Trefethen Vineyards has been producing quality wines from estate grown fruit since 1973. Not a single purchased grape has been used in the production of Trefethen wines since its inception in 1968. Fame has followed the wines, winemakers and winery found in the southern end of Napa valley, but when you get down to it, it is still a family operation.
In 1968, Eugene Trefethen had the foresight to purchase 600 acres of land in the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley. The land was littered with walnut, pear and plum trees, as well as old vineyards and the rundown relic of 19th century wine-production that was the Eschol winery. Though the land did not look very promising, the Trefethen family knew with a little hard work that this land that had once made famous wines could do so again. Eugene and his wife Katie, along with their son John and daughter Carla, and JohnÂ’s wife Janet, began the arduous task of replanting the overgrown vineyards.
After a few years of selling their grapes to some of NapaÂ’s finest, John and Janet decided it was time to show the world the excellent wines that could be made directly from the Trefethens and their vineyards. All they have done since is win a boatload of awards all the while retaining complete control over the winery and all aspects of the grape growing process, a Herculean feat in the ever-changing landscape of Napa Valley.
John and Janet have built a successful winery built on the premise of showcasing their homegrown fruit. John and his father Eugene scouted every inch of their land in order to determine the proper clonal selection for every nook and cranny of the vineyards. At Trefethen they Â“grow wine,Â” with all winemaking practices leading to the emphasis on the grape, not the winemaking style. Practices such as harvesting at night to retain more of the fruit character, sustainable viticulture to protect the nutrient balance in the soil, and gentle gravity-flow transfer of the grapes and juice once in the winery.