Creating red-wine from grapes grown on small acreages in both Napa Valley and Knights Valley is the passion of Beth and Jim Summers.
Jim Summers originally purchased a 28-acre vineyard in Knights Valley in 1987. Knights Valley is located northwest of Calistoga, between Mount St. Helena and the Alexander Valley. At that time it was primarily Merlot grapes planted on the property 30 years ago by Dan Duckhorn, with some Muscat Canelli. The first production of Summers Ranch Reserve Merlot was the 1992 vintage. We currently produce 900 cases. We also make Petite Sirah from the Knights Valley estate. As Knights Valley is one of Sonoma’s warmest appellations; its volcanic soils and close proximity to the Napa Valley, have led to increased interest in Bordeaux varietals from the appellation in recent years.
In 1996 we expanded our vineyard holdings to include 25 acres at the corner of Highway 128 and Tubbs Lane. This Napa Valley property carries the name Summers Estate Wines, with the vineyard designation of Villa Andriana Vineyard, named after our daughter. While the property has been completely transformed to recognize its full potential, we take great care and pride in maintaining our 40 year old Zinfandel vineyards on the property. With a winery/tasting room, and 22+ acres of vines (Zinfandel, Charbono, and Cabernet Sauvignon) we think it a perfect balance of pleasure and productivity.
The signature “unique” wine offered by Summers is, Charbono. The name is thought to be an early Italian immigrant version of Charbonneau, a French varietal. Some strongly believe that this variety is a close relative to the Dolcetto variety, widely grown in northern Italy. The vine bears very large fruit which is used to make a very dark red wine, that, when subjected to extended skin contact during fermentation, is full of fruit flavor and low in tannins.