Realm Cellars

Realm Cellars has gone from being a rising star to one of the most high-profile and talked about wineries in California, if not the world, in little over a decade. Their wines are among THE most sought after, collectible, and desirable of Napa’s crème de la crème.

Story

In just 20 years, Realm Cellars has risen to become a global superstar. The combined energy, dynamism and drive of Managing Partner Scott Becker and Winemaker Benoit Touquette is reflected in a line-up of wines that is redefining Cabernet Sauvignon in Napa Valley. This is manifested in the huge critical acclaim they have achieved, the ever-increasing waiting list for a precious allocation, and the way they are pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved.

Scott acquired the business in summer 2012, restructuring the partnership between founders Juan Mercado and Wendell Laidley who started the label in 2002. Benoit joined Realm in early 2011, and together they have overseen immense progress at Realm Cellars.

The Moonracer Vineyard became their first Estate property in 2016, adding the Farella Vineyard in 2018 and Houyi Vineyard on Pritchard hill in 2022. In addition to a comprehensive and ground breaking approach to replanting and managing these sites, they produced the first wines from their brand-new state-of-the art winery at Moonracer in 2021.

Scott got into the wine business in the mid-2000s, following five years of service in the U.S. Air Force and two years at Harvard Business School. He met Jack Cakebread at a seminar at HBS, and after expressing an interest in the wine industry, Jack took him under his wing. Scott spent every summer and vacation working at Cakebread Cellars, and moved to Napa after graduation without a job offer or a clear sense of where the path would take him. Months later, at a lunch with Jack Cakebread and several Napa Valley vintners, Scott met Bill Harlan, founder of Harlan Estate. A conversation turned into a job offer, and Scott spent a few years working on the foundation of what would become Harlan’s newest project, Promontory.

The annual early-Spring release of the Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons, and Autumn release of The Bard and The Absurd have become two of the most anticipated dates in the diary.

Vineyards

Moonracer is Realm’s first Estate Vineyard, located in centre of the Stags Leap District on Wappo Hill. It is said this elevated site was important to the Wappo Native Americans as it provided the tribe with a central lookout from which to identify intruders and such. The Wappos, though small in number, were known for their bravery, strength and athleticism. Author Jack London, writing about the curious inter-tribal races that took place during full moons, noted that the Wappos often won these contests. Thus Moonracer, an oblique reference to the earliest inhabitants of the place Realm calls home.

Farella Vineyard is Realm’s Estate vineyard in the Coombsville AVA. A fantastically complex site in the foothills of the Vaca Mountain range, the vineyard lies in one of the cooler regions of the Napa Valley. The site features layers of volcanic tufa, red decomposed rock and ashy deposits from ancient landslides, vast geologic episodes that literally turned this vineyard on its head.

Hartwell is at the very top of the property on Wappo Hill. This 2-acre parcel was planted in 1986 by Bob Hartwell, who used cuttings of Grace Family Vineyard’s Bosche clone he had acquired from his friend, Dick Grace. 1990 was the first vintage from those vines, and the early wines of Hartwell Estate Vineyards were made at the Grace winery. Realm was given the opportunity to purchase these blocks in 2020, having acquired nearly 20 acres from the Hartwell family in 2015.

Houyi Vineyard is Realm’s estate vineyard on Pritchard Hill, purchased from the Chang Family in 2022. Tucked away on the eastern side of Napa Valley, Pritchard Hill is home to some of the best-known wine names in the world. At an elevation of nearly 1300 feet, our 22 acre vineyard sits above the fog line, its vines soaking in the morning sun. The vineyard is full of dense, volcanic rock.

In addition to the four Estate Vineyards, Realm works with a slection of exceptional site throughout Napa, including the famed Beckstoffer Dr. Crane and Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyards.

Winemaking

Benoit, a native of Bordeaux, also arrived in Napa Valley in the mid-2000s, having graduated from L’Université de Bordeaux with master’s degrees in Chemistry and Oenology. Like Scott, he had more promising and secure opportunities elsewhere, but they didn’t present the challenge or change he was looking for. With the advice and help of his good friend and mentor, the renowned wine consultant Michel Rolland, he moved to Napa Valley and soon landed an internship with winemaking consultant Andy Erickson.

Benoit’s three-month internship eventually turned into a full-time position, and for the next few years – except for a harvest spent in South Africa – he worked side by side with Andy making wine for prestigious brands such as Dalla Valle, Ovid, and Screaming Eagle. It was a fantastic opportunity, one that allowed him to explore the diversity of vineyards throughout Napa Valley. In 2007, anxious to strike out on his own, Benoit formed his own consulting business. One of his first clients was Hartwell Estate Vineyards. Realm now produce wines at both of their facilities at the Houyi Vineyard and Moonracer Estate.

