Andy Erickson

Searching for the truth behind Napa’s Grand Cru: To Kalon

Various maps of To Kalon that I compared while researching the site

As soon as you start reading about To Kalon, you know you’re in complicated territory. This is a site that commands a serious premium. And so much has been written about it. Many would argue that, at its best, it’s the greatest site in Napa. But, and here’s the hitch, where does it start and finish? Where is the best part of it? Who gets to use the name? Did the fruit actually come from the vineyard, whatever the label says? And is even asking these questions sensible?

For anyone interested, GuildSomm’s legendary feature on the vineyard by Matt Stamp, tracing its history, is an incredible read, and it was absolutely one of the sources I used when trying to put some thoughts on the site onto paper. But trying to look beyond To Kalon’s storied past, I turned to some of the region’s leading winemakers – Andy Erickson, Tor Kenward and Paul Hobbs – to dig into what really makes it special today. I delve into the history, the wines and why it’s deemed a “Grand Cru”.

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