Blue Oak Vineyard was planted in the mid-1990s in a unique part of the Napa Valley–in the southeast corner known as Coombsville. This area has been recently named the newest appellation, but for many years it was the best-kept secret of Napa. For decades, this small region has quietly provided fruit to some of Napa’s most sought-after wines, such as Silver Oak and Far Niente.
Coombsville was created millenniums ago when a face of Mount George collapsed. This created a cup-shaped semicircle, the center of which was punctuated by the vineyard floor soaring 500 feet above the rest of the region. On the very top of this Coombsville knoll is where the Blue Oak Vineyard resides, with volcanic ash and mountainous hillsides creating the grapes special character. And with a microclimate that is well suited to Cabernet, Blue Oak is a rare grower of Merlot in the region. Like the great wines of Bordeaux, Merlot provides the varietal that creates extraordinary, long-lasting wines of supple beauty. Hence, Blue Oak Merlot stands out as a special wine in a special area.
Acquired in 1999 by Kelly Gorman and Steve Carnevale, the Blue Oak Estate has been cared for with the intention of producing the finest wine possible for this region. With only three acres of vines, Blue Oak has very limited production. Winemaker Grant Long Jr. has spent his life in the Napa Valley learning his craft from the ground up, and he distributes Blue Oak along with his own label Aonair.