Priest Ranch Winery

Priest Ranch wines were born in 2007 with their first vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah. Winemaker and Co-founder, Craig Becker, hasn’t looked back since.  Honoring Napa Valley heritage by cultivating wines with distinctive profiles, Priest Ranch is committed to a forward-thinking mindset and an unswerving commitment to quality at the highest level. Their approach to viticulture is based on craftsmanship, and the core aim is to get their fruit to reveal the terroir.  Each block has its own character, sometimes in contrast with the next one, therefore attention to detail for all these nuances ultimately make the difference in the wine.

Craig Becker, a Southern California native, is a founding member of Somerston Estate. A strong love of the outdoors attracted Becker to winemaking. This attraction, combined with innate talent, led him to the helm of Somerston – an expansive project focused on great wines and an appreciation of the natural world. Becker spent much of his childhood in Long Beach, California before moving north to attend Santa Rosa Junior College – with both the desire to be surrounded by nature and for the unlimited mountain biking opportunities. Soon after transferring to the University of California at Davis to study plant physiology and soil science, he met Courtney Siverson, who would later become his wife. While finishing his degree, Becker’s interest in winemaking took flight after working a harvest job at Robert Mondavi Winery. Soon thereafter, he worked at Spring Mountain, before starting his own winemaking consulting company. It was during this time that he met Allan Chapman, who had recently launched two wine brands – Priest Ranch and Somerston, from the Somerston Estate property in St. Helena.

Priest Ranch Brut Rose

*2016 Vintage Description*

Winemaking
The Priest Ranch Brut Rosé is 100% Syrah and was aged 24 months in stainless steel on the lees, then bottled and aged an additional 24 months in the bottle.  This sparkling wine is made using the traditional méthode Champenoise.

Harvest Notes
Everything about the 2016 vintage was early, from bud break in early March to harvest. The near-perfect growing season saw ideal warm weather conditions throughout spring and summer days. Lighter than usual yield accelerated the start of harvest that began with Syrah for this wine on August 16th, 2016.

Tasting Notes
This wine has a beautiful pink salmon tone and has a hint of fruity flavors that include strawberry, cherry, and peach. It has terrific balance, and the creamy smooth finish allows you to pair this sparkling wine with anything from spicy dishes to a water cracker with caviar and creme Fraiche.

Vineyard Notes
The historic Priest Ranch is now a part of Somerston Estate, a significant property totaling 1,682 acres with 225 acres of hillside vineyards. What defines and distinguishes the estate are the dramatic elevations of the vineyards, ranging from 800 ft. to 1,600 ft. The wines of Priest Ranch are sourced from multiple blocks, showcasing the diversity and complexity of the combined property.

Wine Specs
Vintage: 2016
Varietal: Syrah
Appellation: Napa Valley
Vineyard Designation: Somerston Estate
Alcohol: 12%

Priest Ranch Rose

*2018 Vintage Description*

Winemaking
The Priest Ranch Rosé begins with a whole cluster press of Malbec.  Priest Ranch harvests these grapes exclusively for this wine to achieve the perfect level of alcohol; acidity is high and color. Then the wine was aged eight months in 40% neutral French oak and 60% stainless steel tanks.

Harvest Notes
2018 began with abundant rainfall then spring weather was mild, resulting in extended flowering in some areas with little shatter. The vines were vigorous thanks to the winter rains.  A few heat spikes kicked harvest into high gear by early September. However crisp weather arrived immediately afterward allowed sugar levels to return to normal.

Tasting Notes
This wine has a vibrant color and conveys rich notes of dry red berries, cherries and wild strawberries. The medium-bodied palate is balanced and has hints of spice, watermelon, and cherry.

Vineyard Notes
The historic Priest Ranch is now part of Somerston Estate, a significant property totaling 1,615 acres with 225 acres of hillside vineyards. What defines and distinguishes the estate are the dramatic elevations of the vineyards, ranging from 800 ft. to 1,600 ft. The wines of Priest Ranch are sourced from multiple blocks, showcasing the diversity and complexity of the combined property.

