Originally posted in December of 2020, I thought I’d share this story of Frog’s Leap Winery once again in case you missed it.
John Williams has had quite a career. The story of Frog’s Leap didn’t begin until after John worked with Napa Valley icon Warren Winiarski at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. He helped launch Glenora Wine Cellars in the Finger Lakes region. Afterward, he returned to Napa Valley as winemaker for the esteemed Spring Mountain Vineyard. All this, before and during the founding of Frog’s Leap, where early business decisions, like their comical slogan, “Time’s fun when you’re having flies” were made with his partners in the Frog Farm hot tub.
40 years on, John continues to evolve, innovate and successfully sustain the Frog’s Leap brand, all while maintaining his sense of humor.
Join me as John fills us in the details, with cameo appearances from former partners Larry Turley and Julie Johnson.
The lobby of The Vineyard House
The back porch of The Vineyard House where wine tastings are offered
The Red Barn in Rutherford
https://onthewineroad.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Frogs-Leap-OTWR.png470540Jeff Davishttps://onthewineroad.us/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Podcast-Logo-for-website-copy.pngJeff Davis2023-07-14 14:48:272023-07-14 11:05:02The Story of Napa’s Frog’s Leap Winery – Classic
Sometimes good things come in twos. It took over two years for me to nail down this interview with Warren Winiarski, I recorded over two hours of audio, and it took two visits to do so. Yet every minute I spent with him was a pleasure. You may be aware that Warren was the founder of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars and it was his Cabernet Sauvignon that outscored the French Bordeaux wines in the famed Paris tasting of 1976. But that was early on. He has accomplished so much in his 90 years and, remarkably, continues to do so. He semi-retired in 2007 but is still involved with grape growing at his Napa Valley Arcadia Vineyard. He continues to learn yet his depth of knowledge is astounding, and the way he looks at life and winemaking is fascinating. Warren is engaging, charming, and kind of like a great uncle you rarely see but when you do you just want to give him a big hug…and drink his wine.
Author’s note: Here are the other California wines that made the final list based on an average of the judge’s scores in the Paris tasting, also known as The Judgement of Paris.
Red Category: Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello (5th), Heitz Wine Cellars Martha’s Vineyard (7th), Clos Du Val Winery (8th), Mayacamas Vineyards (9th), and Freemark Abby (10th).
White Category: Chateau Montelena (1st), Chalone Vineyard (3rd), Spring Mountain Vineyard (4th), Freemark Abby (6th), Veedercrest Vineyards (9th), David Bruce Winery (10th).
A exceptional accomplishment to those who were entered!
Warren’s Arcadia Vineyards was hit hard by the Atlas Fire a year ago October. He lost a barn, the tractor trailer with all of the equipment, and three homes.
The 1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon
The Arcadia Vineyard. You can still see the remnants of the Atlas Fire’s damage on the hillsides. The grass has grown back but a number of burned trees are evident.
https://onthewineroad.us/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Warren-600x338.jpg338600Jeff Davishttps://onthewineroad.us/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Podcast-Logo-for-website-copy.pngJeff Davis2018-11-11 10:58:212022-08-31 15:06:25A Wine Industry Icon: Warren Winiarski
In this podcast you’ll hear how the historic Paris Tasting came together, where some of the winning Chardonnay grapes were sourced (hint: not from Napa Valley), and how word spread across the globe.
Guests include tasting organizer Steven Spurrier, Time Magazine journalist George M. Taber, winemaker Mike Grgich and winegrower Helen Bacigalupi. Fill a glass and enjoy the tale of a significant moment in wine making history.
Steven Spurrier in the middle.
Catching up with Steven during the 40th Anniversary event at Raymond Vineyards, hosted by Jean-Charles Boisset.
https://onthewineroad.us/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Paris_Wine_Tasting9_edited-1.jpg209417Jeff Davishttps://onthewineroad.us/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Podcast-Logo-for-website-copy.pngJeff Davis2016-05-23 18:26:412019-10-22 13:57:5840th Anniversary of the Judgement of Paris Wine Tasting