Silver Oak Cellars was born from the meeting of two men: Ray Twomey Duncan, a Colorado entrepreneur who began investing in California vineyards in the late 1960s, and Justin Meyer, a winemaker trained by the Christian Brothers. In 1972, they founded the estate in Oakville in Napa Valley. Their plan was an audacious one: to produce a wine made from Cabernet Sauvignon, aged in American oak barrels and with a great ageing capacity.
Over the next two decades, the project bore fruit as Cabernets from Napa Valley and then from Alexander Valley in 1984 became essential among Californian wines, sought after both in the United States and around the world.
In 2006, a fire destroyed the historic Oakville vineyard. Its reconstruction provided the opportunity to design a new ultra-modern cellar that is more respectful of natural resources and the environment. Among the measures put in place, the Oakville vineyard is equipped with 1,464 solar panels, which produce almost half of the energy needs. In Alexander Valley, 2,595 solar panels have been installed and generate more energy than the vineyard consumes.
Ten years after the fire, these developments earned Silver Oak Cellars the designation of the world's first LEED Platinum wine estate, for Existing Buildings, Operations and Maintenance (EBOM) by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Silver Oak Cellars has made sustainable development its major axis of development. The vineyard of this essential estate among the great American wines is made up of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
Today Ray's sons, David and Tim Duncan, own and operate over 200 hectares of vineyards in Napa Valley and Alexander Valley. Since 2014, Nate Weis, originally from Napa Valley, has overseen all viticulture and winemaking operations. The avant-garde approach of this estate in its viticulture is combined with its constant search to improve the quality of its wines while reducing its ecological footprint.