Wine Specs
Vintage: 2018
Varietal: Malbec
Appellation: Napa Valley
Vineyard Designation: Somerston Estate
Alcohol: 14%

Priest Ranch Rose Cans

*2019 Vintage Description*

Our 2019 Priest Ranch Rosé is here!  And this year we made it easy for you to enjoy everywhere you go, by putting it in a can.  Each can of this Malbec Rosé is equivalent to half a bottle, or 375 ml, and can be easily sipped during all of your favorite summer adventures. As our Associate Winemaker Cody Hurd stated, “it pairs best with a boat and a dock.”

This vintage is 60% Malbec and 40% Grenache Blanc from Somerston Estate in the eastern hills of Napa Valley. The wine was aged in stainless steel tanks for eight months, then canned onsite.

Priest Ranch Grenache Blanc Cans

*2019 Vintage Description*

Now available in a can, Priest Ranch Grenache Blanc is a summer necessity.  The 2019 vintage is 100% Grenache Blanc from Priest Ranch estate in the eastern hills of Napa Valley that is aged in stainless steel for 8 months. This wine is clean and crisp on the finish and is a favorite amongst the team. Grenache Blanc can be enjoyed on its own or with a creamy and/or spicy dish.

Each can is equal to a half bottle of wine, making it easier to enjoy a glass of wine with dinner or on the back patio each night.

Priest Ranch Zinfandel

*2019 Vintage Description*

Winemaking
2019 Zinfandel was handpicked, sorted, and fermented naturally, then aged for 12 months in 20% new French oak barrels and 80% once-used French oak barrels.

Harvest Notes
The beginning of the 2019 growing season was defined by copious rainfall and late soil moisture followed by a warm summer. We saw very few extreme heat events, with foggy mornings setting the stage for vibrant and expressive wines. The long, relatively mild finish to the season helped preserve freshness and finesse in the fruit with sufficient hang time teasing out a great color, structure, and soft tannins.

Tasting Notes
This medium-bodied Zinfandel has hints of jammy fruit, spicy berry, and blackberry. The moderate tannins and high acidity accentuate notes of black cherry on the palate making it the perfect pairing for lamb or grilled meats.

Vineyard Notes
The historic Priest Ranch is now part of the Somerston Estate, a significant property totaling 1,682 acres, with 222 acres planted to hillside vineyards. Dramatic elevations of the vineyards define and distinguish the estate, ranging from 800 ft to 1,650 ft above sea level. The 2019 harvest is the first vintage from this newly planted vineyard block.

Wine Specs
Vintage: 2019
Varietal: Zinfandel
Appellation: Napa Valley
Alcohol: 15.4%

Priest Ranch Grenache Blanc

*2018 Vintage Description*

Winemaking
Priest Ranch Grenache Blanc was fermented in stainless steel drums and tanks. Native yeasts fermented the wine at a controlled 60 degrees F. The lees were stirred twice a month for five months before the wine was bottled.

Harvest Notes
The early half of 2018 brought moderate temperatures allowing for a long growing season.  We had a majority of our rainfall in February followed by a mild Spring. Then summer brought consistent temperatures with little heat spikes. This weather allowed for longer hang time and for the fruit to ripen at a slower rate. The 2018 harvest began in late August and resulted in exceptional quality.

Tasting Notes
The Grenache Blanc is an aromatic white wine with bright aromas of white peach, melons, and honeysuckle. The palate is sharp with good acidity and minerality with a touch of tannins. Hints of bright stone fruits, Asian pears, and citrus make it the perfect pairing for Thai cuisine or to serve with triple cream cheese.

Vineyard Notes
The historic Priest Ranch is now part of the Somerston Estate, a significant property totaling 1,615 acres with 215 acres planted to hillside vineyards. The wines of Priest Ranch are blends from multiple blocks that showcase the diversity and complexity of the combined property. The 2016 Grenache Blanc grapes were selected from Blocks 6 and 7, a 4.9 acre vineyard planted at an elevation of 1,250 feet.

