Both Duncan Arnot Meyers and Nathan Lee Roberts are natives of the Napa Valley, where they have known each other since infancy and share a love of bicycling, good food, good wine, and good times.

While they are attempting to have as much fun as possible, they are also producing some of the most fantastically distinctive, but widely inclusive wines available–the gold standard for how these men conduct their business in the first place.

They have shown their passion for this trade via Arnot-Roberts, a joint enterprise that was established about two decades ago.

It is one of the most amazing procedures I have ever seen. While working as their harvest intern and assistant for three harvests (2012-2014), I had the luxury of immersing myself in their life during the most demanding but ultimately rewarding months of the year.

It is important to the winery that their fruit sources come from cool (if not extremely chilly) microclimates since maintaining acidity is one of the most important factors in creating freshness and lift in their wines.

Their attention is intensely focused on “nailing the pick,” as Duncan would say, since it is critical to capture the appropriate mix of sugars, acids, and tastes in order to provide a solid foundation for the fermenting process.

They also use a number of old-world techniques, such as whole-cluster fermentation for all of their red wines (although only about one-third of their cabernet sauvignon is a fermented whole cluster), very little new wood (only a small amount in the cabernets), and natural yeast fermentations for their cabernet sauvignon and other red wines. It is customary to employ old oak barrels for the fermentation of Chardonnays.

When it comes to discovering smaller, more fascinating vineyard sites, Duncan and Nathan have always had a knack for finding those that seem to have huge, untapped potential. When you take a look at their vineyard portfolio, it becomes clear that they know where to seek for high-quality grapes to produce.

It is syrah that they are very passionate about; in fact, I think their Clary Ranch syrah is my favorite of the wines they produce at the moment.

A few miles from the Pacific Ocean, this vineyard is located just west of Petaluma and may well be the coolest syrah location in the nation, according to the winemaker. It could easily be inserted into a blind tasting of Saint Josephs from the Northern Rhone and hold its own against the best of them.

We are lucky to have more than a dozen of their limited-production, hard-to-find wines in stock at Paul Marcus Wines, including the Clary Ranch syrah, three distinct expressions of chardonnay, and a pair of outstanding pinot noirs, among other things.

Our selection also includes two outstanding examples of their sought cabernet sauvignon: Fellom Ranch, sourced from the prestigious Montebello Ridge in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and Montecillo, sourced from well above the Sonoma Valley’s Dry Creek Valley.

It is easy to overlook the strategic decision-making and extensive community network of like-minded winemaking peers that these two friends have built up over the course of their careers. In addition, the value they put on family and friends spreads across the organization.

They’ve been known to have some really good open house parties, and their harvest lunches aren’t too shabby, either! The “lunch plan,” in fact, was often the most essential work of the harvest day, and it was also the most difficult.

They recognize the importance of eating healthily and of taking a break with your hard-working coworkers–to think and meditate, to share insights and humor, and to raise the spirit.

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