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Reynolds Family WineryOf course I love tasting wine … but tasting wines with the rock stars of the wine industry takes tasting to a whole new level. Earlier this month a group of Napa winemakers and owners convened on our perfect share of the South.

In the weeks to come, this column will feature some of those winemakers and their wines.

First up is Steve Reynolds, owner and winemaker of Reynolds Winery. Reynolds is just one of those guys everyone wants to be around.

We’ve met on several occasions and I always look forward to sharing a glass of wine with him, with his laid-back personality and wonderful sense of humor.

His father was a hobby winemaker, so Reynolds was around the craft most of his life. When his family lived in Germany, they spent vacations as many wine-loving European families do: in the sacred vineyards of Europe. Sacred for his father I’m sure, but not so much for most kids.

I have dragged mine around on such adventures for years, and understand this amusing part of his childhood.

In 1994, Reynolds left his career as a dentist and, with his wife, Suzie, bought a 100-year-old chicken ranch that needed “lots of love” to have potential for fine winemaking. As tribute to their substantial hardships – the stigma of being a newcomer to Napa Valley, arduous startup politics and other challenges – Reynolds aptly, if not a little wryly, named one of his red blends “Persistence.”

Today, the Reynolds family remembers the journey, and those of us honored to savor their wines look forward to their future limited-production, hand-crafted wines known throughout the world.

  • 2006 Reynolds Family Winery Napa Valley Chardonnay, California (about $38 retail)
  • 2006 Reynolds Family Winery Persistence, California (about $58 retail)