Wine Specs
Vintage: 2018
Varietal: Grenache Blanc
Appellation: Napa Valley
Vineyard Designation: Somerston Estate
Acid: 5.2
pH: 3.14
Aging: 8 months in 100% Stainless Steel
Bottling Date: April 2109
Alcohol: 13%

Priest Ranch Double Barrel

*2016 Vintage Description*

Double Barrel is a 50/50 red blend that changes with each vintage. The winemaking team chooses two varieties that they believe will complement each other to create a wine that never disappoints. To date, no two vintages have been the same.

The 2016 Double Barrel wine is a red blend consisting of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Malbec.  All the fruit for this wine is grown at the estate high in the eastern hills of Napa Valley.  The elevations of the vineyards range from 850 to 1,615 ft, providing high-quality mountain fruit.  From vine to bottle, this wine is handcrafted with attention to detail every step of the way.

Tasting Notes
Deep berry and toasty flavors jump off the palate when you drink this wine. The vibrant color from Cabernet Sauvignon is also standard in Malbec as well as the intensely rich herbal flavors that show through in this full-bodied wine. A great addition to any hearty meal, this is a wine you will want to acquire before it is gone.

Vineyard Notes
The historic Priest Ranch is now part of Somerston Estate, a significant property totaling 1,615 acres with 225 acres of hillside vineyards. What defines and distinguishes the estate are the dramatic elevations of the vineyards, ranging from 800 ft. to 1,600 ft. The wines of Priest Ranch are sourced from multiple blocks, showcasing the diversity and complexity of the combined property.

Wine Specs
Vintage: 2016
Varietal: Red Blend
Appellation: Napa Valley
Vineyard Designation: Somerston Estate
Alcohol: 15.6%

Priest Ranch Coach Gun

*2015 Vintage Description*

Winemaking
The fruit for this 2015 Coach Gun was handpicked, sorted, and fermented naturally, then aged for 24 months in 60% new French oak barrels.  The winemaking team refined the blend over the course of the first year of aging, and the final wine was determined just months before bottling.

Harvest Notes
Everything about the 2015 vintage was early, from bud break in early March to harvest.  The warm summer days and lighter than normal yield accelerated the start of the harvest that vintage.

Tasting Notes
The 2015 Coach Gun delivers scents of vanilla bean and black cherry on the nose. On the palate, there are hints of licorice, blackberry, and roasted coffee bean. The wine is rich in color and delivers velvety soft tannins on the finish.

Vineyard Notes
The historic Priest Ranch is now part of the Somerston Estate, a significant property totaling 1,682 acres, with 222 acres planted to hillside vineyards. Dramatic elevations of the vineyards define and distinguish the estate, ranging from 800 ft to 1,615 ft above sea level. In 2015, the grapes for this wine were chosen from three separate hillside blocks. The final blend was 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Petit Verdot, and 20% Malbec.

Wine Specs
Vintage: 2015
Varietal: Red Blend
Appellation: Napa Valley
Vineyard Designation: Somerston Estate
Acid: 5.25
pH: 3.79
Bottling Date: October 1st, 2019
Alcohol: 16%

Priest Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon

*2018 Vintage Description*

Winemaking
Priest Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon was aged 20 months in 40% new French oak and 60% once-used French oak barrels. The lees were stirred for the first year followed by three racking in the second year of aging. The wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Harvest Notes
The first half of 2018 brought us moderate temperatures allowing for a long growing season.   We had a majority of our rainfall in February, followed by a wet spring.  Then summer brought consistent temperatures with little heat spikes.  This weather allowed for longer hang time and for the fruit to ripen at a balanced rate.

Tasting Notes
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied wine. The rounded mouthfeel is persistent in the long and lingering opulent finish. This vintage has aromas of ripe jammy berries, oak, and licorice. With good tannin structure and balanced acidity on the palate, you can taste hints of vanilla, black cherry, cassis, and plum.

