Steve and Seanne Contursi share a great love for the wines of Bordeaux, particularly those produced with a large quantity of Cabernet Franc, such as Château Cheval Blanc. The couple began their romance while traveling through Bordeaux in the mid 1980’s, and decades later sought out their Coombsville domaine with an eye to producing top-quality Bordeaux blend wines from Napa Valley.
In the fall of 2007, they bought a vineyard property previously owned by Napa Valley legend and Etude Wines founder Tony Soter. The vineyard was the source of Soter’s renowned and highly rated “Little Creek” Cabernet Franc. Being wine collectors and entrepreneurs, they set on making their own wine rather than selling the grapes, and decided to hire the best vineyard manager and winemaker that would be interested in sharing their dream. They maintained the organic farming, worked with esteemed viticulturalist Michael Wolf to keep improving the site, and constantly share insights and tasting notes with him and highly regarded Winemaker Jennifer Williams – Jennifer joined the team in April 2011,
Arrow&Branch is a nod to numismatics, the study and collection of coins. Found on the reverse of most United States coinage is an eagle holding an olive branch and arrows in its talons. Steve’s passion for coins began at the age of seven. As a paperboy, he was often paid in coins, and he built his hobby into one of America’s most respected and renowned dealerships: Rare Coin Wholesalers and RCW Financial.
The five acre vineyard is tucked into an area northeast of the City of Napa, on a slice of hallowed land known as Tulocay, which is part of the new American Viticultural Area (AVA) of Coombsville. Tulocay refers to the Native American villagers who once inhabited this small valley. Today, the horseshoe-shaped valley of Tulocay describes a viticultural zone, distinct from its neighbors in Napa County in a number of important ways. Like Carneros, its neighbor to the south, Tulocay benefits from the cooling breezes drawn in through the Golden Gate. It is in Tulocay, however, that the morning fog burns off much sooner, and cool breezes sweep through the vineyard on late summer afternoons, slowing the ripening and encouraging flavor and character development in the grapes. This microclimate, combined with its Coombs Gravelly Loam soils, is quite distinct from both the valley floor and mountain appellations of the Napa Valley.
Farming practices: organic. Weeds are controlled through hand hoeing. In order to get good ripeness for the Cabernet Franc, Michael Wolf concentrates on canopy work, pulling specific leaves on each vine to allow sunlight to ripen the grapes, while not exposing them to too much light, which would burn the fruit on hotter days. Michael is also skilled at crop management, green harvesting fruit when necessary to achieve maximum ripeness for the remaining clusters. As a devotee of dry farming, he works to minimize the need for irrigation, while still giving the vines enough support to prosper and produce through the long grape-growing season.