Nestled at the base of the Mayacamas Mountains in the Napa Valley, Dana Estates is dedicated to making small lots of truly distinctive world class wines. Dana is a Sanskrit term meaning “the Spirit of Generosity.” It is in this spirit that the team at Dana Estates expresses a profound appreciation for those that have worked the soil before them, as they build on the foundations laid by previous generations of vintners.
Dana Estates is the third winery to occupy this stunning Vineyard in the heart of the famed Rutherford Bench. First farmed and developed by German viticulturalist H. W. Helms in 1883, it was purchased in 1976 by John and Diane Livingston and served as the home for Livingston Moffett winery until proprietor Hi Sang Lee bought the property in 2005.
The winery was re-designed by renowned architect Howard Backen, keeping the original stone walls as its centerpiece. Hi Sang and Howard worked carefully with his winemakers to insure that the space and facilities would enable the production of consistently world class wines.
Dana Estates produces three single vineyards wines, from sites that are dramatically different from one another: Helms Vineyards (Rutherford), Hershey Vineyard (Howell Mountain) and Lotus Vineyard (above St. Helena). The Hershey Vineyard also produces one of Napa’s rarest and greatest Sauvignon Blancs. The ONDA is a stunning blend comprised of fruit specially selected from these three sites, as well as Dana’s fourth Estate site, the Crystal Springs Vineyard.
Surrounding the winery in western Rutherford, the gently sloping Helms Vineyard is a relatively cool site, and is protected from the intensity of the late afternoon heat during the height of the growing season. The gravelly loam soils provide excellent drainage and wonderful fruit purity.
Located at 365m above sea level in the Vaca Mountains on the east side of the valley, Lotus Vineyard is the warmest of the four vineyards. With rocky soils and low yielding vines facing west that embrace the afternoon sun, producing wines of power and concentration.
The incredibly rocky, rhyolitic soils of Hershey Vineyard on Howell Mountain provide fruit with structure and depth, yet the cool climate produces a wine of restraint and vibrant acidity. An underlying minerality gives the wine a particularly distinctive character and provides another layer of complexity.
The Crystal Springs Vineyard site is just downslope from Lotus and the fruit stands out for its gorgeous texture which gives the ONDA its brilliant early appeal.
Chris Cooney joined Dana Estates as winemaker in 2015, working alongside Consultant Philippe Melka to elevate the wines even further, and continue the transition to dry farming. He brought a vision for minimal intervention winemaking and responsible farming to all the wines in our portfolio. Chris’ style is dedicated to allowing each element of the wine to show as it is.
Prior to joining the team, Chris was crafting wine as the Senior Winemaker at Napa’s Provenance Vineyards and Hewitt Vineyards. Wine Spectator ranked his production of 2010 Hewitt Cabernet Sauvignon as #4 in the Top 100 list; a marker of many incredible wines to come.