The Allure of Mayacamas Vineyards

By Sotheby's

NEW YORK – Age-worthy, structured and classic are words that have consistently been used to describe the distinctive wines of the legendary Mayacamas Vineyards. While Napa is abuzz with wineries producing lush, high-alcohol, powerful wines, there are few wineries in Napa capable of producing wines that can evolve with brilliant grace and that display such complexity and depth after 25-30 years.


Hard-core traditionalists and Napa pioneers Bob and Elinor Travers purchased the historical Mayacamas Vineyards in 1968. Set atop Mount Veeder, the microclimate is cooler and growing seasons tend to be longer than on the valley floor. The Travers’ viticulture and winemaking techniques emulate the Old World in style: yields kept low, grapes painstakingly hand-harvested at more modest sugar levels, short macerations, fermentation in cement tanks with native yeasts and aging in large oak casks and mostly older barrels. The wines age for about three years in barrels and another two years in bottle before they are released.


Mayacamas enthusiasts take note! This is the greatest collection we have ever seen at auction with nearly 40 lots from 1970 to 1996 and one of the last opportunities to acquire these legendary Cabernets crafted by Travers, including the ethereal 1974 vintage. In 2013, Travers retired after 44 vintages and sold Mayamacas.

Ultimately, these wines were made to reward patience, and the lucky few who will attain them will be able to reap the benefits of years of bottle age under the utmost care of one of the most passionate California collectors in the world.

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