Site-Specific Winemaking

To make great wine, a winemaker must have a deep familiarity with each lot of freshly pressed juice. At Black Stallion, the search for greatness means boots in the vineyard, checking on vine growth and grape development all year long. It means tasting grapes rather than looking at lab reports to determine the perfect moment to pick. It means harvesting and sorting fruit by hand. Black Stallion Winery’s small scale means that each lot of grapes that arrives at harvest is treated individually, and receives a unique upbringing to bring out its full potential for excellence.

Meet the Makers

There’s no set recipe for a Black Stallion blend, just the finely honed palates of winemaker Ralf Holdenried and his team. It’s not uncommon for Holdenried to try dozens of trial blends before deciding on a final cuvée. The goal is always the same: To create a seamless, harmonious wine that captures the varietal’s best expression of that vintage in Napa Valley.

Ralf Holdenried

Joined Black Stallion Estate winery in March 2014 and leads winemaking team. Ralf’s winemaking starts in the vineyard, and draws on a deep-seated knowledge from more than two decades of creating award-winning wines in both California and his native Germany. 

Shawn Brynildson

Joined Black Stallion Estate winery in 2011 and relies on two guiding principles in winemaking: respect and adaption. The first originates in the vineyard, with his dedication to capturing the purity of the distinctive terroirs. The second involves flexibility from year to year, evolving with the season and maximizing the character found in every vintage.

Stephen Mathews

The oldest member of the Delicato Family Wine’s generation four, Stephen as spent the last decade working inside and outside the family business to gain diverse experience in the business of winemaking. Stephen received his Certificate of Winemaking at U.C. Davis.

Find Our Wines

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