We started the Foley Food & Wine Society (FFWS) to celebrate three of life’s greatest passions—world-class wines, exquisite cuisine, and amazing experiences. With locations around the globe, the FFWS provides members with a variety of culinary, travel, and entertainment experiences unmatched by anyone else.
Each month, our FFWS Spotlight series will feature one of the many destinations, experiences, and individuals that make the Society what it is. This month, we’re taking a closer look at Foley Johnson, one of the three FFWS wineries located in Napa Valley.
A BRIEF HISTORY
Bill Foley and Carol Johnson Foley dreamed one day of opening a world-class winery bearing their name, and their hard work turned that dream into reality in 2012 with the launch of Foley Johnson. Inspired by the beautiful scenery and lifestyle of Napa Valley, the Foleys’ decided that this famous wine region would be the home of Foley Johnson. Our Estate focuses on Bordeaux varieties and offers small-lot bottlings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc.
The original estate was planted to plum and walnut orchards until 1984 when Bill and Lila Jaeger introduced the first vines.
Today, with 50 acres in one of the most heralded AVAs in America, Foley Johnson produces luxury-class wines that are true to the terroir and honor the land in which the grapes are grown. The soils in the Rutherford AVA are primarily gravel, sand, and loam; the conditions ideal for Bordeaux varietals.
To take advantage of the smallest distinctions in soil, exposure, and aspect, the main ranch is divided into 29 blocks. It now features varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Sauvignon Blanc, and Sauvignon Musque.
Just south of the main ranch and the original vineyard lies Peral Vineyard. Peral Vineyard is planted exclusively to Cabernet Sauvignon because it offers similar conditions as the main ranch with excellent drainage and a shade more adobe in the soil.
THE TASTING ROOM
In Rutherford, California (on the east side Highway 29), a redwood barn built in the 1920s has been converted into a tasting room next to the winery and its facilities. Below the winemaking area lies the underground barrel room, wine library, and a gravity-flow cellar. Wine tastings are parallel to their respective wine tiers: Estate (Napa Valley) focusing on Bordeaux varietals and Handmade, which features micro-production wines of special small-lot bottlings from winemakers in our portfolio.
Featuring four of the Bordeaux varieties that are grown at the estate, the 2016 Foley Johnson Estate Meritage is an excellent example of the high-quality wine Foley Johnson produces. This particular wine is made from a blend of 42% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Petit Verdot, and 5% Cabernet Franc. Produced in the Rutherford AVA, it exhibits aromas of black currant, cassis, and a hint of smoky tobacco. Notes of black cherry, plum, vanilla, and mocha are present on the medium-bodied palate. Wine & Spirits magazine awarded this wine 91 Points and a “Best Buy” designation.
Some other notable wines made with Bordeaux varieties:
2017 Foley Johnson Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
2016 Foley Johnson Handmade Petit Verdot
2016 Foley Johnson Handmade Merlot
>> SHOP FOLEY JOHNSON WINES