He has also, with open arms, shared his winery with visitors to Napa Valley and California wine country. Because of his humble, soft-spoken demeanor you may not be aware of the influence and accomplishments he has had in the American wine industry.
Bell started making a name for himself in the wine world in 1979 when he joined Beaulieu Vineyards as assistant winemaker and viticulturist. He was responsible for Beaulieu’s exceptional Georges de Latour Private Reserve cabernet for 15 vintages, from 1979 to 1994. In those days the Napa Valley culture was not like it is today, with boutique wineries filling the valley. At the time, the industry was dominated by large wineries.
While at Beaulieu Vineyard, Bell was involved in projects and issues that could be described as “total game changers” for the California wine industry, including the creation and designation of the Carneros American Viticultural Area in Napa Valley; the Rutherford, Oakville and Yountville appellations, or designations, as distinct wine areas; work to stop the spread of fan leaf virus disease; cabernet clonal research; and estate wine bottling regulations. All of these ultimately led to the development of Bell Wine Cellars.
Possibly his most well known innovation is his clone research, resulting in today’s well-known Bell Wine Cellars Clone 6. Bell began designing the first cabernet clonal evolutions studies in the 1980s and eventually reintroduced the Bordeaux Clone 6 cabernet sauvignon to commercial production after nearly 100 years of neglect. The neglected clone was found in an abandoned University of California vineyard. Napa Valley’s first single vineyard, single clone Cabernet Sauvignon Clone 6 was produced in 1991.
In every wine Anthony Bell produces his focus continues to follow the dedication of each wine’s creation by “its sense of place”– terroir.
- 2012 Big Guy Red, California (about $17 retail)
- 2009 Bell Wine Cellars Clone 6, California (about $109 retail)