At Voss we have over 20 years experience producing quality Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc and multiple decades of experience producing Sauvignon Blanc in Australia and New Zealand.As a Sauvignon Blanc specialist we have the luxury of total focus in vineyard and winery practicing minimal intervention. A single sku sourced from a 100% certified single vineyard with a single focus on producing high quality wine reflective of region and remaining true to the wonderfully pure aromatics and texture of Sauvignon Blanc. The Voss Sauvignon Blanc style is crafted for freshness, vibrancy, lower alcohol, texture and length on the palate. The taste of the wine has a direct link to the vineyard and the way the wine is carefully nurtured and protected.
Voss Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc is a single vineyard offering from the Yountville Appellation of California. Planted in 1978, the Morgan Lee Vineyard has been farmed organically since 1986, minimal intervention ensures the purity of place is prominent in our wine. The Voss style ensures that it is one of the earliest picked vineyards in the region, making our wine one of the first releases from the new vintage each year.
The rows are planted to run North to South, which allows prevailing winds to blow through the vineyard, aerating the vines. Very little shoot thinning and no leaf pulling to highlight the pure fruit of the grapes and to protect from sunburn. We pick at lower sugar levels (18-21 brix ) to highlight fruit and vibrancy in the wine, with the resulting alcohol relatively low – in keeping with our Southern Hemisphere style influence. The heavy bail clay loam soil in the vineyard is ideally suited for producing grapes of intensely perfumed tropical and citrus fruits with crisp acidity.
Our traditional night harvesting during the cool of the early morning helps to retain the vibrant Sauvignon Blanc aromas and flavors. The grapes go through “skin contact” for 24 hours before pressing, which amplifies the intense fruit flavors from the vineyard and helps to develop a lovely texture on the palate. The juice is fermented at cool temperatures in stainless steel tanks over three weeks with selected yeasts that further enhance the flavors. 10% of the wine is placed in barrel, (5% new French oak, 5% older French oak) for four months to add texture to the wine and offset some of the austere characters. The remaining 90% is stainless steel tank fermented. After racking and blending, the wine is bottled at Napa Wine Company using Stelvin screw cap closures.
Michael Lancaster was born and raised in Ontario, Canada working in financial business for ten years, before succumbing to his interest in wine and developing it into his career.
Michael's introduction to the world of winemaking came via Stonechurch Vineyards in Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario in 1992, where he learned the ropes before relocating to California and taking on an Enologist role with Gloria Ferrer Caves in Sonoma. Hands-on and focused, Michael studied Viticulture & Enology at the University of California, Davis from 1993 to 1995. His experience includes making wine for both Quail Ridge Cellars and Quail Creek Winery and becoming a partner in Tin Barn Vineyards.
Michael became the Voss Vineyards Chief Winemaker in 2007, taking over from Brian Mox and is responsible for the production of Voss Vineyards from berry to bottle.
"The Voss Sauvignon Blanc, in particular, has always been a reference point for me– I've crafted both the more tropical, ripe style and now I'll have the opportunity, with Voss, to spend more time on a Southern Hemisphere sort of style - looking for lifted grass and gooseberry aromas, more citrus, bright acid."
Voss Vineyards was conceived and founded by Australian Robert Hill Smith, the fifth-generation proprietor of Yalumba Winery in Barossa Valley, and Nautilus Estate in Marlborough, New Zealand. With over 160 years of Australian winemaking heritage and experience behind him, Hill Smith approaches wines in Australia, New Zealand and California with a focus on adventure, innovation and a strong respect for matching variety with terroir.
Robert was inspired by the main character from the novel ‘Voss’ written by Patrick White, a Nobel Prize-winning Australian novelist. The book starts in Sydney in 1845 and is based on the story of a German explorer named Voss who is preparing to cross the Australian continent. The novel is about geographical discovery, the challenges that faced explorers in that era, and a love affair set in colonial Winemaker times.
Robert Hill Smith- Voss Proprietor
Robert Hill Smith starts exploring the Northern Californian wine region. Sourcing grapes from a grower in Alexander Valley supplying Zinfandel and Chardonnay grapes in Carneros.
The first vintage was crushed at Chapellet. Robert Hill Smith spent many hours driving many miles and beering with his mates at Anna's Cantina.
Moved crush to Swanson working with Marco Capelli in order to ensue crop levels were kept down.
Added Sauvignon Blanc to the folio with purchased fruit from San Mateo Ranch. The decision to make Sauvignon Blanc was for a few reasons: low overhead and the generally poor quality/ lack of distinctive style in California Sauvignon Blancs at that time. The idea was to bring the Marlborough experience to the winemaking process in Napa.
Robert Hill Smith purchases the San Mateo Ranch vineyard at Rutherford from Michelle Perret. The 42 ha block was planted with Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot and flooded regularly.
Robert reconfigured the vineyard and put a detailed drainage plan into place.
Alan Hoey arrived from Australia as consulting winemaker for Voss and replanted part of the vineyard with Shiraz whilst still keeping the Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and Merlot.
Alan carved out a name for himself as a leading producer of new style Sauvignon Blanc and top quality Shiraz to rival that of Sonoma.
Due to lack of refrigeration needed to make quality Sauvignon Blanc the decision was made to move the crush to David Miners brand new winery ‘Napa Wine Company’.
Voss Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc wins “Best Sauvignon Blanc in the World” at the London International Wine and Spirits Competition and ‘Best of Show’ at the World Wine Championships in Chicago.
Steve Fennell joins the Voss family as the first full time winemaker for Voss.
New style gains immediate attention from press: Wine Spectator article
Voss becomes one of the first Napa Sauvignons to embrace the screwcap closure. (Robert has been experimenting with the closure since the 1970’s and gave him the confidence to proceed).
Brian Mox replaces Steve Fennell as Voss Winemaker
Mike Lancaster replaces Brian Mox as Voss Winemaker.
Decision made to focus solely on a single vineyard, single varietal Sauvignon Blanc proposition.
Robert Hill Smith sells the San Mateo ranch vineyard to RB Nicolson of Long Meadow Ranch.
Commenced sourcing fruit from the Morgan Lee Vineyard in Yountville.
Voss Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc one of the first Californian 2013 Sauvignon Blancs released into the USA market
2013 Voss Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc released