History – The First Two Decades
Guided for more than two decades by the Stotesbery family, Ladera has earned a reputation for making some of Napa Valley’s most extraordinary mountain-grown Cabernet Sauvignons, along with acclaimed Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays from their Pillow Road Estate Vineyard in the Russian River Valley. Along the way, Ladera has helped to champion a beautifully balanced expression of winemaking, with smoothly structured tannins, energetic natural acidity and soaring flavors
With deep agricultural roots, and decades of experience as ranchers, Pat and Anne Stotesbery acquired their first Napa Valley mountain vineyard in 1996. They quickly fell under the spell of growing wine grapes, and the following year, they purchased their second vineyard—Lone Canyon—embracing life as full-time winegrowers and vintners. In 1999, guided by a vision of crafting a balanced and sophisticated style of mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, they founded Ladera, which means “hillside” in Spanish and Italian, and made their debut vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Ladera quickly earned acclaim as a rising star with a reputation for making some of Napa Valley’s most exciting high-elevation wines—a reputation that was solidified when renowned Winemaker Jade Barrett joined Ladera in 2012. An internationally trained winemaker, and a veteran of Napa Valley’s Lewis Cellars, Jade’s thoughtful, vineyard-driven approach has only reinforced the remarkable quality of Ladera’s wines. At the same time, he has remained true to Pat and Anne’s belief in making elegant and balanced wines that possess structure and nuance.
As Ladera has evolved, it has moved away from owning vineyards and instead focused on partnering with several of Napa Valley’s most respected growers, to source fruit from acclaimed sites. “Over the course of our first 20 years, our love of mountain vineyards took us from Mount Veeder to Lone Canyon to Howell Mountain and beyond,” says Pat. “From each location we learned a great deal, which made our wines better and better. Today, this knowledge and experience, along with the freedom and ability to work with Napa Valley’s greatest vineyards, is resulting in our finest wines ever.”