(June 4, 2020; Saint Helena, CA)—Craig Becker, co-founder, General Manager, and Director of Viticulture and Winemaking at Napa Valley’s Somerston Estate, announced today a new collaboration with celebrated winemaker Steve Leveque, making Somerston the first client of Steve’s new company, Leveque Wine Consulting. As a consulting winemaker, Steve will work directly with Becker and consult on all aspects of winemaking, from the farming of the 1,682-acre Somerston Estate to the production of Priest Ranch and Somerston wines.
“We are thrilled to have Steve join us as consulting winemaker,” says Craig. “His experience, palate, and knowledge are the perfect addition to our excellent team. In addition to our current line-up of wines, Steve and I will be developing a new flagship wine from the best blocks from our newly replanted vineyards. This is going to be fun!” This collaboration is not a first for Steve and Craig. Nearly 25 years ago, Steve hired Craig for his first wine industry job, a Lab Technician at Robert Mondavi Winery.
Steve brings 25 years of winemaking experience to his role as a consulting winemaker. He was the winemaker for Robert Mondavi Winery from 1992-2003, and winemaker and executive vice president at Chalk Hill Estate Winery 2003-2008. Until recently, he was the winemaker for Hall, WALT, and BACA, where his wines garnered widespread critical acclaim, including numerous 100-point scores.
“I’ve sourced fruit from the Somerston Estate for more than 11 years, and I believe that Craig’s commitment to farming excellence is unparalleled,” says Steve. “I am thrilled to join Somerston’s winemaking team. The vineyards at Somerston Estate are in rarified company, hailing from the mountains above Lake Hennessey, maybe the most highly desired vineyard address in Napa Valley. Having the opportunity to produce and bottle an estate wine with Somerston is both energizing and humbling.”
About Somerston Estate
Somerston Estate is a 1,682-acre winery estate located in the eastern Vaca Mountains. Established in 2007 by three families, the 244 acres of sustainably farmed vineyards include 144 individual blocks, from which two distinct wine brands are produced. Somerston wines represent distinctive block designated wines, while Priest Ranch wines are a blend of fruit from multiple vineyard blocks throughout the estate. All Somerston Estate wines are produced from the estate vineyards, fermented and aged at the winery, and sold throughout the U.S. and export markets and at the Priest Ranch and at the Somerston tasting rooms. For more information on Somerston wines, visit www.somertsonestate.com. For details on Priest Ranch wines, visit www.priestranchwines.com.