Robert Foley Vineyards
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Country of Origin: USA
Location: Howell Mountain, Napa Valley
People: Robert Foley & Kelly Kehoe, Owners | Robert Foley, Winemaker
Robert Foley began his winemaking career in the Napa Valley working at a number of highly regarded Napa Valley wineries including Pride Mountain Vineyards, where he spent 15 years as founding winemaker. During this period he also created the highly acclaimed Switchback Ridge, Paloma, School House and Engel Family wines. Bob’s reputation for producing very expressive wines that finish gracefully continues to develop at his new winery facility on the summit of Napa County’s Howell Mountain, where more than 1,000 barrels are housed in an extensive cave system (completed in 2008) for the production of Robert Foley wines.
In 1998 Robert Foley Vineyards bottled its flagship Claret (a Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend), and has since expanded and diversified its production to offer more of the big reds Bob is famous for – Petite Sirah, Merlot and Charbono. Cabernet Sauvignon by another traditional name, Claret, combines deeply extracted mountain-grown Cabernet Sauvignon character with carefully selected French oak. Small proportions of Merlot and Petit Verdot may be occasionally blended for complexity and completion of the tannin spectrum.
Native of southern France or northern Italy, Charbono arrived in California in the 1800s and gained favor as a body-builder and overall intensifier when blended with the early Napa Cabernets. Most "Charbonophiles" associate this variety with Inglenook which is where he fell in love with it in the 1960s. The Charbono is grown by Gary Heitz, former Inglenook grower, who provides profoundly expressive fruit which craft deep rich cuvees. Small percentages of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and new French oak complete the assemblage of this inspiring red wine.
"As a Napa Valley winemaker since 1977, I thoroughly enjoy working with some of the finest grapes in the world. Mountainous well-drained soils and the exposures of high elevations combine to concentrate aroma and flavor, as well as color and density, in wine grapes. This results in some of the most expressive wines imaginable. Traditional techniques and hands-on care, serve to elevate the remarkable character of our wines, so that we may offer you a most rewarding wine experience." - Bob Foley
When Bob's not making amazing wine, he spends time with his wife and business manager Kelly Kehoe, his children Trini and Jack, and grandchildren. You can also find Bob jammin' at venues across the county with his rock 'n' roll group, The Robert Foley Band.
Wine Advocate 2016
“Robert Foley is one of the renowned and iconic winemakers of Northern California. He cut his teeth at Pride Mountain Vineyards, where he quickly established his impressive credentials.”
Wine Advocate 2015
“Robert Foley, of course, became well-known during his 15-year stint as the winemaker at Pride Mountain Vineyards, high above Spring Mountain. However, he has also made wine at other well-known sites known for quality, including Hourglass, Switchback and Paloma. He only has three wines under his name [tasted], and they are all noteworthy efforts.”
Wine Advocate 2013
"Foley is one of the more interesting winemakers in Napa Valley. I first met Robert Foley years ago when he was making the wines at Pride Vineyards, and his wines never lack intensity, always delivering high quality as well as abundant fruit."
Wine Folly 2012
“Robert Foley became a famous winemaker after his stint at Pride Mountain Vineyards. Foley has a clear passion for alternative grapes such as Charbono and Petite Sirah and makes incredibly rich red blends under his personal brand, Robert Foley Vineyards.”
Gang of Pour 2008
“Among Napa’s growing ranks of celebrated winemakers, Robert Foley’s star shines as brightly as any. Beginning in the mid-90’s, few winemakers have his track record for consistently crafting highly regarded (and high scoring) cabernets and merlots in Napa. Among wine-lovers who follow such things, people talk of “Foley wines” as much as, if not more so, than they invoke the names of the estates for which Foley is the winemaker.”
YouTube: Robert Foley YouTube