In 1968, Eugenio Trefethen bought a piece of land in Oak Knoll with a dilapidated winery and a grove of walnut trees. Eugenio and his son John spent the next few years planting vineyards and renovating the property. They were soon selling grapes and producing wine.
The winery’s breakthrough moment occurred in 1979 at the World Wine Olympics, when their 1976 Chardonnay won the title “Best in the World.” This marked the beginning of a long tradition of prestigious winemaking.
One of the main reasons for Trefethen’s success lies in their vineyards. The vines are planted on loam and gravelly soils, in the temperate Oak Knoll AVA. The weather is unique in that it is warm enough to grow Bordeaux varietals, yet cool enough to successfully grow Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Another major reason for their success is that the Trefethen Family uses only estate grown grapes in their wines. This provides a mechanism to control the quality of all aspects of the winemaking process, from the vine to bottling.
The winemakers are David Whitehouse Jr. and Peter Luthi. Steve Baldini is the vineyard manager and specializes in experimenting with different types of trellises and canopy management techniques. Trefethen has the enviable combination of prime vineyard land and a top-notch winemaking and vineyard management team.
Trefethen’s estate wines are 100% estate grown, produced and bottled. They include Riesling, Viognier, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Late Harvest Riesling. Double T Red is an affordable Bordeaux style blend. It is made primarily with Cabernet Sauvignon, and is balanced with Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec.
Trefethen’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are made exclusively with fruit from their hillside vineyard. Their special releases include HaLo (single vineyard Cab), Young Vines 5 Chardonnay, Summer in Napa Rose, and Bambino Pinot Noir.