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Five acres of Oakville red-dirt perfection at the crossroads of everything that makes the Napa Valley ideal for growing Cabernet Sauvignon.

Linda Neal has been tending this jewel of a vineyard since 1987, when she bought the property at the center of the valley, where the Oakville Cross Road meets the Silverado Trail. “It’s the sweet spot for Cabernet Sauvignon,” Neal explains. Neither as cool as the southern reaches of the valley nor as warm as AVAs to the north, Oakville’s climate is a happy medium. The red volcanic soil on the Eastern edge of the region is where some of her most sought-after neighbors’ wines are grown, including Dalla Valle, Rudd and Screaming Eagle.

Neal cut terraces in the upper reaches of the property and planted both the hillside and the existing vineyard acreage entirely to Cabernet Sauvignon. For twenty years, she tended her vines and sold the fruit to a select few vintners – all the while managing a thousand acres of Napa Valley vineyards as CFO of M&L Vineyard Management. Today she focuses entirely on her own properties, farming Tierra Roja and making an estate wine under that name. She also grows Syrah and Zinfandel in a second vineyard in the Sierra Foothills.

“Tor’s wines are wonderful. I’m pleased to have him use the Tierra Roja name – the wine is a great representation of this vineyard.”

—Linda Neal

“Tor first approached me about buying grapes years ago, when all the fruit was spoken for,” Neal recalls.

Funny how things turn out. Today, we’re the only ones Neal sells her fruit to. It was a long wait, but we finally got a crack at Tierra Roja grapes in 2010. We released our first single-vineyard Cabernet from the site that same year, and couldn’t be happier working with this special fruit from a truly talented grower.

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