Clay and Brenda Cockerell
As high school sweethearts who have been married since 1977, we have enjoyed hundreds of memorable meals and great wines with family and friends. We have travelled extensively throughout the great appellations of Europe and sampled everything from simple, honest regional bottlings to some of the world’s most celebrated wines. We have trudged through vineyards and shivered in cold cellars as we barrel tasted with some of the world’s top vignerons.
Several years ago, while visiting the Napa Valley for our anniversary, we decided the time was right to make our own wines. Coquerel was born. (The name Coquerel is an archaic French derivation of our family name ‑ Cockerell.)
In 2005, we purchased a vineyard in Calistoga planted to old-vine, dry-farmed Sauvignon Blanc. In 2008 we acquired the adjacent site that was planted to a handful of traditional varieties rarely found in modern-day Napa. Since then we have revamped, replanted and upgraded our property to luxury-class winegrowing standards.
Early on, we hired Christine Barbe, one of the world’s great Sauvignon Blanc specialists, to handle our winemaking duties. Each vintage, in addition to our two bottlings of SB, Christine produces small batches of Chardonnay, Verdelho, Petite Sirah, Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon that capture the essence of the vintage, variety and site.