Welcome Silenus Winery

It is with great pleasure and pride that we include

Silenus Winery

in our exclusive portfolio.

SThyrsus1

In 1968 a walnut orchard in the Southwestern corner of Napa Valley, in the Oak Knoll District, was converted to Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards and the roots of Silenus Winery were firmly established.

Through the 1970’s the grapes from this vineyard were sold to Robert Mondavi, Inglenook and Clos du Val and consistently ended up their reserve wines. Realizing what gold this 20-acre vineyard produced, the owners built their own winery and began producing their own award winning wines that continue to this day. The winery was the 35th winery established post-prohibition in the Napa Valley. Now the valley is home to upwards of 450 wineries!

Silenus Winery has continued a tradition of handcrafted, small-production premium winemaking to this day, adding to the winery over the years with state-of-the-art production equipment, a 2,000 barrel aging chai and a gleaming, modern tasting room.

As of the middle of 2010, Silenus Winery was the first Napa winery to be acquired by a Chinese-American company, the Silenus International Group, Inc. The winery is simultaneously working to create a winery in mainland China and plans to sell those wines, along with premium Silenus Wines, throughout China.

Silenus Winery prides itself on a long history of premium grape growing and award winning wine production. In our Tasting Room guests are able to enjoy views of our Oak Knoll vineyards, the winery and barrel chai, and relax in our garden grotto and enjoy a glass of wine during a game of Bocce Ball – a perfect day in the Napa Valley.

Scott Meadows, General Manager    |      Bradley Smith, Winemaker

VINEYARDS 

In 1968 the perfect spot to grow Cabernet Sauvignon was located in the Southwest corner of the Napa Valley right along Dry Creek. This area is now designated the Oak Knoll AVA (American Viticultural Area), and is one of the most diverse growing regions in the Napa Valley. It has a perfect convergence of growing conditions, the mildest climate in the Napa Valley, alluvial fan soils that provide the right balance of nutrients and stress, and the longest growing season, about 8 months, that results in full and complex flavor development in the grapes.

The land was home to a walnut orchard but had all the right characteristics to make world-class wines. The orchard was purchased, the walnut trees torn out, and vines were planted on St. George rootstock. As the vines grew and gained strength and maturity, a portion of the grapes were sold to Robert Mondavi Winery, Clos du Val Winery, and Inglenook Winery from 1970 through 2002 and consistently ended up in their reserve wines.

In 1995, the vineyards began to show the effects of phyloxera, a microscopic aphid that lives on and eats the roots of grape vines, and needed to be replanted on different, phyloxera-resistant rootstock. Robert Mondavi so loved the grapes from this vineyard that, at his expense, he offered his crew to assess the vineyard and help establish a replanting plan that would include the most appropriate rootstocks for the soils and the best Cabernet Sauvignon clones for the wine.

In 1997, the first sections of the vineyard were replanted on 101-14 rootstock for Cabernet Sauvignon clone 337 and 15 and 1103P rootstock for clone 8. The following year the remaining sections were replanted on 3309 rootstock for clones 15, 4 and 337. These vineyards are still vigorous and are consistently producing the highest quality grapes year in and year out. 

Brands

The Silenus brand is the best selection from the estate vineyards as well as some outside sourcing of superior quality fruit. The favored varietals currently are Riesling, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

A second label, Danais, features Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The name is derived from Danais Tytia, an African/Asian Monarch Butterfly.

 

Who Was Silenus

Silenus Winery is named in honor of Silenus, the mentor and companion of Dionysus, the Greek god of wine. Silenus raised Dionysus from a child and taught him to focus on the most important things needed for a full life of hedonism and pleasure!

Key among the teachings was the art of planting and caring for grape vines in order to make the best wine possible. During ancient times wines were often flavored and sweetened with honey and so Silenus taught Dionysus how to raise bees to make the sweetest and most flavorful honey possible.

Silenus and Dionysus traveled the lands far and wide and hosted parties. While traveling they always carried with them their Thyrsus, a staff of giant fennel topped with a pine cone.

The Silenus Winery Thyrsus label pays homage to Silenus and combines all the elements that were taught to Dionysus, a Thyrsus emerging from a newly planted grape vine that is encircled by bees.SThyrsus1

There are many legends and myths’ describing the epic travels and parties of Silenus and Dionysus. One of the most famous features a giant eagle sent by Zeus to search for and return the drunk and wandering duo. Their presence was required to officiate at the right hand of Zeus over the gods’ annual wine festival.

 

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