Sequoia Grove
Wine Excellence Standing the Test of Time


Published On: April 20, 2023

It’s not often a winery’s first release hits it out of the park and continues the magic decades later. Sequoia Grove has achieved just that. Their flagship varietal, cabernet sauvignon, was deemed the “Best American Cabernet Sauvignon” in 1985, quite literally establishing roots for success.

In 1981, Sequoia Grove founders Jim and Barbara Allen envisioned and succeeded in producing a wine that showcased the character of the soil, climate, and elegance of the grapes and was also food-friendly, rivaling some of the best in the world. Sequoia Grove continues to successfully live out its dream of making great wine but is pushing the boundaries of the wine and food relationship. For example, rethinking how to pair a red wine beyond red meat is the intent of A Taste For Cabernet, one of several tasting experiences offered at the winery. In addition, the Winemaker Series Tasting, a flight of the winery’s current releases, has gained popularity as one of the few Napa Valley experiences under $50.

For over forty years, the relationship with the land and the gifts it bears has been and remains one of the core values of the winery. Sequoia Grove was the first of five wineries to be certified through updated Napa Green Vineyard standards, upholding sustainable practices to ensure soil viability for many years. Since 2018, the winery has been 100% powered by renewable energy. However, the reverence for mother earth doesn’t end in its backyard. Sequoia Grove has donated $40K through 1% For The Planet to the Save The Redwood League in homage to the winery’s namesake.

Jesse Fox, winemaker

Sequoia Grove’s historical success is always top of mind but does not preclude the winery from looking for opportunities to make a great wine even better. With an already stellar team at the helm, in February of 2022, they welcomed winemaker, Jesse Fox.

“I see our wine evolving with a clear focus on complexity, density, balance, and a true sense of place,” said Jesse, who feels his new post is a coming home of sorts. As a Cornell University student, he won a scholarship to study in some of the best wine-producing areas of the world, a gift sponsored by Sequoia Grove’s owners, the Kopf family. The hope was to solidify a new generation of wine professionals. The investment paid off for both. After years as an accomplished chef at acclaimed restaurants such as The French Laundry, Jesse traded in his whisk for a wine thief. He worked his way up from the wine cellar to a winemaker, eventually landing in a familiar place, Sequoia Grove.

“To build on this historic Napa Valley winery’s 40-plus years of excellence is an exciting opportunity to give back to the family that believed in me 20 years earlier,” Jesse said.

The team is complete, primed to continue a long legacy that stretches like the redwoods standing sentry at Sequoia Grove, growing and changing but never losing sight of the roots that began this grand adventure.