Wine Convention


The Mascot

"The Mascot" began as a family wine, unnamed, unlabeled - a blend made for and poured at our own table. The components were of the highest pedigree, yet, because they originated from the younger vines of Harlan Estate, BOND, and Promontory, they could only hint at the individual character embodied by each of our grands vins.

Even so, the wine showed charm and over time drew an affectionate following of close friends - so enthusiastic a following that we felt this intimate bottling deserved to have an identity of its own. The team took a little convincing, as the wine existed at first in very small quantities. But eventually, we persuaded our winegrowing team, led by Cory Empting, that a certain number of barrels could be set aside on an annual basis.

From the start, the principal characteristic of The Mascot was vigor tempered by approachability. We decided to mature the wine a little longer, so that, upon release, it was delicious to drink and intensely vibrant, with the force and depth that enabled extended aging - a wine to enjoy viscerally and without excessive reverence. In short, the perfect wine to share among friends and family.

A single common thread guided our choice of a name and label for this new creation: our shared passion for canines. The dogs associated with our team are a varied bunch, but all exhibit loyalty, energy, friendliness, perseverance, and heart. A second inspiration - and the source of The Mascot's label came from our family's collection of favorite engravings. The image to which we were drawn was of a white English bull terrier named Prince that the Farmers Deposit National Bank of Pittsburgh commissioned to illustrate its stock certificates. One version of Prince's career suggests he possessed a distinguished lineage, but rather than show him, his owner, the bank's president, kept him at the flagship branch. Prince lived at the bank and stood watch there, enthusiastically greeting customers and employees alike. He also served as mascot to the local baseball, football, and hockey teams that the bank sponsored and, as legend has it, by retrieving a long fly on the diamond, brought his teammates a victory.

This four-legged figure reminds us that true honor lies not in quarterings or heraldry but in the abiding courage and generosity of spirit that open new doorways of understanding - for ourselves and for others. In keeping with this belief (and with Prince's fondness for warm welcomes), The Mascot continues to acquaint newcomers with the profound and convivial pleasures of Napa Valley cabernet, opening the doorway to the family's grands vins, whose still deeper roots await.

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