Robert Adler, Vintner
I grew up in Detroit in a simple house without a lot of stuff. Delicious kitchen aromas and classical music filled our home; my father was a violinist and I played trumpet. The need for beauty in our lives was satisfied through this combination of food and music.
When not practicing the violin, my father read recipes from various magazines and cookbooks in preparation for Sunday, which was ‘food experiment day.’ Wine was also an important part of dinner on these Sundays, so being aware of wine and food pairings and bottle temperature seemed to me to be a natural part of growing up.
My father had learned a great deal about cooking during the war while stationed in France and Italy. He spent his spare time there convincing well-known chefs to let him visit their kitchens. This culinary interest continued when he returned home. Our family road trips were planned around dining at special restaurants all over America. At home he would then incorporate these new flavor experiences into his own cooking, adding his personal touches.
We were fortunate because one of Dad’s favorite restaurants, Detroit’s famed London Chop House, was in our hometown, and its chef, Pancho Valez, became a good friend of my father’s. Through their friendship, Dad absorbed Valez’s ideas about food preparation and presentation. Simultaneously, my own interest in cooking was blossoming. I found myself spending more and more time in the kitchen and reading Gourmet Magazine instead of the comic books that occupied the minds of most kids my age.
When I moved to California, a friend invited me to a wine tasting at a warehouse where collectors stored their wines. This tasting was my first true experience with California wines. I remember responding to the amazing flavors of a Ridge Montebello, as well as many other wines from the region. Later, this same friend took me to spend a day with Sean Thackery, who made a big impression on me as he shared his thoughts on the natural order of vines, fruit and their resulting wines.
My expanding curiosity led me to drive from Los Angeles along the coast to Napa Valley where I explored its extraordinary wines. I was immediately taken by the beauty of Napa Valley, and by the discovery that winemaking reflected the intersection of science and art. After acquiring our vineyard, I continued to study the “biological warfare” among nature, the soil and the vines, and the challenge of striking a delicate symmetry for producing a beautiful, elegant wine.
Alexis Deutsch-Adler, Vintner
I love the concept of stewardship and the empowerment derived from it: “The careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.”
With great humility Robert and I are fortunate to own land in California. As we continue to share this stewardship our pride in doing so runs deep.
It is no surprise that almost twenty years ago we spent our honeymoon driving, exploring and talking about the multitude of layers that make up California. We toured Southern California to Northern California via highways, through the vast Central Valley, along the magical coastline and into the rich wine country. We read aloud from Steinbeck’s “Travel With Charlie” as well from California historian Kevin Starr’s book “CALIFORNIA”. Perhaps for some this might not be considered the “ideal honeymoon” but for us the vivid experience pointed to what eventually led to an everlasting impression of the Napa Valley, fuelling a passion for the place. The passion and the place eventually turned into the acquisition of a piece of the Rutherford Bench for which, we are now the stewards. It is called Adler Deutsch Vineyard.
Aaron Pott, Winemaker
“I make wine because I need the intellectual challenge and the satisfaction of crafting something beautiful for those that will appreciate it. I look forward to those foggy, pre-harvest mornings when you taste the grapes and begin to imagine what they will do in the glass.”
Aaron’s introduction to wine occurred unintentionally when, at the age of nine, he ordered a glass of milk at a Paris bistro and instead received a watered-down glass of red wine.
He studied enology at the University of California-Davis and accepted the position of assistant winemaker at Newton under John Kongsgaard, the winemaker he credits as his most influential mentor. When famed wine-making consultant Michel Rolland arrived from France, Aaron squeezed his 6’3″ frame into the back of John’s beat-up Ford Ranger to learn as much as he could from the revered master. Enchanted, he convinced Michel to help him find employment in France. He became winemaker at Château Troplong Mondot, a Premier Grand Cru Classé, and then Château La Tour Figeac, a Grand Cru Classé from St. Emilion, while simultaneously earning a master’s degree in Viticulture from the Université de Bourgogne. He remained in France for nearly six years before returning to the United States to take a position with Beringer Wine Estates as winemaker for their international brands in France, Italy and South America. Following stints at St. Clement and Quintessa, Aaron launched his own label, Pott Wine, and began a successful consulting career producing wines of distinction from select sites in Napa Valley and Sonoma.
Jim Barbour, Vineyard Manager
“Soil is perhaps the most important aspect of winemaking. I spent over 40 years farming grapes in Napa Valley and memorizing each site’s smallest details. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t pick anything else.”
Jim Barbour was raised on his family’s ranch in Rutherford, where he learned the life of farming, developed a passion for the land, and gained an understanding that hard work breeds success.
After graduating from the University of California-Davis, Jim returned to Napa Valley to begin a career that would lead him to become one of the Valley’s most sought-after viticulturists. For nearly 40 years he has been dedicated to his craft, producing premium wine grapes using traditional and contemporary hand-farming methods. Jim has planted and managed many prominent vineyards, including Hundred Acre, Checkerboard, Grace Family, Blankiet, Revana, Gandona Estate, Casa Piena, Seaver Family, Keever, Husic, Pillar Rock, DR Stephens and more.
Jim is an outdoorsman and devoted fly fisherman. When he’s not at work among the vines, he can be found barbecuing in his backyard, relaxing at his mountain cabin, or knee-deep in the running waters of a stream filled with rainbows and browns.