Quattro Theory Is Redefining Wines From Estate Vineyards

Quattro Theory Is Redefining Wines From Estate Vineyards


Food & Drink

Quattro Theory Is Redefining Wines From Estate Vineyards

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Food & Drink

Quattro Theory Is Redefining Wines From Estate Vineyards

Quattro Theory Is Redefining Wines From Estate Vineyards

Food & Drink

Quattro Theory Is Redefining Wines From Estate Vineyards

Published By:   •   March 13, 2024

Quattro Theory Is Redefining Wines From Estate Vineyards

Published By:

March 13, 2024

Food & Drink


Napa’s latest brand, Quattro Theory, helps redefine wines from estate vineyards.

Quattro Theory winemaker Landon Donley PHOTO COURTESY OF BRAND

Quattro Theory winemaker Landon Donley

I recently asked veteran winemaker Landon Donley for his elevator speech about what he’s creating at Quattro Theory, a new collection of wines from Napa’s Trinchero Family Estates. “It’s [about] creating serious wines that are immediately approachable upon release,” he says about the brand’s sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon—Napa’s flagship wines. Here, Donley expands on the vision.

Quattro Theory’s sauvignon blanc and cabernet sauvignon. PHOTO COURTESY OF BRAND
Quattro Theory’s sauvignon blanc and cabernet sauvignon.

You say that 50% of what you do is fermentation science and 50% is intuition. Could you explain?

As winemakers, there’s a constant process of making hundreds of decisions as you make a wine—sometimes daily. The science doesn’t define the quality of the wine, your intuition does, but to get to something [that’s] high quality, you must understand the science and trust your intuition. Quattro Theory is the culmination of the science of viticulture, winemaking and my experience as a winemaker.

Please share the characteristics of each vineyard for your wines.

Our sauvignon blanc comes from Calistoga at the northern end of Napa Valley, a warm region suited well for this early ripening variety. Our dry-farmed, low-yielding vineyard site results in rich aromatics and an intense concentration of flavors in the wine.

The chardonnay comes from the southernmost part of Napa Valley—heavily influenced by coastal breezes and cooler temperatures. That slow-ripening vineyard site helps create a wine with excellent acidity and beautiful textural richness.

The cabernet sauvignon is from a variety of estate vineyards located on the valley floor across both mountain ranges that frame the Napa Valley. Blending from five unique vineyard sites allows me to create a cabernet sauvignon notable in its complexity, elegance and classic Napa Valley texture.

What’s it like to finally get the wine in bottles?

As a winemaker, it’s exciting to finally launch this brand we’ve worked on for three years. Starting next year, we’re expanding to a merlot, so it’s rewarding to see people enjoy our first three wines—and be able to add to the Quattro Theory collection.

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