Carlo and Marie Francoise Di Ruocco founded Mr. Espresso, a specialty coffee roaster in 1978. In 1992, Carlo and Marie Francoise were looking for a house in the Napa Valley for their retirement. After many months of searching they found a 20 – acre estate with five acres of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, tucked away in the quiet hills of Atlas Peak in Napa Valley. From the very beginning, they knew that there was something special about this place.
The warm arid climate and rocky, mountainous terrain was reminiscent of Carlo’s home in Italy. The rich volcanic soil, 1500 – foot altitude, and more moderate micro-climate provided the perfect conditions for growing high quality Cabernet grapes. Over time, Carlo and Marie Francoise slowly transformed this land to produce top quality Cabernet Sauvignon, traveling several times to France and Italy to research production and equipment. They worked with many different growers and enologists in the Napa Valley until the perfect combination could be achieved. They decided on a French style Cabernet Sauvignon, inspired by the wines from the Medoc area. They planted an additional seven acres of Merlot, and one acre of Cabernet Franc.
The first vintage of estate Cabernet Sauvignon was crafted by Phillipe Melka, in 1996 and released in 2000′