The regal wines of FUTO Estate stand among the modern ‘First Growths’ of Napa Valley, exuding a level of purity, elegance and sheer quality that few will ever match. They are among the most sought-after allocations, with critical acclaim to match.
FUTO Estate began in 2002 when Tom and Kyle Futo purchased Oakford Vineyards. Oakford, a 16 hectare property with 3 hectares of vineyard, had been established in the 80’s. In 2004, an adjoining 7 hectare parcel was added to the property, of which 2.5 were planted to vineyard under the direction of David Abreu and winemaker Mark Aubert. Next, architect Howard Backen was called upon to design the winery, which was completed in time to receive the 2008 harvest. Also, that year Jason Exposto was hired to manage the day-to-day winemaking, and by 2010, he took over full winemaking responsibilities. Late in 2011, the Futos completed the purchase of a property in the eastern hills of Stags Leap District. This property included a 3.6 hectare Cabernet vineyard planted in 1986.
FUTO Estate is comprised of two distinct sites in the western hills of Oakville, and the eastern hills of the Stags Leap District, each with around 5 hectares under vine.
The Oakville Estate has twenty-six delineated vineyard blocks that are planted in six different sites according to the topography, soil, and microclimate. The soils consist mainly of decomposed sandstone and shale from ancient, uplifted seabed. Plantings consist primarily of Cabernet Sauvignon with smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot planted on several select sites throughout the estate.
Across the valley, planted on steeply terraced hillsides, the Stags Leap Estate was once the site of a rock quarry. Old Cabernet Sauvignon vines planted in the mid-1980s comprise most of the vineyard, accompanied by an additional 1.6 hectares planted in 2015. The vines grow in fractured rhyolitic tuff, a type of rock composed of consolidated volcanic ash. The exceptionally well-drained soil provides ideal conditions for Cabernet Sauvignon.
Winemaker Jason Exposto mastered his trade working in his native New Zealand, Margaret River in Australia, Château La Mondotte in St. Emilion and Abreu Wines in Napa before joining FUTO In 2008.
The wines of FUTO Estate are recognised for their precision and purity of fruit which can only be achieved by meticulous viticulture and winemaking practices. In Jason’s own words: “With the pedigree of our vineyards, the caliber of our farming, and Napa Valley’s climate, I find myself using more restraint than influence in my winemaking. When scale comes so easily to a wine I focus more on developing and highlighting the elements that make the wine unique.”