New Napa Winery: Parable Wines

Parable Winery New Napa Winery


March 2024 marked the opening of a new Napa winery. Parable Wines, a father-and-son venture, opened its doors in picturesque Calistoga. Fred Eppright, an Austin, Texas, businessman in commercial real estate, and his son, Trey, are setting their sights high, promising a wine experience bound to captivate.

Trey became interested in wine at the age of 15. At age 20, he earnestly began reading about wine and started watching Wine Library TV with Gary Vaynerchuk. Trey started at Episode 180 and has watched every through 1000. He studied construction science at Texas A&M. During this time, he talked professors into letting him take classes in horticulture, grape growing, and winemaking. Following college, he worked in real estate. A trip to Napa Valley in 2013 reignited his love of wine. He joined wine clubs and traveled with VGS Chateau Potelle to Bordeaux in 2014. His hope to someday work in the wine industry. He, therefore, proposed looking for a property in Napa Valley.

In 2021, Trey moved to Calistoga, and the Epprights acquired the Dutch Henry 10.5-acre property along the northern end of Napa’s Silverado Trail. Despite the vineyard being ravaged by the 2020 Glass Fire, Parable Wine was born from the potential this father-son team saw in the property’s devastation. They replanted the 2.5-acre vineyard with Cabernet Sauvignon.

Parable Vineyards
Parable Vineyards. Photo Courtesy of Parable Wines

Parable Team

Bringing in an experienced team to this new Napa winery was imperative. Brian Kelleher, who has sales experience from Adobe Road, general Manager skills at Elizabeth Spenser, and 23 years working in sales, marketing, and vineyard relations, is an ideal candidate to move Parable up the ladder.

Like Brian, Kale Anderson, a winemaker with 23 vintages under his belt, brings his expertise from Pahlmeyer and Cliff Lede to the plate. His background in viticulture and enology from UC Davis and his use of modern and traditional methods fulfill his goal of capturing the essence of the vineyards he works with. With Parable, he hopes to capture the diversity of flavors and expressions authentically.

Trey Eppright and Kale Anderson of Parable Wines
Trey Eppright and Kale Anderson

Why Parable?

“A parable is a timeless narrative that offers insights into the human experience. It serves as a silent teacher, weaving allegorical tales that convey universal truths in an elegant and accessible manner. Through its metaphors and symbolism, a parable invites reflection and contemplation, guiding individuals on a journey of understanding and enlightenment.”

This quote, taken from the Parable Wines website, expresses a concept wine brings out in all of us. Wine is a timeless narrative. Sipping a glass of wine with friends and family often offers insights into our lives or helps us convey our feelings for one another. The process of growing grapes, producing wine, and drinking forms a journey that enhances our knowledge and understanding. We each create our parable from our experience with wine. The Parable Wines convey this through their elegance, complexity, and expression of place.

The Parable Wines

As a new Napa winery, Parable is starting its wine journey, offering small lots of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. The first vintage will feature three Chardonnays and two Cabernet Sauvignons. Each one is an expression of place with its character. They source grapes from high-quality vineyards, including Beckstoffer Bourn in St. Helena, Ritchie Vineyard in the Russian River Valley, Vangone Vineyards in Napa Valley, and Larry Hyde & Sons Vineyard in Carneros.

Parable Wines
Parable Wines

Chardonnay

2022 Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard Russian River Valley, Sonoma County: The grapes grow in Goldridge loam soils. This Chardonnay ferments and ages nine months in concrete eggs. The wine delivers a very Chablis-like quality with soft acidity, leading to bright nuances and apple flavors.

2022 Chardonnay Larry Hyde & Sons Carneros, Napa Valley: The grapes grow in clay soils near Eucalyptus trees, which gives the wine part of its character. This wine ferments in French oak and stainless steel, then aged in 50% new French oak and the rest in stainless steel for ten months. The wine exhibits aromas and flavors of apple and pear.

2022 Chardonnay A18, Atlas Peak, Napa: This Chardonnay ferments French oak and is aged 11 months in 33% new French oak. I found the wine textured and bright, with apple flavors.

Parable Chardonnays
Parable Chardonnays

Cabernet Sauvignon

2021 Cabernet Sauvignon Vangone Vineyard, Napa Valley: The wine ages 22 months in 100% new French oak. The wine is very drinkable and bright with ripe fruit, especially cherry.

2021 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Bourn Vineyard, St Helena: The wine ages 22 months in 80% new French Oak. I found a bigger, full-bodied wine with rich, opulent, and velvety tannins. On the nose, dark cherry, mocha, and tobacco aromas lead to flavors of blackcurrant and plum mixed with mocha and tobacco.

New Napa Winery

For me, discovering a new winery is a real treat, especially when I can be one of the first to promote the wines. In this case, I was genuinely impressed, especially with the Chardonnays, as they exceeded my expectations of what I consider an excellent Chardonnay.

A Glass of Chardonnay
A Glass of Chardonnay

With the team’s expertise behind the winery, Fred and Trey will make their mark in Napa Valley.

Note: Common to the wine industry, this writer received a hosted winetasting luncheon with Parable Wines, the new Napa Winery. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure.

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