Latest arrivals from Realm Cellars

2021 Realm Cellars, Houyi Vineyard, Napa Valley 6x75cl

JD97VM97WI98
100% Cabernet Sauvignon Vintage production: 800 cases The Houyi Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 marks a special moment in time for Realm Cellars, who purchased the site and state-of-the-art winery... in 2022, adding it to their enviable Estate portfolio alongside the Farella, Moonracer, and Hartwell Vineyards. Having produced a Realm Cabernet from Houyi since 2013, Scott and Benoit leapt at the chance to acquire this gorgeous vineyard on Pritchard Hill. Sharing a fenceline with Colgin's IX Estate, and counting the likes of OVID, Chappellet, and Bryant as neighbours, Houyi is on some of the greatest Mountain terroir in Napa. Realm's Cabernet expresses the power, finesse, and complexity this area is famed for, while exuding a unique freshness and refinement in the hands of Benoit.
£1,680 / Case£280 / BottleDuty Status: In Bond ⋅ Price incl. of Duty & VAT: £2,038.46 / Case, £339.74 / BottleAvailability: Future ArrivalPlease contact us to know more

2021 Realm Cellars, Farella Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 6x75cl

JS98VM98WI97+
Blend: 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot Vintage production: 500 cases Farella Vineyard is Realm’s Estate vineyard in the Coombsville AVA. A fantastically complex site in the foothills of the Vaca... Mountain range, the vineyard lies in one of the cooler regions of the Napa Valley. The site features layers of volcanic tufa, red decomposed rock and ashy deposits from ancient landslides, vast geologic episodes that literally turned this vineyard on its head. The 25 acres of vines are divided into numerous blocks with elevations ranging between 300 and 500 feet. Varying slopes create distinct microclimates and soil compositions, and the vineyard’s diversity is suitable for growing Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc. Realm has produced a Single Vineyard Cabernet from Farella since 2003. In 2018, they partnered with the Farella family on a plan to become long-term stewards of the estate. The core of Realm’s Farella Cabernet comes from a high point in the vineyard, a block referred to as “rockpile” because of the preponderance of stone and gravel in the soil. This block is bathed in afternoon sunlight during the growing season and the wine - concentrated and beautifully-structured - consistently shows a mix of red and black fruits with spice and mineral overtones. Farella has been historically 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, comprising Clones 4 and 8, but they began working with Merlot in the 2019 vintage. The 2021 Farella Vineyard introduces a new artwork on the label by Ethiopian-born artist Wosene Worke Kosrof. He uses contorted symbols of his native Amharic language to represent dance and movement in this artwork Heart of Dance. The label is a tribute to Frank Farella, a lover of music, dance and language, who founded Farella Vineyard in the mid-1970s.
£1,320 / Case£220 / BottleDuty Status: In Bond ⋅ Price incl. of Duty & VAT: £1,606.46 / Case, £267.74 / BottleAvailability: Future ArrivalPlease contact us to know more

2023 Realm Cellars, Precious Twin Rosé, Napa Valley 6x75cl

Blend: 90% Merlot, 10% Charbono Vintage production: n/a The extraordinary Precious Twin Rosé 2023 is an elegant blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Charbono - a varietal you'll be seeing more and more as... it thrives in the northern reaches of Calistoga. With much of the Merlot coming from the Farella Estate Vineyard, there's a noticeable vibrancy and concentration. Coming in at just 12.9% alcohol, it's a whole new expression of Napa that everyone should experience.
£315 / Case£52.50 / BottleDuty Status: In Bond ⋅ Price incl. of Duty & VAT: £397.22 / Case, £66.20 / BottleAvailability: Future ArrivalPlease contact us to know more

2023 Realm Cellars, Fidelio Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley 6x75cl

Blend: 100% Sauvignon Blanc Vintage production: 500 cases The Fidelio Sauvignon Blanc 2023 is a pure varietal from Realm's Farella Estate Vineyard is the southerly, cool-climate Coombsville AVA.... Riveting in its youth, Fidelio has all the hallmarks of an age-worthy Sauvignon Blanc. Ageing in a unique combination of neutral French oak, concrete eggs, and terracotta amphoras, bring incredible depth and complexity.
£555 / Case£92.50 / BottleDuty Status: In Bond ⋅ Price incl. of Duty & VAT: £685.22 / Case, £114.20 / BottleAvailability: Future ArrivalPlease contact us to know more