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1972

Inaugural Vintage

Tom Burgess acquires the former Souverain property from Lee Stewart, a long-storied property first built by the Swiss-Italian immigrants who first settled the hillsides of Napa Valley.

1972

President Richard Nixon, a virulent anti-communist earlier in his political career, surprises the American public by traveling to Beijing, China, for a week of talks in a historic first step toward normalizing relations between the United States and the People’s Republic of China. Until this trip, the United States and communist China were de facto enemies

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1976

Steven Spurrier, an Englishman running a wine shop and wine school in Paris, organized a tasting of six top California cabernets and chardonnays to celebrate the American Bicentennial. He added four Bordeaux wines and four white Burgundies to act as markers against which to evaluate the Californians. The judges were among the best tasters in France, and, to everyone’s surprise, chose a California wine over the French for both the red and white flights. The tasting became known as the Judgment of Paris and ended an era in which it was thought that fine wine came only from Europe.

1976

Two supersonic Concorde jets take off simultaneously marking the first-time paying passengers enjoy commercial travel at faster than the speed of sound.

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1979

Tom Burgess acquires the Quartz Creek Vineyard in the Oak Knoll District AVA on the foothills of the Mayacamas mountains. We launch the initiative for our single vineyard Chardonnay & Merlot

1981

The Napa Valley is granted the honorable distinction of American Viticultural Area. Only 2% of the world enjoys a dry Mediterranean climate. In Napa Valley this generous climate provides vintage-to-vintage consistency and exceptional quality that few other winegrowing regions can boast. Because of its unique geologic history, Napa Valley has a remarkable diversity of microclimates, weather, and geography, as well as some of the most diverse soils found on earth.

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1989

Vintage Selection Cabernet Sauvignon

Flavors and Aromas of dried cassis and raspberry are punctuated with the lifted aromas of mint, eucalyptus, and tanned leather. There is a persistent vein of savory herbs such as rosemary and thyme and a long velvety finish. 1989 was a challenging and wet vintage for much of the Napa Valley, however, Burgess’ high elevation vineyards were picked before the arrival of the rains later in the harvest season. A classic expression of our volcanic hillside terroir.

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1989

The very symbol of communist repression comes crashing down in November, when the Berlin Wall is breached, ending a 28-year division of the city.

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1999

First release of Varietal Syrah

This vintage marked the first release of the Burgess’ varietal Syrah bottling from the hillsides of the Estate Sorenson Vineyard. The success of our varietal Syrah launched the inspiration for our Alpinist bottling, a harmonious blend of equal parts Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.

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2002

Selection Cabernet Sauvignon

A vintage marked by low yields due to an early spring frost, granted wines of tremendous depth and concentration with a low volume of production. Characterized by floral aromas of dried violets, rose petals and brambly black fruit. The 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon also demonstrates a distinguished acidity with sharp angular tannins and persistent finish on the palate.

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2009

Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

A cool and slow ripening vintage allowed for complex and age-worthy wines to develop from our oldest vines planted on the estate Sorenson Vineyard. Characterized by a robust aroma of dried red fruits, thyme, lavender, and vibrant eucalyptus notes. The 2009 vintage has deep aromas of cedar, graphite, and a luscious velvety finish.

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2011

Bill Sorenson, of the eponymous “Sorenson Vineyard” and Burgess winemaker for 41 consecutive vintages, retired. Bill was a steward of the lands of Burgess and championed our volcanic hillside terroirs through his wines. A career marked by wines that inspire us to herald the historic style of Napa Valley wine with polish, finesse, and elegance.

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2013

Hillside Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Magnum

Characterized by confectionary black and blue brambly fruit with earthy undertones of graphite, mint, and a texture of brushed suede, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon is an example of quintessential Burgess. An iconic vintage that depicts the benchmark for excellence in the Napa Valley for the 21st century.

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2020

In 2020 Steve Burgess passed the mantle to Gaylon Lawrence, upholding a 150 year tradition of family ownership. Gaylon entrusted this tremendous legacy to Winemaker, Meghan Zobeck and Estate Director, George Lobjanidze. Meghan and George strive to champion the history of the Napa Valley by preserving historic vineyards with regenerative farming practices that will ensure the health of these vines for generations to come.

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