Von Strasser Winery
Founded in 1990 by Rudy and Rita von Strasser, this distinctive diamond-shaped label and eponymous brand has become synonymous with great Cabernet Sauvignon bottlings. From 1990 through 2016, von Strasser Winery was based in Napa Valley’s Diamond Mountain District appellation, an AVA whose creation Rudy von Strasser spearheaded. Over this time, the brand exclusively bottled wines from within this AVA gem, and was named ‘Winery of the Year’ by Wines and Spirits Magazine and unprecedented 14 times.
Currently Von Strasser produces 7 different Cabernet Sauvignon- based wines in 3 tiers. The introductory tier is simply called the DMD, and is a complex, long-lived and elegant wine. Next is the vineyard-designated tier with bottlings coming from Sori Bricco Vineyard, Post Vineyard, Diamond Terrace Vineyard, Agira Vineyard, and Vineyard 2131. The top tier is a Bordeaux-blend, simply, called ‘Reserve’, which has won numerous accolades and near-perfect scores since its debut in 1995. Winewriter Steve Pitcher called this wine ‘an elephant on a tightrope’, referring to its massive structure yet elegant finish. All of these wines are grown in Napa Valley’s Diamond Mountain District AVA.
Lava Vine Winery
Lava Vine was founded in 2004 by Joe and Jill Cabral, and purchased by von Strasser winery in 2015. Because of its unique business model of producing wines from lesser-known grape varietals, and because of its loyal following amongst visitors to Calistoga, Rudy and Rita von Strasser sought out this brand as a platform to showcase their passion for these new grape varietals. The mainstays of Lava Vine are its bold yet refreshing production of Grenache, Pinot Noir, and Petite Sirah and Zinfandel. However on any given day a visitor to the winery might be able to taste from the following list: Grüner Veltliner, Chardonnay, Rosé of Grenache, Tempranillo, Syrah, Malbec, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. Lava Vine’s signature ‘reserve’ wine is called ’A ’a, named after a volcanic lava flow, and should be a part of any serious wine collection. Lava Vine wines are only available at the winery, website, wineclub or at a handful of local restaurants
Because of our connections within the winery community, every once-in-a-while an opportunity arises for us to purchase a great vineyard block, or a spectacular lot of wine, that falls off the radar from other wineries. These can offer unparalleled value for our customers one vintage, but may not be repeatable the next. So in 2008 we created a brand simply called ‘Rudy’ to take advantage of these opportunities. Currently releases include a Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, and Chardonnay. Unfortunately these wines are not available at the winery tasting room or on this website, but rather are distributed through the normal national retail and restaurant channels. If you find a bottle in your local store, give it a try. It is sure to offer a great value for an every-day wine. Click to find out who has it near you.