Stags Leap District
Ray Signorello Jr.
About The Estate:
Co-founded in 1977 by the father-son duo of Ray Sr. and Ray Jr., Signorello Estate represents French style wines with finesse, created from 100% estate grown Napa Valley fruit.
In 1977, Ray Signorello Sr. purchased 100 acres of prime Napa Valley land, his first step in creating Signorello Estate with his son, Ray Jr. After spending the first few years of operation solely as growers, Ray Signorello Jr. and his father, Ray Signorello Sr., embraced the winemaking potential of their vineyard and began to produce 100% estate grown vintages of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Bordeaux-style white blends in 1985.
Cultivating a more Old World approach to winemaking, thanks in no small part to French winemaker Pierre Birebent’s stewardship of both the vines and the cellar, Signorello quickly became known for food friendly wines that benefited from low yield production and a delicate, natural approach both in the winery and the barrel room.
Signorello Estate, nestled in the southeastern corner of the Napa Valley alongside the famed Silverado Trail, is comprised of forty two planted acres (17 ha). The estate has been home to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Syrah, Chardonnay, Semillon and Viognier.
Varying in slope from gentle to steep, our vineyard site is 100% hillside, composed of well-drained volcanic rocks and soil.
The vines are carefully spaced to ensure optimal growing conditions, incorporating vertical trellising and strategic shoot positioning that work in concert with the unique, cool micro-climates.
A sixth-generation French winemaker, Pierre Birebent relishes his dual roles as Signorello Estate’s winemaker and vineyard manager, an arrangement that allows him to guarantee the wines’ quality and character.
Growing up in the highlands of Corsica, France, Pierre spent his summer vacations working in the fields of his family’s vineyard. In 1985, after receiving his viticulture and enology degree in Macon, Burgundy, he traveled to Napa for harvest—and never left.
He managed various vineyards over the next decade until, one day in 1997, he was alerted to an opening at Signorello Estate. Pierre met with Ray Signorello Jr. and was hired the following day. More than twenty years later, Pierre is still walking Signorello Estate’s vineyard rows and overseeing its cellar, where he creates food-friendly, Old World-style wines sought for their finesse.
Yields are deliberately limited to emphasize elegance and breeding. The first vines, planted in 1980, are now shedding their youthful exuberance for more subtlety, nuance and sophistication. These older vines require more delicate care, which is why the team oversees every aspect of the farming process; they do not outsource our vineyard management.
The fruit is hand-picked and hand-sorted. The wines are fermented with native yeasts and bottled without fining or filtration. Total production is less than 6,000 cases annually, and often significantly less.
Ray's love of wine began in 1982 from tasting a bottle of Château Senejac 1945 in Pairs. He still has a handful left in his cellar!
While born in California, Ray grew up in Vancouver from the age of two when his father's work as a mining executive saw the family relocate.
The 'Padrone' Cabernet Sauvignon is named in memory of his father, and the 'Hope's Cuvée' Chardonnay in honour of his mother.
Signorello's two premium blocks of Chardonnay on the gentle slopes behind the entry to the Estate