Producer Article


Last edited on 4/30/2011 by Eric
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Producer website
Abreu Wines is the personal label of famed vineyard manager David Abreu. Mr. Abreu’s farming skills are in extremely high demand, and he oversees many of the Napa Valley’s most prestigious vineyard properties.

Region: Napa Valley
Sub Region: St Helena
Abreu Wines is located west of Highway 29 in the St Helena wine region. This is a highly sought after label that is owned by vineyard manager-extraordinaire David Abreu, also known as, “the grower to the stars.” He works for many illustrious estates including Grace Family, Viader, Bryant, Harlan Estate, and Spottswoode.

Abreu’s fee for developing a single acre of vines is reportedly over $100,000. Simply attaching his name to a wine is worth far more than this sum. He has the Midas touch for growing Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

In addition to his vineyard management company, Mr. Abreu produces wine under his own label. The Abreu Madrona Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon is one of California’s great cult wines.

Small amounts of other red Bordeaux varietals are often blended with the Cab for balance. On release, prices top $225 for a single bottle, and demand far exceeds supply. Older vintages can fetch several times this amount

David Abreu, a third-generation rancher from St. Helena, California and graduate of the Viticulture and Enology program at UC Davis, founded Abreu Vineyards in 1980 after working briefly at Caymus Vineyards. That year he formed David Abreu Vineyard Management, working with pioneering winemaker Richard Forman to manage ranching operations at Inglenook Winery.

Abreu and Forman became friends and traveled frequently to Bordeaux, where they observed French winemaking operations. They brought back French rootstock, trellis designs, and Bordelais planting and farming techniques.[1].

Abreu's fame spread as Other wineries hired Abreu's company to plant and manage ranching operations. By 1999 he was considered the premier viticulturist for premium grapes in Napa Valley.[2] Abreu's company has raised grapes for some of the most respected wineries in Napa and Sonoma Valleys including Blankiet Estate, Acacia Vineyard, Staglin Family Vineyards, Jones Family Vineyards, Bressler Vineyards, Colgin Cellars, Pahlmeyer Vineyard, Sloan Estate, Bryant Family Vineyard, Fisher Vineyards, Oakford Vineyards, Araujo Estate Wines, Grace Family Vineyard, Viader Vineyards, and Harlan estate, among others.

In 1998 eminent wine critic Robert M. Parker, Jr. included Abreu in his list of the "most influential wine personalities of the last 20 years."[3] In 2006 Abreu was hired to replant the Screaming Eagle Winery vineyards.[4]

The wines
Abreu's label concentrates exclusively on estate-grown cabernet sauvignon blends from his two vineyards. Robert Parker gave the 1997 Madrona Ranch cabernet perfect 100-point score, one of only 140 wines in the world to receive the honor.[5] In the "Judgment of Sauternes," in October, 2006 the 1997 cabernet was judged the #1 wine in the world by the Grand Jury Européen.[6]
In the late 1990s Abreu and Forman jointly purchased and planted the 20-acre Thorevilos Vineyard. They released Abreu's first cabernet from that vineyard in 2000.[7]
Distribution is extremely limited, although a number of online wine sellers do advertise Abreu wines at $100 to $600 or more per bottle. Production was 500 cases in 1999.
^ Forman (2000). Launching Bordeaux-Style Wines in the Napa Valley:. University of California, Berkeley, Regional Oral History Office, pp.106-109.
^ Forman, 2000, p. 37
^ Parker, Robert. "The most influential wine personalities of the last 20 years", The Wine Advocate, December 23, 1998.
^ Murphy, Linda. "Worth its weight in gold? Why some people happily pay $500 for a bottle of wine", San Francisco Chronicle, August 3, 2006.
^ Robert Parker's 100 Point Wines. Wine-Searcher (May, 2005). Retrieved on January 27, 2007.
^ Anson, Jane. "California in pole position yet again",, October 24, 2006. Retrieved on January 27, 2007.
^ Foreman, 2000, pp. 124-125