Our goal is to make balanced and yet concentrated wines that display the fruit and the character of the vintage and region. From our full-bodied intense Cabernet Sauvignon to our softer Bordeaux blend Mosaique, our wines are meant to be a part of food, to be enjoyed with your loved ones frequently. Our production is extremely limited,
usually each batch consisting of no more than a few hundred cases. Our wines are truly handcrafted
and we hope that our passion shows through in our wines.
Surh Luchtel wines are the result of collaboration between two long time friends Don Surh and Gary Luchtel.
First as housemates in college in the Oakland hills in the late 70ís, we became
friends over many a bottle and discovered that our wine interests were more than
We have been making wine together since 1992 with grapes obtained from various vineyards of Napa, Sonoma, Monterey and Mendocino counties. Over the years we have made Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Syrah, Malbec, Sangiovese and Chardonnay. The 1999 vintage was our first commercial year
in which we made 1100 total cases of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, a Bordeaux blend called Mosaique, and a Napa
Valley Zinfandel. Currently we make approximately 3000 cases a year.
With each vintage comes a set of new
challenges. Over time our wines have evolved from rustic to refined but we
have tried to maintain our style with emphasis on intensity and complexity.
For each varietal we employ a combination of traditional winemaking practices
along with new world techniques in order to fully express the vineyard, the
vintage and the grape. For our hillside Cabernets that may mean a
long cold soak, high fermentation and then extended maceration totaling close to
50 days in the tank. With our Pinot Noirs on the other hand, it usually means
small fermentors, less vigorous temperature and very little racking.
Our growers, like our families, are our partners on whom we rely on a great deal.
We work closely with the growers to achieve a common objective - a distinguished
We expect our growers to supply us with ripe and healthy fruits from low yielding vines, and over the years we have gravitated toward growers who have quality first in mind. In return, they expect us to make outstanding wines of varietal and vineyard character. With each passing vintage, our wines give us a better understanding of the vineyards, which results in deeper and better relationship with our growers.