Favia will get a new winery as part of the move from its base in Coombsville to a 34.8-hectare (86 acres) vineyard estate in the Oakville American Viticultural Area (AVA).
It’s part of a new partnership agreement between the star husband-and-wife duo behind Favia, winemaker Andy Erickson and viticulturist Annie Favia-Erickson, and their long-standing friends, the Huneeus family, who own the Oakville site and already have a portfolio of wines, including Quintessa.
‘This started as a conversation among friends,’ Erickson told Decanter via email.
He explained the new arrangement ‘means that we now will have equity in the [Oakville] vineyard property, and the Huneeus family will take an equity stake in the Favia wine business’.
He said, ‘It is a great opportunity for Favia to bring our philosophy of farming and winemaking to a broader audience.
‘We have been making wines from both Coombsville and Oakville for almost 20 years.’ He said Favia will ‘continue to produce our Coombsville wines, and have a new source of fruit in Oakville’.
In terms of a timetable for the new winery, Erickson said, ‘We will start interviewing architects and designing this year. If all goes well, we will be in for harvest of 2025.’
Some of the vineyard land has already been planted, and the first of those vines will begin producing fruit this year, allowing the winemaking team to experiment, said Erickson. Most of the new planting work will be finished this year, he added.
On grape varieties, he said, ‘We of course have quite a bit of Cabernet Sauvignon planted, but also Merlot (the soils are well suited in some parts of the vineyard with a clay loam soil).
‘Also Cabernet Franc (our favourite variety in the Valley), a small amount of Petit Verdot, and a decent trial block of Malbec, which I feel is incredibly well-suited to the new climate realities we are facing.
‘We also love Sauvignon Blanc, and will be planting a good amount of that for some white wine.’ Everything has been farmed organically and biodynamically from the start, ‘which is great’, he added.
He said Favia will continue to make all four of its different Napa Valley red wines, as well as a white wine, which it has previously produced. ‘We will only increase production if we can do so at the same quality level or better,’ he added.
Last year, Favia’s Cerro Sur label became a new addition to the Place de Bordeaux’s growing roster of international releases.
Decanter’s Georgie Hindle rated the Cabernet Franc-dominant Cerro Sur 2019 a full 100 points.