Vineyard Notes
The historic Priest Ranch is now part of Somerston Estate, a significant property totaling 1,682 acres with 225 acres of hillside vineyards. What defines and distinguishes the estate are the dramatic elevations of the vineyards, ranging from 800 ft. to 1,600 ft. The wines of Priest Ranch are sourced from multiple blocks, showcasing the diversity and complexity of the combined property. The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon came from 24 unique vineyard blocks, planted at elevations from 850 to 1600 ft asl.

Wine Specs
Vintage: 2018
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation: Napa Valley
Vineyard Designation: Somerston Estate
Acid: 5.7
pH: 3.88
Aging: 40% new French oak, 60% once filled French oak
Bottling Date: May 2020
Alcohol: 14.8%

Priest Ranch Peacemaker Red Wine

*2018 Vintage Description*

Winemaking
The 2018 Peacemaker is a red blend that was aged 24 months in 75% new French oak and 25% once-used French oak barrels. The lees were stirred for the first year followed by three racking in the second year of aging. The wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Harvest Notes
The first half of 2018 brought moderate temperatures allowing for a long growing season. We had a majority of our rainfall in February, followed by a wet spring. Then summer brought consistent temperatures with little heat spikes. This weather allowed for longer hang time and for the fruit to ripen at a balanced rate.

Tasting Notes
A lovely waft of barrel toast greets the nose with cedar, nutmeg, cinnamon bark and toasted vanilla, followed by spiced plum and red currant aromas. Bright red fruits lead on both the nose and palate with a luscious, vibrant entry built on flavors of cranberry sauce, pomegranate, Bing cherry and plum. There is a spice note throughout suggesting cardamom and allspice with hints of dried herbs. It’s a richly layered wine with smooth tannins, nice acidity that balances out the grip and a lovely balance of fruit and earth.

Vineyard Notes
The historic Priest Ranch is now part of the Somerston Estate, a significant property totaling 1,682 acres, with 222 acres planted to hillside vineyards. Dramatic elevations of the vineyards define and distinguish the estate, ranging from 800 ft to 1,650 ft above sea level. In 2018, the grapes for this wine were chosen from seven vineyard blocks on the estate.

Wine Specs
Vintage: 2018
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation: Napa Valley
Vineyard Designation: Somerston Estate
Harvest Date: Harvested fruit on October 9th thru October 30th
Aging: 24 months in 75% new French Oak, 25% in once used French oak barrels
Bottling Date: 10/21/20
Alcohol: 15.4%

Priest Ranch Port

*2010 Vintage Description*

Winemaking
The 2010 Priest Ranch Fortified Red Wine is made with traditional port varietals: Tinta Cao, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Souzao.  The grapes were hand-picked, sorted and then fermented using natural yeast.  The fermentation was stopped by pressing the skins at 17 degrees Brix and then chilling the must down to 50 degrees F.  At 15 degrees Brix the must was fortified with brandy to completely stop the fermentation. The wine was aged in neutral French oak barrels for 7 years, then bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Tasting Notes
This wine tastes like a vintage Port! The aromas are elevated and full of bright red fruit with a rich dark color. The palate is full of sweet cherries and plums and balanced with sweetness and acidity.

Wine Specs
Vintage: 2010
Varietal: Red Blend
Appellation: Napa Valley
Vineyard Designation: Somerston Estate
Alcohol: 19.8%

Priest Ranch Wines – Awards & Accolades

Vintage Varietal Reviewer Score
2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Lisa Perrotti-Brown 93+
2018 Priest Ranch Peacemaker Antonio Galloni 93
2018 Priest Ranch Peacemaker Robert Parker 94
2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Spectator 90
2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Enthusiast 91
2015 Coach Gun Red Blend Robert Parker 91
2015 Coach Gun Red Blend Wine Spectator 92
2015 Coach Gun Red Blend Wine Enthusiast 92
2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Enthusiast 92
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Robert Parker 91
2014 Coach Gun Red Blend Robert Parker 91
2014 Coach Gun Red Blend Wine Enthusiast 90
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Antonio Galloni 92
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Enthusiast 92