Cliff Lede Vineyards was established in 2002 by Canadian born Bordeaux enthusiast, Cliff Lede, following the acquisition of a sixty acre estate in the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley.
With a focus on producing wines from estate vineyards, Lede tapped David Abreu, considered the best viticulturist in Napa Valley, to replant the vineyards. Lede decided to name each vineyard block after some of his favorite rock songs and albums—from “My Generation” to “Dark Side of the Moon,” creating what is known today as the Cliff Lede Vineyards “Rock Blocks.”
In 2005, a state of the art, 25,000 square foot winery and cave system was etched into a hillside overlooking the estate vineyards. Not only did Cliff create a beautiful property, he also assembled an unrivaled team that shares his passion for quality. Today, Winemaker Christopher Tynan crafts Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc, with the flagship, Poetry Cabernet Sauvignon, sourced from the steep eastern hillside portion of the estate.The estate Poetry Vineyard, carved into a steep west-facing hillside, reaches from the highest elevations of the Stags Leap District sub-appellation to the valley floor. This vineyard draws its uniqueness from shallow, volcanic soils atop fractured shale. Due to the stressful nature of the site, planted by David Abreu with high vine density, proprietary clonal selection, and farmed to very low yields, the vines develop slowly and produce small flavorful berries. Wine critic Robert Parker has called the flagship Poetry Cabernet Sauvignon “bottled perfection.” The vineyard is primarily planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, with small blocks of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
The winemaking philosophy at Lede Family Wines has always been one of minimal intervention that allows the wines to demonstrate a sense of place. Cliff Lede Vineyards' wines form a complementary portfolio that are consistently exceptional in quality and true to their source and vintage.
As Cliff Lede Vineyards’ Winemaker, Chris Tynan lets the grapes speak for themselves. Born in New York and raised in Texas, Christopher Tynan began his wine career working summers as a vineyard technician doing irrigation management for vineyards across Napa and Sonoma counties.
Following a harvest at Cain Vineyard & Winery in 2004, he was given an opportunity to work the 2005 harvest with the legendary winemaking and viticulture team of Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer at Blankiet Estate in Yountville.
In 2006, Christopher became the assistant winemaker at the prestigious Colgin Cellars on Pritchard Hill. At Colgin, Christopher worked closely with owner Ann Colgin, Winemaker Allison Tauziet and Vineyard Manager David Abreu for the next five years. It was here where he learned and embodied the standard for excellence in all aspects of winemaking and viticulture. Wines made during Christopher’s tenure at Colgin were awarded seven 100 point scores from wine critic Robert Parker.
In 2012, Christopher was introduced to Cliff Lede by David Abreu and joined the Cliff Lede Vineyards team shortly thereafter. Christopher brings an unmatched passion and attention for detail to the Lede Family Wines team. His exacting philosophy of only employing low-yield vines from select sites and minimal intervention in the winery ensures that each bottle expresses the distinct nuances of each site, block and vintage.
In 2015, Cliff Lede Vineyards achieved both Napa Green Land and Napa Green Winery certification.
Cliff Lede Vineyards received its first 100 point score from Robert Parker for the Poetry 2013. He praised the estate for having "surged into the top hierarchy of quality" in Napa.
Cliff is a dedicated long-distance runner! He fell in love with the area while running through Stags Leap District during a business retreat in the early 1990s, planting the seed for his future and a vintner.