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Winemaker - Nils Venge

Known as “The King of Cabernet,” legendary winemaker, Nils Venge, has been making stellar Cabernet Sauvignon, along with many other varietals in the Napa Valley since his arrival in 1970. Nils’ philosophy on making wine is that it must reflect the best qualities that the varietal has to offer; sometimes a single vineyard, sometimes a single appellation, or a blend of appellations to make the best wine in a particular vintage. Despite his reputation as “The King,” Nils is a down-to-earth, cheerful, full-of-life kind of guy whose wines not only reflect the character of their region, but also seem to reflect his personality – bold, yet approachable, friendly and fun yet with layers of complexities.

Nils earned his degree in Viticulture from the University of California at Davis, with a minor in Enology, and has been making top wines since 1973. The list of wineries for which he has made wine or consulted on reads like a Who’s Who of the industry. His talents come from not only his superior winemaking skills, but also due to his wine career beginning first in the vineyard – initially as a vineyard supervisor at Charles Krug, and then as vineyard co-manager at Sterling.He went on to begin his winemaking career at Villa Mr. Eden, and then in 1982 as winemaker and general manager for Groth Vineyards. In 1988, Nils earned the title "King of Cab." with his 1985 Reserve Cabernet garnering a 100-point rating from Robert Parker Jr. – the only perfect score ever awarded to an American winery at the time.