Wheeler Farms' original concept was to create a collaboration of winemakers to join us in producing their own ultra-premium wines at our winery. Our winery staff performs all the labor in making the wines, but they follow detailed instructions given them by each winemaker. In choosing our partners, and in their choosing Wheeler Farms, we looked for common values of integrity, excellence, professionalism and camaraderie. Together, we are all striving to produce great wines. Below you will find these outstanding wine producers.
We have always said our best wine has yet to be made. This was our philosophy as the proprietors of Araujo Estate and stewards of the historic Eisele Vineyard, and it is our guiding principle today with Accendo Cellars, the Napa Valley winegrowing venture we found in 2013. Inspired by the revolutionary Napa Valley wines of the 1950s, '60s and '70s, Accendo pays homage to an earlier era and marks a beginning of a promising new paradigm: to source grapes from some of the finest vineyard sites and terroir in Napa Valley; to make a wine of balance and restraint in the style of Napa Valley's past wines; and to produce this wine with the commitment, energy and meticulous attention to detail that have characterized our past efforts.
Bart & Daphne Araujo
Arrow & Branch was chosen as the name for Steve and Seanne Contursi's wine as a subtle reference to numismatics, the study and collection of coins. Steve became enamored with coins at seven years of age, when, as a paperboy, he was often paid in coins. He built his childhood pastime into one of America's most respected and renowned dealerships and now owns Rare Coin Wholesalers and RCW Financial.
A professional numismatist since 1975, and armed with a Cum Laude degree in physics, Contursi has bought and sold more than $1 billion worth of United States rare coins, and helps both collectors and other dealers acquire the finest quality, historically significant, museum quality coins. Found on the reverse of most United States coinage is an eagle holding an olive branch and arrows in its talons. The Arrow & Branch name is both a nod to Contursi's success in the rare coin business, as well as paying homage to both US coinage and Americana. The olive branch signifies the United States as a peace-loving nation, while the arrow portrays the country's ability to defend itself if that peace or freedom should ever be compromised.
Tor Kenward, a prominent Napa Valley vintner for four decades, is legend. This status comes with surviving those 40 years as a well-traveled and observant ambassador for Napa Valley wines. TOR Wines is the culmination of his dream – to simply make wines that are the essence of historic and iconic Napa Valley vineyards. Tor along with Winemaker Jeff Ames make very limited production wines from select blocks in Beckstoffer To Kalon, Vine Hill Ranch and Tierra Roja – all in Oakville. Melanson on Pritchard Hill and Cimarossa on Howell Mountain are TOR's two higher elevation vineyards in the single vineyard Bordeaux varietal program, driven by Cabernet Sauvignon. This single vineyard, very small production focus also extends to critically acclaimed Chardonnay from select blocks in Hyde, Durell and Beresini Vineyards. Tor and Jeff, like their mentor Don Quixote, chase windmills – making minuscule amounts of a single vineyard old vine Petite Sirah and Grenache. Add it all together and you have a world class playground for seasoned winemakers to call home. We are blessed.