The first "big time" winery we hit in Napa was Abreu. My buddy Sam is on their mailing list.
David Abreu also makes wine under his own name as well. His Madronna Ranch Cabernet wines are highly sought after and are as expensive($500-600/bottle) as they are rare.
Abreu has a small, discrete winery located in a cave. The facility is small, very tidy and the place has the feel of a monestary.
We had a chance to meet and spend a couple of hours with Abreu winemaker Brad Grimes. Keep in mind that Abreu doesn't have a tasting room and they rarely see visitors. For us to get the opportunity to spend a morning with Brad was akin to being a fan of U2 and getting to spend a couple of hours with Bono.
Brad Grimes may be one of the best (and least known) winemakers anywhere. While we heard over and over this weekend that "wine is made in the vineyard", I couldn't help but take away from this winery visit that the winemaker's personality does show through. Brad comes across as someone who "thinks and feels" in his wine making.
I didn't get the sense that this guy spends much time getting caught up in wine science. He came across as a serious artist who "guides" vs. "makes" wine
What an awesome morning and the beginning of an amazing group of winery tours.