It takes just as long to produce a bottle of Cabernet today as it did in 1972. And that’s just fine with Silver Oak, because what matters most is timelessness
IT ALL STARTED WITH A HANDSHAKE
Silver Oak began over a handshake between two friends with a bold vision: focus on one varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon, aged exclusively in American oak and worthy of cellaring for decades to come. Ray Twomey Duncan, a Colorado entrepreneur who began investing in California vineyards in the late 1960s, and Justin Meyer, a Christian Brothers-trained winemaker, co-founded Silver Oak out of a Napa Valley dairy barn in 1972, producing only 1,000 cases of their inaugural vintage. Over the next two decades, Silver Oak grew in popularity. Our Napa Valley and Alexander Valley Cabernets sold quickly upon their release from the winery and became a highly sought-after staple on restaurant wine lists nationwide. After selecting Daniel Baron to succeed him as winemaker in 1994, Justin retired, selling his share of Silver Oak to the Duncan family in 2001. Ray’s sons, David and Tim Duncan, own and operate the winery to this day. In 2006, a fire destroyed our historic Oakville winery. While rebuilding was a difficult and emotional event; the opportunity to design a new, state-of-the-art winery from the ground up has resulted in better Napa Valley Cabernets and minimized our eco footprint. Ten years after the fire, Silver Oak Napa Valley was designated the world’s first LEED Platinum winery for existing buildings, operations and maintenance (EBOM) by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Next, when it came time to reimagine the Silver Oak Alexander Valley winery, we applied the lessons learned from our Oakville winery and set an even higher bar. With a goal of net-zero water and energy as our north star, the new Sonoma county winery has since become the world’s first winery to achieve LEED Platinum for building, design and construction (BD+C). “We have yet to make our best bottle of wine,” or the idea that our best wines are still ahead of us, is a founding philosophy that still guides us to this day. We farm more than 400 acres of vines in Napa Valley and Alexander Valley with a leading-edge approach toward farming and viticulture, and the softest possible impact on natural resources and the environment. Since 2014, Napa Valley native Nate Weis has overseen all grapegrowing and winemaking operations at Silver Oak. Nate worked side-by-side with his predecessor Daniel Baron, just as Daniel worked with Justin Meyer before his retirement. These overlapping tenures ensure consistency and quality control, as well as the inherent wisdom that our best wines are still ahead of us.