|Color & Type
The Oak Knoll District AVA provides the fruit for Emmolo Merlot. That region, toward the southern end of Napa Valley, is cooled by breezes and fog from San Pablo Bay which allows grapes to ripen gently. This allows for a long growing season which results in great color, complex flavors and soft tannins, but moderate alcohol.
Emmolo's Merlot exhibits qualities one might expect from a terrific Cabernet Sauvignon, but its flavors of ripe, dark plum and chocolate are all Merlot. Judicious use of French oak barrels adds more nuances to nose and palate, while also making the wine immediately approachable. The wine is made by Jenny Wagner.
Emmolo is a Rutherford wine estate established by Cheryl Emmolo in 1994. Her family has a long-standing history in the Napa Valley wine industry beginning with her grandfather, Italian immigrant Salvatore Emmolo, who planted grapevines and started a grapevine rootstock nursery in Rutherford in the 1920’s.
Salvatore’s son, Frank Emmolo, ran Emmolo Nursery and built a strong following amongst Napa Valley grape growers - becoming the leading supplier to Napa Valley vintners for five decades. They opened up Palermo Winery in 1934, operating for less than a decade and eventually closing due to the public’s lack of interest in wine immediately after Prohibition. They sustained the land over the years until Cheryl re-established the building as Emmolo Winery.
Today, Cheryl’s daughter, Jenny Wagner, has taken over the reins and the estate is now part of the Wagner Family of Wines. She is proud and honored to continue on the family legacy and tradition of farming vines and making Emmolo wine in the original winery her great-grandfather built in 1934.
The winery focuses on two wines – a Sauvignon Blanc and a Merlot. They get their fruit from the estate’s River Ranch property in Rutherford, an estate property in Oak Knoll and, depending on the vintage, from vineyards in Carneros and Atlas Peak.