For winemaker John Giannini, delicious wine and good food are the essential components of a life well lived. His childhood, spent around the table with his extended Italian family, inspired a passion for the flavors that enriched such happy gatherings. He spent fifteen years as an accomplished chef in restaurants on the West Coast, including Chef Hiro Sone’s Terra Restaurant in Napa. But after working a harvest with celebrated winemaker Thomas Brown in 2003, John was bitten by the wine bug. He joined the Outpost team in 2006, where he works as Brown’s Assistant Winemaker. John founded Cresta Velia, named for his mother and grandmother, in 2010.
Cresta Velia’s cabernet sauvignon hails from Eagle Summit, a beautifully farmed hillside vineyard on Howell Mountain, overlooking Napa Valley. Thin soils underpinned by volcanic bedrock force the vines to delve deep in search of water and nutrients, producing wines with an ineffable sense of place. John’s berries are harvested by hand at optimal maturity, and meticulously hand-crafted in the cellar.
John’s noninterventionist winemaking philosophy foregrounds the wild, sanguine signature of Eagle Summit cabernet sauvignon, replete with rich notes of clove, cardamom and holiday spice. These wines exhibit the strong core of fine, integrated tannins characteristic of Howell Mountain, with generous tones of blue and purple fruit. John’s cabernets can be enjoyed in their exuberant youth, or as they age and the tannins mellow, revealing notes of soil mingled with enduring Howell Mountain spice.