California’s wine industry has had many milestones but very few wineries have had truly profound impacts. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that while California has more than 3,000 wineries today, in the relatively recent past that number was much smaller. In fact, in the 1940s there were only a handful of wineries in Napa Valley.
Names like Beaulieu, Martini, and Charles Krug were the gold standard for Napa Valley wines but one man, John Daniel, was hard at work trying to best the best. It may have been only in hindsight that the collective we recognized the monumental nature of John Daniel’s work at Inglenook, but recognize it we have. In particular, the 1941 has been recognized as one of the greatest wines ever to have been produced in the Napa Valley. Given the accolades and rarity of the wine today it’s almost surprising that it is not selling for more than the several thousand it fetches on the rare occasions that bottles come up at auction.