Brenda CockerellOwner, Coquerel Wines
|Brenda and Clay Cockerell|
As high school sweethearts who have been married since 1977, we have enjoyed hundreds of memorable meals and great wines with family and friends. We have travelled extensively throughout the great appellations of Europe and sampled everything from simple, honest regional bottlings to some of the world’s most celebrated wines. We have trudged through vineyards and shivered in cold cellars as we barrel tasted with some of the world’s top vignerons.
Several years ago, while visiting the Napa Valley for our anniversary, we decided the time was right to make our own wines. Coquerel was born. (The name Coquerel is an archaic French derivation of our family name - Cockerell.)
In 2005, we purchased a vineyard in Calistoga planted to old-vine, dry-farmed Sauvignon Blanc. In 2008 we acquired the adjacent site that was planted to a handful of traditional varieties rarely found in modern-day Napa. Since then we have revamped, replanted and upgraded our property to luxury-class winegrowing standards.
Early on, we hired Christine Barbe, one of the world’s great Sauvignon Blanc specialists, to handle our winemaking duties. Each vintage, in addition to our two bottlings of SB, Christine produces small batches of Chardonnay, Verdelho, Petite Sirah, Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon that capture the essence of the vintage, variety and site.
Winemaker Christine Barbe is a master of Sauvignon Blanc. Born and raised in Bordeaux, she studied biochemistry and received her doctorate degree in Enology and Viticulture from the Bordeaux Institute of Enology. Christine worked with the renowned Denis Dubourdieu and made Sauvignon Blanc at Chateau Carbonnieux and La Louviere in Pessac-Leognan. In California, she has worked with Robert Mondavi, Gallo and Trinchero. Although Christine is from Bordeaux, her “Le Petit” Sauvignon Blanc has a decidedly Loire Valley character, bearing a striking resemblance to a top Sancerre.
About Coquerel Wines
Coquerel Family Wine Estates is located just beyond the town of Calistoga at the north end of the Napa Valley. The heart and soul of our winery is our estate “Walnut Wash” vineyard, a gorgeous, oak-studded property that sits in the afternoon shadows of the Mayacamas Mountains. The combination of warm temperatures and deep, clay/stone soils makes this ideal terroir for Sauvignon Blanc, their flagship variety, made in a classic Bordeaux style. It also produces exceptional Verdelho, Tempranillo and Petite Sirah.