In 1988, Fred Schrader was a thriving dealer in the world of art and antiques when his good friend and Christie's auctioneer, Brian Cole, invited him to the Napa Valley Wine Auction. Fred eagerly happily and found himself immersed in the company of the valley's esteemed founders.
It was in the year 2000 that Fred's life took a remarkable turn. A barrel sample of Cabernet left an indelible mark on him, inspiring a quest to create wines of similar depth and uniqueness. He partnered with legendary grape grower W. Andrew Beckstoffer and began with a small selection of vine rows in the historic Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard. And today, the finest blocks are dedicated to growing Schrader Cabernet.
To bring his Cabernet vision to life, Fred approached Thomas Rivers Brown, a passionate winemaker who just arrived in the valley at that time. Although Thomas had never crafted Cabernet, Fred saw this as an opportunity rather than a challenge. Together, Fred and Thomas worked on creating wines that embodied Fred's desired style—big, fruit-forward, with exceptional purity and enduring structure. The 2001 vintage marked a turning point, and their collaboration has since become legendary.
Their vineyards in Oakville, were ﬁrst planted in 1868 by viticultural and winemaking icon Hamilton Crabb. Here, has long been regarded as the source of Napa Valley’s ﬁnest Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The section of the vineyards are situated in the heart of the valley. An alluvial fan provides excellent mineral deposits, and the rich soils are ﬁlled with marine sediment. The vines receive full sun and optimal heat during the day and are cooled by marine fog at night. These conditions allow the clones to display its own unique character, and this celebration of individuality is the essence of Schrader.