Calder Wine Co.
- Napa, California, United States
This wine was vibrant and pure, deliciously fruity with an underlying bitterness that refreshed and invited the next sip. It seemed to capture past and future, sadness and sweet hope."
—Eric Asimov, New York Times, December 2017
Calder Wine Company is owned and operated by Rory Williams, the son of venerable Napa winemaker John Williams of Frog’s Leap Winery. Frog’s Leap has been a leader of organic and dry farming in Napa since the 1980s and Rory, now head vineyard manager for the winery, maintains these fundamental principles in all his endeavors.
Rory grew up around the Frog’s Leap winery and as a result was exposed to the classic wines of California at an early age. During college, Rory took time off to work harvests in Barolo, Argentina, Burgundy, and Provence before returning to California with thoughts of making wine. It was a bottle he shared with his father (1964 Inglenook Charbono) that inspired him to start his own winery, working with the long-overlooked, traditional varieties in Napa such as Charbono, Chenin Blanc, and Riesling.
Rory started with a test vintage of Charbono in 2009, and in 2011 he launched Calder Wine Company (Calder is his middle name). Having seen the results of the vineyard work at Frog’s Leap, Rory sought out old vines from dry farmed, organic sites as well as planted new Charbono vines at the Rossi vineyard in Rutherford (owned by Frog’s Leap).
Calder will always be a small, one-man operation, and it is because of people like Rory Williams that we have the pleasure of drinking these heritage varieties from Napa. That is until Rory either gets bored of the project or decides he wants to make more money and rips up all the vines and plants Cab. But because it’s California, we’ll end on a positive note and say that it seems he’ll be doing this for a long time!