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Arietta When Fritz Hatton joined the Kongsgaards in founding Arietta in 1996, two exceptional vineyard blocks on the Hudson Ranch had been singled out for the project. Winemaker John Kongsgaard and the extraordinary Napa-Carneros grower Lee Hudson had been working together since 1983, studying the combinations of exposure, soil type, grape variety, clone, rootstock, cover crop, trellis, yield, and the countless other critical details of growing grapes on the Hudson Ranch for the highest level of wine quality. In 1996 the first of two Arietta wines was made, a blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. In 2000 a Merlot and Syrah blend was introduced.


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3468 Silverado Trail N, Oakville, CA, US, 94562 Email:
Phone: 707-963-5918 Web:
Fax: 707-963-5919
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  Arietta H Block Hudson Vineyards Napa Valley
Arietta H Block Hudson Vineyards Napa Valley is a blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. The Cabernet Franc is solely from the 2.3 acre Hudson Vineyards H Block, a shy-bearing, volcanic, southwest facing slope, which naturally yields just three tons per acre. The Merlot is grown in the Hudson Vineyards N Block, about 100 yards away. Typically, the two fields are picked simultaneously and co-fermented, assuring a marriage of the varieties. The Cabernet Franc provides the cassis, blueberry, brown sugar character, while the Merlot brings dark chocolate to the aroma and a chewy richness to the finish. Harvested near the extreme of ripeness, the wine is fermented with its indigenous yeast, macerated with the skins for six weeks, and then aged for two years in all new French oak barrels. Naturally clarified by traditional Bordeaux racking, the blend is bottled without fining or filtration. The intense concentration masks the substantial tannin, allowing the wine to be served young and to age in bottle for 10 or more years.
  Arietta Variation One Napa Valley
Arietta Variation One Napa Valley is a blend of Merlot and Syrah, also from the Hudson Vineyards. The N Block is the only vineyard in Kongsgaard's extensive experience with Merlot which naturally yields two and one half to three tons of fruit per acre without requiring thinning or hedging. This naturally balanced vineyard is a unique phenomenon; a gift from nature which is reflected in the harmonious quality of the wine. Syrah, from Hudson's Hermitage selection grown in gravel unusual in the Carneros, is co-fermented with the Merlot to give the blend a wild and penetrating quality. If the H Block wine is an homage to the Right Bank of Bordeaux, Variation I is a Napa Valley original. The plum and licorice aromas of Merlot blend imperceptibly with the forest floor, wild game qualities attributable to the Syrah in a wine without antecedent anywhere in the world. The vinification, barrel ageing, and bottling are similar to the Arietta H Block wine. Variation I may be served young, especially with wilder dishes, but the powerful, if supple, tannin will support its evolution in bottle for at least 10 years


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