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Alpha Omega Winery Opens On Hwy. 29 In Rutherford
Rutherford | CA

Rutherford, Napa Valley, California, August 2006----A new winery has opened in the heart of Rutherford just off Hwy. 29 in the Napa Valley. Alpha Omega Winery is located at 1155 Mee Lane (94574) between Beaulieu Vineyard and Franciscan Winery. The winery is open seven days a week 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Tastings cost $10; no appointments are necessary. The winery is 1.5 miles south of St. Helena and 1 mile north of Rutherford Cross Road.

Winery founders Robin Baggett and Eric Sklar chose the name 'Alpha Omega'as a way of expressing how unique their new winery would be, as it establishes itself as one of the Napa Valley's pre-eminent Cabernet Sauvignon producers. "The name pays homage to the first merchants of wine, the ancient Greeks," they explain. "Alpha & Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet and to us represent the ideals we strive for - - full, rounded, well-balanced wine - - - and the idea of the best of the old world and the new in winemaking," they add.

The winery's current releases are 2005 Sauvignon Blanc ($24, Napa Valley appellation), 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon ($52, Napa Valley appellation), 2003 Proprietary Red Wine ($60, Napa Valley appellation). The winery will release a 2005 Chardonnay ($38, Napa Valley appellation) in September. The Alpha Omega Wine Club can be joined when visiting the winery or online at www.aowinery.com.

"Our goal is to become one of the great wine estates of the world,"explain Baggett and Sklar. "We want to make wines as fine as humanly possible, and Cabernet Sauvignon will be the focus of our production," they add. The winery's staff is an impressive mix of industry veterans - - - the winemaker and general manager is Jean Hoefliger (formerly winemaker at Newton Vineyards. Jean also worked as the winemaker at Chateau Lynch-Bages and Chateau Carbonnieux (both in Bordeaux) as well as at Meerlust in Stellenbosch, South Africa). The consulting winemaker is Denis Malbec (former winemaker at Chateau Latour, whose father was winemaker there from 1969 to 1994 and whose grandfather managed the vineyards there for 50 years).

The small-scale winery, which looks out onto a pond and views of the Mayacamas Mountains, was built in 1985 and formerly housed Quail Ridge and Esquisse. It will be undergoing a renovation and expansion during the next year, which will transform the tasting room into a dramatic space with high ceilings and soaring views of the Mayacamas.

The winery will use fruit from the seven acres which surround the property and also has long term leases from several of Napa's most respected vineyards - - - Beckstoffer To Kalon in Oakville; Newton on Spring Mountain and Hudson in Carneros.

Established by Robin Baggett and Eric Sklar, Alpha Omega's hospitality and tasting room manager is Erik Ackerman; the director of sales is Dan Heim. The vineyards are supervised by Maldanado Vineyard Management.

Robin Baggett, an attorney who began his career in San Francisco, owns Courtside and Tolosa wineries in San Luis Obispo. Eric Sklar is a Napa Valley vineyard owner, real estate developer, St. Helena City Councilman, St. Helena Volunteer Firefighter and was formerly the CEO of Burrito Brothers (a chain of Mexican restaurants in Washington DC).

 

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