Before they began making world class wine. Before they hired a vineyard manager who insists on manually watering grapes so more moisture goes to the fruit, less to the foliage. Before their “small batch” ethos helped their first Cabernet Sauvignon earn a top Wine Advocate rating.
Before all of that, the Aquilini family had a history of success at everything they put their hands to. What finally led them to wine? It’s a story of destiny meets opportunity.
Originally from a farming background in northern Italy, the Aquilini family became successful in North America in agriculture, construction, entertainment, and hospitality. Along the way they traveled the world and were able to enjoy some of the finest wines at the most highly regarded restaurants.
Every now and then the Aquilinis noticed that a wine with a formidable pedigree and a price tag to match fell embarrassingly short of its reputation. Over time this observation repeated itself until one day the family had an epiphany: We can do better than this. We can create one of the world’s truly exceptional wines.
And so they did.
For ten years the family visited some of wine’s most hallowed grounds, including Tuscany, Napa, and the Willamette Valley. But the region that impressed them most was a little corner of land at the far end of the Yakima Valley in Eastern Washington called Red Mountain. This tiny AVA was barely on the map, yet had all the prerequisites for producing 100-point reds. So, when the last 670 acres of growable land came up for auction in 2013, the Aquilinis acted quickly and acquired this precious parcel.
To turn their dream into a reality they assembled a prestigious vineyard team. The group included an expert wine importer with a reputation for identifying up-and-coming winners. A world-famous winemaker from Bordeaux with a long track record of producing successful wines in France and in Napa. And lastly, a renowned vineyard manager known for his artisanal approach to tending vines and his deep reverence for the sun, rain, wind and soil.
They achieved success in a remarkably short time.
One of the Aquilinis’ first bottlings, a 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, scored a provisional 95+ points on the Robert Parker Wine Advocate scale. To understand the significance of this achievement, listen to how the Robert Parker website describes a 95+ point wine:
An extraordinary wine of profound and complex character displaying all the attributes expected of a classic wine of its variety. Wines of this caliber are worth a special effort to find, purchase and consume.
The 2019 harvest may produce even more remarkable wine, with the Cabernet Sauvignon sourced exclusively from the 59 hand-managed acres that comprise the Aquilinis’ Elite vineyard. Evidence that today, and in the coming years, the family is striving to make wine that continues to live up to the high standards noted by Parker. Striving to make a product that gives you (and them) tremendous joy, pleasure and satisfaction. And striving for something the Aquilini family has always aimed for.