The story surrounding Napa Valley’s Bialla Vineyards’ rapid rise to prominence is actually quite simple. It involves owner Vito Bialla’s quest for absolute perfection within his winery and also a most fortunate choice of locale for this fascinating project. Now a youthful 62, Bialla was born in Austria and came to the United States when he was thirteen. He resided in New York, Louisiana and Arkansas and joined the United States Army in 1968. He was on his way to Vietnam when he spent his final week before deployment in San Francisco. He fell in love with Northern California and vowed to return if he survived the rigours of Vietnam. Bialla survived and returned home and settled in San Francisco. The entire area was magnificent. The people were the best I had ever met, friendly and outgoing. I was totally in love with my surroundings, Bialla recalled. He operated a number of businesses including a high calibre corporate recruiting firm, or a head hunter company as it is widely known. Along the way, Bialla and his wife Linda started making luncheon trips to the nearby Napa Valley. Being of European descent, I was used to wine since I was a little boy, having a glass with lunch or dinner, Bialla further recalled. At one point, we decided to buy a small home in Napa Valley as a get away from the city. I happened upon a listing on Atlas Peak and was impressed with its location and the fact that a small one-acre vineyard was already planted and seemed to be doing well. The Biallas bought the property in 2003 and eventually had a few bottles of wine made for their own use. In 2005, a friend counselled that additional vineyards would increase the place’s value so another 3½ acres were planted. The rest is history.
A terrific Cabernet that gives all the richness and opulence you expect in an expensive Napa Cab, yet controls it with firm tannins, acidity, minerals and earthiness. Explosive in blackberry and cherry-pie filling and chocolate granola bar flavors that are so delicious, you can not stop reaching for another glass.