Arnot-Roberts was founded in Healdsburg in 2001 by childhood friends Duncan Arnot Meyers and Nathan Lee Roberts. Duncan had been involved in making wine at various wineries in the region and Nathan had worked with his father as a cooper of oak barrels. Both families had a long history of involvement in the Napa Valley community.
The intent is to produce wines that express the character of the sites in which the grapes are grown. No vineyards are owned. Fruit was sourced by arrangements with farmers from prime sites in Napa, the Sonoma Coast, the Santa Cruz Mountains, the Santa Rita Hills, Moon Mountain and the Sierra Foothills. The focus is on single vineyards, but some regional / appellation wines are also made if the grapes show strong association with their origins. The common thread is that most of the fruit is sourced from cooler vineyard sites.
Caitlin Quinn joined as assistant winemaker in 2015, drawn to Arnot- Roberts by her love of Syrah.
The range of wines produced is quite broad - as you might expect when each wine is produced in such small quantities – but so is the set of grape varietals from which wines are produced, which includes Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, but also Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Ribolla, Syrah, Touriga Nacional, Gamay, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel, Poulsard and Trousseau.
In the vineyard there is huge focus on the picking date to ensure the correct balance between ripeness, acid and phenolic flavors.
Each wine gets its own treatment in the cellar but broadly the red wines are fermented whole cluster (including, partly, the Cabernet Sauvignon) with indigenous yeasts and receive little or no new oak. The Syrahs are fermented under submerged cap. Whites are fermented in stainless steel and cellared in neutral oak.
Arnot-Roberts is a young and dynamic enterprise that has favorably progressed the concept of what California wine can and should taste like. Their skill in sourcing excellent but previously lesser-known sites has served them well.
Arnot-Roberts is at the forefront of defining what fine California wine represents today.