Seven Stones — A Cult Winery in the Making

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Cult wineries are things fairy tales are made of, yet Seven Stones Winery is just one of the few to live up to these rarely achievable standards. Anita and Ron Wornick purchased the last 45 acres of Meadowood lots in hopes of settling into quiet retirement in 1995, however they soon discovered this to be an unlikely reality. Now, Seven Stones is Anita and Ron Wornick’s dream hobby come true.

Originally, Seven Stones was planted as the Wornick’s very own boutique winery, merely intended for personal consumption in the spirit of “joie de vivre.” After tasting the first pressing of their personal estate, it was clear to them that their retirement was far from over. Fast forward ten years, three acres and six plots of cabernet sauvignon later, Seven Stones debuted its first vintage of its cabernet sauvignon bottling in 2005 to enormous critical acclaim and has been doing so since.

The wine making is overseen by Aaron Pott, formerly of Château Troplong Mondot and Château La Tour Figeac in Bordeaux, and most recently, St. Clement and Quintessa in Napa. Like Ron Wornick, Potts’s guiding principle to wine making is a non-interventionist approach; wine is always made in the vineyard, not the winery.

Extreme care and personal attention is given to each of the vines in honor of Seven Stones’s distinctive terroir and to preserve its uniqueness. Absolutely everything is done by hand ensuring deft precision at every step of the way. Its singular terroir is a combination of hillside vineyards, special climactic cooling effects and varied soil types that produces one of Napa Valley’s most intense and layered cabs. Just to highlight it, imagine one single vine row that gives way to a number of different soil types going from white ash to fragmented chunks of stone to glasslike obsidian — truly unique. Additionally, about 40 percent of the crop is lost to green harvest reducing yields further intensifying the flavor of each berry. At harvest time, grapes are hand harvested in the cool morning air and sorted multiple times before they allowed to settle in four fermentation tanks and then aged in new French barrique for 22 months.

Early on, the Wornicks decided to limit the production of Seven Stones to 400 cases, but to this day have yet to produce anything close to this amount. They made 300 cases of the 2006 and 240 of the 2007 release.

Haute Wines certainly looks forward to tasting Seven Stones year in and year out. It is not often one comes across a wine with this type of finesse, concentration and depth.

Seven Stones Winery, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, Ca, 2007, $175 – With barely 2,880 bottles allotted to the world, thank goodness HL landed one. Seven Stones cabernet sauvignon is magnificent. Deep, dark and dense, the inky, purple juice packs a punch of layered aromas and flavors – spicy, crushed blackberries, black currant compote, chocolate covered marasca cherries, pinot and rosemary coniferous herbaceousness, charred lamb and even notes of Chinese licorice bark. The concentration is incredible and the tannins are soft and well-integrated; the texture is simply impressive. Each sip leaves you wanton for more.

Please note some wines are very limited in production and therefore may be difficult to find. If interested in acquiring, tweet me @epicuriouschic and I will be happy to help you source the wine.

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