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Destination Guide

Tom Eddy: A Diamond Classic Winery

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Stefan Pinto's journey through Napa's off-the-beaten-path wineries continues with Tom Eddy, where a passion for wine has gifted us the perfect Cabernet Sauvignon.

Relationships aren’t easy.

If you’ve ever been to a West Hollywood dinner party, you already know there will be a cygnet at the table… dazzling everyone with questions on “What was it like during the Depression?” or “Did you have to fight in the Civil War?” But occasionally, they do pull out delights, some in the form of thought-provoking assertions. Last night, our clever sapling wondered out loud if relationships become easier as you get older.

Do they?

If what they say is true, and the difference between who you are now and who you are a year from now are the books you read and the people you meet, then yes, relationships can become easier—as long as you meet the right people.

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Occasionally, in life we meet people who will inspire us. These are the people who help you to realize that there is no such thing as luck, you also must be prepared. And I don’t care what anyone says, the fact is, you won’t have a perfect relationship without wine—especially a red one. After 17 years, Tom Eddy finally found the perfect relationship.

I believe Tom Eddy is a romantic. A Don Quixote of a vintner, valiantly striving to undo winemaking wrongs, revive chivalry, and bring justice to Cabernet Sauvignon. And when it comes to tilting windmills in favor of making wines you believe in, Tom Eddy stands unique.

Producing less than 1,500 cases annually of hillside Cabernet Sauvignon, Tom Eddy reminded me that, “it’s simply all about terroir, structure and balance.”

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Tom Eddy’s relationship with wine began in 1997. When you visit the 22-acre estate, it becomes clear: this is a man who not only loves what he does, he loves the relationships he’s made while doing what he does. And everything Tom Eddy does, he does with passion.

I met Tom and his wife, Kerry, on my fifth day in Napa Valley, with the people I met on Facebook in tow immediately following our 10:00 A.M. Monday morning visit to Blackbird Vineyards. We, without hesitation, ate lunch at Ristorante Allegria in downtown Napa. Ostensibly a best dining restaurant, it is a puzzling favorite for my Facebook friend. Honestly, I don’t see the charm. But hey, I was reminded, “It’s like you. It isn’t for everyone.”

Check please!

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Like a breath of much needed fresh air, we arrived at The Eddy’s. Nestled 1,000 feet above the valley floor, in the Diamond Mountain District of Napa Valley, the Tom Eddy estate, known simply as “the property,” is breathtaking.

With panoramic views of Mount St. Helena and the Palisades, the five of us walked to the top of this diamond mountain. It was here we saw 100-year old olive orchards, wild turkeys, the Eddy’s own rustic, classic, outdoor saloon, and the entrance to possibly the most badass wine cave I’ve ever had the privilege of being invited into.

Cave of Wonders

Not only is it exceptional, it is remarkable because of its subtle beauty and humble simplicity. Someone put considerable thought, care, precision and balance into making this the ideal, energy efficient, 3,000 square foot man/wine cave. 

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In case you were wondering, wine caves are subterranean structures integral for the storage and aging of wine. Since literal caves are typically underground, they tend to be cooler making them ideal when it comes to the aging—and enjoyment—of great wine.

Liquid Violet

Is it easy to make a good wine? How about a great wine? What makes a wine great, anyway? Is it the grapes? Maybe it is where the grapes are grown. I like to think it is a combination of all those things, but mostly, the people who not only make right choices, but strong choices. These are choices that will affect the where (to grow) and the when (to pick), but even more so the how (to age, blend and ferment)—crucial decisions that embody the outcome of what makes an excellent wine.

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With a moderate alcohol content, around 14%. Eddy’s wines are aged three years in French oak and an additional year in the bottle before releasing. Upon arrival, Tom poured a TENZ. This New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, from the Eddy Family Wines portfolio, is a perfect match for those seeking a “light white” but have a healthy lifestyle. Thanks Tom! You hit the nail on the head with that pour. Incidentally, TENZ means Tom Eddy New Zealand and the wine is infused with strength, courage and bravery…when you visit, ask Tom how that happened!

Tom Eddy’s wines are all about patience and precision. Especially when it comes to making a Cabernet Sauvignon. The Tom Eddy Elodian is a literal, perfect example. A Google search of elodian describes it as “one of a tribe of tortoises” and if/when you do visit Tom Eddy Winery, also ask why they chose that name for this red. It’s a charming story surrounding survival, success, and yes, romance.

A Classic Napa Valley Cabernet

Priced around $90 a bottle, Tom Eddy’s wines evoke flavors that are married together before bottling to produce a harmonious blend. For any fledgling wine lover seeking an affordable and reliable wine… trust me, if you see Eddy on the label, it’s going to be worth it.

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Here’s a link to Tom Eddy’s fine portfolio of wines

Department of 'I Want This'

Sadly, most of us don’t have a wine cave. But cheer up, I have something that you’ll love. STACT Wine Racks

Designed by ICFF award-winner Eric Pfeiffer, these clever creations are not only modular and functional, they are deliciously handsome and sleek making them the perfect method to enhance your Type A space as you show off… I mean, celebrate your wine collection.

The STACT Racks range in price from $129 - $149 and you can order them online.

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So Long Post Office, Hello Winery

Next week, I present something for all my Preservation Aficionados! Small in space, big on charm in the heart of Rutherford, and, get this, the winery itself used to be a post office! I know! See you then!

In the meantime, catch up on my first four stops: Tres Sabores, CheckerboardRaymond, and Blackbird.

About the Author

Stefan Pinto is a male model and photographer. In 2007, he spent one week on expedition with National Geographic in Oaxaca, Mexico. His work has been published in Maxim, Forbes, Out Magazine and The Advocate. He may or may not show up in the season finale of Bosch Season 2. Find him on Facebook or follow him on Instagram.

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