Sequoia Grove: Aiming to raise Napa Valley to the ranks of the world's great Cab producers

Judging from recent accolades from wine media, he seems well on his way. Still, unlike many up-and-coming wineries, Sequoia Grove remains more interested in making better wines than building a wine empire, complete with futuristic wine tasting facilities and other “experiences.” Indeed, he has no plans to mimic the fancy digs of some super successful vineyards. “We put the bling in the bottle,” he says.

Of course, if the proof is in the proverbial pudding, or bottle, the 2007 Napa Valley cab I tried with Trujillo recently over lunch in Tampa was superb. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Mergers in the wine world tend to mean one thing — that what goes into the bottles is about to start sucking.

Luckily, California’s Sequoia Grove is undergoing a decidedly different kind of merger. They’re dropping one wine and making another a whole lot better.

Sequoia Grove President and Head Winemaker Michael Trujillo says he’ll stop making their high-end Rutherford Reserve Cabernet and will focus on making the winery’s once-second-tier Napa Valley Cabernet better yet.

To this end, Trujillo says he’s not only putting “the cream” of the reserve grapes into the Napa Valley wines, but is stepping up his wine making game as he aims to raise Napa Valley to the ranks of truly great Cabernets from California and around the globe.

Or as Trujillo puts it, “We’re going from junior varsity to varsity.”

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