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Tasting Cain: a vertical from this Napa mountain Cabernet estate

Chris Howell, winemaker of Cain Vineyards & Winery in Napa’s Spring Mountain District who narrowly escaped the fires that swept through California in 2020, caught up with Decanter’s Stephen Brook in London recently to taste through a vertical of his flagship Cain Five.

Chris Howell of Cain Vineyards & Winery is not your typical Napa winemaker. After studies in philosophy, biochemistry and genetics, he learnt to appreciate good wine on a visit to Europe.

He then made his own back in the United States as a hobby. ‘It was a Muscat – my first orange wine!’

In 1982 he went to study viticulture in Montpellier and Bordeaux before the obligatory spell at UC Davis. He worked with winemakers Helen Turley and Marimar Torres, and then came the offer to work at Cain, becoming its full-time director in 1991.


Scroll down for Stephen Brook’s tasting notes and scores of seven Cain wines



Cain: a vertical of Cain Five, plus Concept and Cuvée


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