Before the inception of PlumpJack Estate Winery, there was just a humble wine store, opened in 1992 in the Fillmore neighborhood of San Francisco, called PlumpJack Wines. Based on a mutual love and passion for wine, California Governor Gavin Newsom and composer/philanthropist Gordon Getty opened the wine store with a mission of creating an approachable environment for people to learn about and purchase wine.
Newsom and Getty were inspired by one of Shakespeare’s most memorable characters, Sir John “PlumpJack” Falstaff. A down-to-earth, fun-loving, irreverent character, rivaled only by his fierce loyalty to Prince Hal (Henry V), with whom he shares more than a few goblets of sack (wine) at the local tavern. With this philosophy in mind and an opportunity to create their own winery, Newsom and Getty acquired a century-old 42-acre vineyard in the Napa Valley.
Dating back to 1881, this property is one of the oldest operating wineries in the Napa Valley, known then as Mount Eden Winery. After Repeal, the vineyard was kept up as part of the Fagiani Ranch. In 1974, proprietors James and Anne McWilliams restored winemaking back to the old ranch with winemaker Nils Venge, and brought the vineyard to prominence with dynamic, long-lived wines under the name of Villa Mt. Eden Winery.
Pioneers in this endeavor, PlumpJack Estate Winery introduced their 1997 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville at the Napa Valley Wine Auction by bottling 50% of their flagship wine under a screw cap closure. Industry leaders in the use of alternative closures for luxury wines, PlumpJack Estate Winery made a huge statement that represents their commitment to quality as well as their spirit of approachability.
Today, Winemaker Aaron Miller and his team continue the winemaking heritage at PlumpJack Estate Winery by producing elegant wines that pay tribute to the Oakville estate vineyard and that earn critical-acclaim. In 2016, PlumpJack Estate Winery earned 100-points from Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate on their 2013 PlumpJack Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville marking just the second time in history that a wine under a screw cap closure has received this award.