Kongsgaard own one of California’s few cult wine labels. Along with their estate vineyard east of the town of Napa, they also buy grapes from Carneros and St Helena. Human intervention is kept to a minimum at every step of the winemaking process. Owners John and Maggie Kongsgaard recently built a new winemaking facility in a cave east of the town of St Helena. They made their first vintage there in 2006.
“The Judge” is one of the most sought after Chardonnays in California. It is made with grapes from hillside vines grown east of the town of Napa. Amazingly, only one-half of a bottle is made from each vine. The wine is named after John Kongsgaard’s father, who was a judge in Napa for many years.
The Kongsgaard Napa Valley Chardonnay is made with grapes from the same estate vineyard as The Judge. It was fermented and aged in new French oak barrels with gentle lees stirring. It was not fined or filtered before bottling.
The Kongsgaard Napa Valley Syrah is made with grapes purchased from Hudson Vineyard in the Carneros AVA. The 2.7 acres of Syrah on Lee Hudson’s property are thinned to once cluster grape cluster per shoot, making yields very low. It is aged in 50% new French oak barrels for 2 years and is not fined or filtered.
Kongsgaard also makes a very small amount of a Viognier and Roussanne blend. It is fermented with its natural yeast and is aged in French oak for 10 months.