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Truchard

Truchard was established by Texans Tony and Jo Ann Truchard in the Carneros region of the Napa Valley. How this came about is quite extraordinary. Tony's French-born grandfather Jean Marie and his brother Father Anthony Marie Truchard, a Catholic priest, founded a winery in Texas in 1887, which lasted until Prohibition came into force in the 1920's. Tony was a doctor who, after graduating, completed his internship and residency through the Army. He received orders to report to Korea for a two year tour, but a heavily pregnant Jo Ann slipped on a grape in a grocery store and broke her knee, four days later giving birth to the couple's fourth child. Given the circumstances, instead of Korea, the Army decided to send Tony to Northern California and during his tour there the family enjoyed a number of road trips - on one occasion driving up to the Napa Valley to see the vineyards. Tony thought it would be “fun” to buy some land and plant a vineyard, and so in 1973 he bought his first 20 acres, an abandoned prune orchard in a spot where no one else had planted grapes. The Truchard's pioneered the region because initially the “experts” deemed this area too cool to ripen quality grapes and thought the shallow clay soils of Carneros would never work for grape cultivation. Also, the little existing groundwater for irrigation had a tendency to be salty due to the site’s proximity to San Francisco Bay. But Tony used the clay soils to create a reservoir to trap the rainwater. He was one of the early adopters of drip irrigation, a practice used for dessert farming in Israel, but as yet unknown in California. Over the next 20 years Tony continued to acquire land until he had 400 adjoining acres (280 under vine today). They released the first wine under their own label in 1989 to great acclaim. The cynics were proved wrong; the diverse soils and cool climate of Carneros produced grapes of extraordinary quality once the vines received water. The Truchard vineyards are the most northeastern in the Carneros region and the fault-line that runs through the north-east corner of the estate dramatically changes the soil from the classic Carneros clay to volcanic soils. The vineyards are planted across a diversity of soil types, including clay, shale, sandstone, lava rock, and volcanic ash, and this together with the varied topography - consisting of rolling hills, steep ravines and numerous valleys, which create different microclimates - affords for an array of grape varieties to be cultivated, each one positioned to bring out the characteristics of the terroir in the wines. Currently 12 different grape varieties are under vine; they are one of the most diverse estate vineyards in the Napa Valley. The multi-awarded wines are handcrafted using traditional techniques. Truchard are committed to the environment and are certified Napa Green for both land and winery. Today, Anthony Truchard II works alongside his parents to carry on the legacy of this small family-run estate creating “wines with a senses of place”, which may never have come about if Jo Ann hadn't slipped on that grape!