Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Silver Oak Bonny's Vineyard was arguably the first California Cult Wine. It was produced by Silver Oak from 1979 until 1991. Bonny's Vineyard is situated in front of Justin and Bonny Meyer's home (founders of Silver Oak). After the 1991 harvest, Silver Oak decided to stop producing Bonny's vineyard because demand was so high and too many people were upset if they could not get bottles. Now most cult wines just raise their price to $400 a bottle. I remember the excitement of getting our Silver Oak Bonny's Vineyard every year when I first started working at The Wine and Cheese Place. We would have a waiting list, because it was no doubt the most sought after wine at the time for us.
Even after Justin Meyer sold his half of Silver Oak, the only vineyard he kept was Bonny's Vineyard. 2003 was the first vintage of Bonny's produced in 12 years and we now have the great 2004.
Justin Meyer was one of the founding members of Silver Oak in 1972 and the drving force. He was the winemaker until 1994 and then he sold his portion of Silver Oak in 2001. At that point, he helped his son, Matt, open Meyer Family Cellars. Now Matt is carrying on the great tradition of Bonny's Vineyard.
Meyer Family Cellars
2004 Bonny's Vineyard.....$131.99
Only 200 cases made.
Available online also.
"Bonny’s Vineyard Cabernet: The Bonny’s Vineyard Cabernet was one of the country's first and deservedly best examples of a single vineyard designate wine. Over thirty years ago these precious four acres stood out among thousands that Justin Meyer cultivated in the heart of the Napa Valley's Oakville Appellation. The old creek which runs nearby deposited gravely soils which cause the vines to struggle and produce the most beautifully intense fruit imaginable. This is not a wine we make, but rather one we watch develop itself during its five year ageing process. Whereas we are actively developing the style of the Syrah, when it comes to the Bonny’s we stay true to the techniques Justin Meyer used many years ago. Rather, when each vintage is tasted it is a way of looking back to the year in which it was grown." -- winery
"Bonny and Justin founded Silver Oak Cellars together with their financial partner, Ray Duncan in 1972. Always a labor of love, Silver Oak’s inaugural vintage was crushed that fall a week after Justin and Bonny returned from their honeymoon.
In the early years Bonny managed Silver Oak business and sales while Justin oversaw winemaking and managed burgeoning Franciscan Vineyards, purchases by the partners in 1975. A couple years after the partners sold Franciscan, Justin left and took over primary management duties at Silver Oak. Always part of the management team, Bonny focused on PR, marketing, and package and facility design. The original Silver Oak and Meyer Family Port labels both won design awards, as did the Oakville Silver Oak winery when it was completed in 1982. Today Bonny is an active partner in Meyer Cellars and continues to focus on marketing and design.
Bonny is Principal of Meyer Family Enterprises, investor in the financial markets, commercial property, and green technologies. She is a strategic philanthropist and a community activist. She loves to sail, play guitar and sing with friends. Now and then she skis and drives fast when no one is looking.
The legend of Bonny’s Vineyard states that Bonny gazes upon and blesses her vineyard every morning and that’s what makes the wine so extraordinary. Others say the wine is a manifestation of Justin and Bonny’s love for one another. But no one really knows for sure." -- winery