Folie à Deux is a small 13-acre Napa Valley estate that is planted exclusively to Cabernet Sauvignon. This historic property lies just north of St. Helena in the heart of Napa Valley. Folie à Deux's vineyards and century old farmhouse lay sandwiched between Spring Mountain and Howell Mountain, at the narrowest part of Napa Valley. The estate's location provides a unique microclimate and a special terroir, which permit cool air to roll slowly down Mount St. Helena and cool the vineyard during the long summer days of torrid heat. At Folie à Deux, unlike many other Napa locales, the cool air sifts its way through the vineyard the way sand passes through an hourglass. The result is great physiological ripeness in the vineyard, without a loss of aromatic or flavor profile.
Since 2004 Folie à Deux has been owned by Bob Trinchero, the proprietor of a number of renowned California wineries, but this boutique estate has had an interesting and often amusing history, as the name suggests. Folie à Deux was founded as a bonded winery in 1981 by two psychiatric professionals. When the couple told their friends that they planned to fulfill a mutual dream by starting a winery, the friends jokingly suggested that the couple was exhibiting the classic symptoms of Folie à Deux, a psychiatric term that is defined as the sharing of fantasies by two close friends. The name stuck. To build on the theme, a local Napa Valley artist, Susan Ortega, created a drawing of twin dancers based on a Rorschach inkblot. Her inspiration for the label was the fantasy that she and her sister shared of one day becoming professional ballerinas.
However, there is more to this amusing story, which leads one to wonder if our subconscious minds do not comprehend more than we think and indeed play a greater role in events than we imagine. During the 1930's Folie à Deux's farmhouse and surrounding property were owned by Spanish prizefighter Luis Santa Maria, who retired with his family to St. Helena to tend sheep and make wine. The Santa Maria family lived in the farmhouse that now serves as the winery's offices and tasting room and they used the same old stone shed to store wine that Folie à Deux now utilizes for storing wine.
Curiously, Bob Trinchero, the present owner, and Santa Maria's daughter sang together in the school choir many years ago. One could presume that the young Trinchero's subconscious was somehow at work here. However, what is even more serendipitous is the connection between Trinchero and Scott Harvey, Folie à Deux's long time winemaker, who for years Bob used to kid by telling him he was "watching," and perhaps he was. Bob's home looks down on the Folie à Deux property, which he so wisely purchased in 2004. Apparently, he liked what he saw and tasted, and so did we.
Whether life's coincidences and connections are the result of random chance or the result of our subconscious fantasies, are matters open to debate. However, what is not in question is the quality of the Cabernet Sauvignon produced by Folie à Deux. Folie à Deux fashions two distinctive Napa Cabernet Sauvignon offerings, one a blend of three different vineyards from Napa Valley and the other the estate's flagship wine, the St. Helena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon that we are proud to feature this month.