The Story of Somnium
Three things that I love in life are cooking, food and wine, so it was fitting that I would visit Napa Valley and dine at the French Laundry. What I didn’t imagine, was for the experience to take my life in a completely unexpected direction. After a lavish meal, I wasn't sure how thirsty for wine I would be at a 10 a.m. tasting the next day, but it was fortuitous that I would proceed as planned.
It was a cool morning and the fog that sits at the bottom of the valley at this time of day was drifting away. The tasting started on top of a hill that sits in the middle of the vineyard, looking south. The view was spectacular!
After having breakfast and tasting what is still to this day one of my favorite white wines, I fell in love—with Napa Valley, and even more with wine. I thought to myself, "Wouldn't it be so cool if I could have something like this one day!"
That magic moment on the hill in 2006 was something that would affect everything about my view of wine and the Napa Valley. Later that day I met winemaker Aaron Pott who opened up some amazing older wines that I couldn't wait to learn about. We bonded and became friends, and he offered to show me around the area on my next visit to the valley. It was on that trip, that I would find the property Somnium sits on today. I knew I wanted a place with A++ soil and a beautiful view. Far up the switch backs of Howell Mountain, I found the perfect property, and purchased it in the spring of 2009.
Vineyard development began with Cabernet Sauvignon in 2011 and continued until 2014 when I discovered the glories of Cabernet Franc, which we also planted on the estate property. In 2020 we ushered in the next exciting chapter for Somnium when we welcomed new head winemaker, Julien Fayard. With Julien at the helm, I am excited to bring another dream to life as we expand our portfolio to include some of the varietals I have grown to love over the years.
I named my vineyard Somnium, which means “dream” in Latin, because I thought owning my own winery was something that would just be a dream, but it became a reality. I can't tell you how many times I have signed an autograph for a child and added the note—dream big! It is a life motto—it’s how I think, how I live and what I preach! My dreams never stop, and they continue to evolve. Now that Somnium is a reality, my next dream is to create an environment and experience where it is easy for others to fall in love with Napa Valley, just like I did so many years ago.Visit SomniumWine.com