About


Our VineyardsOur Wines Winemaker & Vintner Going Green

Our Story

Heritage in the Napa Valley

At Girard, we are passionate about wine. We are dedicated to the land. And we are proud to call Napa Valley our home.

Girard Winery began in 1975 as a dream of a father-son duo. The two shared a passion for high quality wines, a respect for the Valley's rich history and a pioneering spirit. 25 years later, another vintner with the same passion for winemaking and roots deep in the Napa Valley is continuing the Girard legacy.

Quality Soil!

Our Vineyards

Relationships in the Vineyards

Napa Valley is steeped in tradition and built on the hard work of families of growers who pioneered this acclaimed winegrowing region.

Our vintner Pat Roney and winemaking team, Marco DiGiulio and Glenn Hugo, have forged decades-long relationships with growers throughout the valley. We have cultivated friendships with these families whose ancestors were among the first to plant in Napa and whose vineyards we have fallen in love with. Each vintage, we are proud to select fruit from the best sites ranging from mountaintop Cabernet Sauvignon to valley floor Sauvignon Blanc to reflect wines that are authentically Napa.

Pride is at the heart of our relationships: these winegrowers are proud of their fruit and what we do with it. We acknowledge their efforts by respecting their name, their business and the grapes they grow by producing wine that can only be described as authentic and consistent.

Rutherford


Rutherford is close to Girard's heart as it was the first region on which winemaker Glenn cut his teeth. This is a favorite region for many reasons but, perhaps most notably, because of its unique and consistent character. You may hear locals talk about the "Rutherford dust" – the area's soft soil that lends an unmistakable mocha powder essence to the wine. This was Glenn's first sense of sub-appellations making very specific types of wine with great character and consistency.

"This was the first sub-appellation that showed me that not all growing regions are created equal." - Glenn

Diamond Mountain


Diamond Mountain was one of the appellations we sourced from for our inaugural Mountain Series Cabernets. We selected this area for two simple reasons: age-worthiness and volcanic soils. The soils in Diamond Mountain tend to produce a bigger, bolder style of wine that Glenn loves. Specifically with Cabernet, fruit from this location tends to create wines with well-developed tannins and a bold style. As a result, we are able to make wines that are built for aging.

Oakville


A uniquely different appellation, Oakville has developed a particular cult following thanks to its tendency to yield grapes with bold tannins but that showcases strong notes of fruit and earth. In the Girard philosophy, we will continue to scour Oakville for the very best sources and produce this wine only when the harvest is nothing short of exceptional.

St. Helena


St. Helena is one of our favorite places to source for many reasons but its tendency to be under the radar is at the top. Being a small sub-appellation and not commonly found as a designation, St. Helena sometimes goes unnoticed. For us, however, it is vital. Year to year, it provides consistent, well-balanced fruit that comprises the backbone of our premium blends: balanced tannin and dark berry notes for our Cabernets and tropical aromas for our Sauvignon Blanc.

Our Wines

Consistency in the Bottle

Devoted. Focused. Passionate. This is what we strive for in order to craft consistent wines to be proud of vintage to vintage, bottle to bottle.

From our long-standing relationships with growers to our meticulous winemaking practices, honoring the true character of each wine is our main goal. We are dedicated to employing techniques and operating a facility that allows us to take the time with each and every wine to express its true character.

Our Barrels


We talk quite a bit about the importance of the vineyard but the same level of care and detail is applied to selecting our barrels. Much like we constantly evaluate vineyard sources based on the growing region and fruit quality, we evaluate our barrels based on their merit and compatibility with each of our wines. What may work for Cabernet Sauvignon from Howell Mountain may not work for Malbec from Yountville. Additionally, a barrel may work one vintage but an even better option may become available in the future.

Drawing on his background in the restaurant industry, winemaker Glenn Hugo puts it simply, "We don't want to change the recipe but if we've found an exceptional source for lamb, we're not going to continue serving beef."

Mixed Blacks


Our Mixed Blacks vineyard, planted in Calistoga over 100 years ago, is an homage to California's winegrowing heritage. When immigrants first settled here, they brought with them cuttings from their villages and planted what would later be known as field blends. These unique vineyards produced wines that were shared among family, traded with neighbors and a nod to the farmers, the villages and their history.

Artistry


Artistry blend was born out of a desire to show the pinnacle of our blending efforts. A nod to an age old European tradition, Artistry is a carefully crafted wine that requires our winemaking team to switch from left brain to right brain tendencies. Glenn, likens the process to painting a canvas: the 80+ samples of different varietals are all colors, each possessing innumerable shades from which to choose. Keeping each of these lots separate until the time to blend comes, allows us to "paint" with the truest "shades".

"It's my favorite part…it really is amazing." – Glenn

Mountain Series


A perfect example of our commitment to Napa terroir is our beloved Mountain Series Cabernets. What began with Atlas Peak and Diamond Mountain evolved into a full offering of wines that showcase characteristics of each sub-appellation that are inherently unique. For instance, the infamous "Rutherford dust" lends a mocha powder essence to Cabernet Sauvignon that you will not find elsewhere.

Part of what makes these wines so special is that they are variable – although we are sourcing from exceptional vineyards in Napa, to make them Girard, they have to be perfect; if they aren't perfect, they aren't made.

Our Winemaker

Passion in the Cellar

Much like we are rooted in Napa Valley's history, our winemaking team is rooted in Girard's history.

Led by Marco DiGiulio, our winemaking team is comprised of experienced, award-winning vintners who share the passion of terroir-driven wine. Winemaker Glenn Hugo started his career with Girard ten years ago as a harvest intern and was quickly promoted to Cellar Master and Assistant Winemaker before earning the title of Girard Winemaker.

Glenn's background in the restaurant industry has led to his artisanal approach to winemaking with a focus on wine as part of the culinary experience. A native Texan, Glenn developed his passion for wine over 12 years in the restaurant industry before moving to Napa Valley with his wife, Pam, in 2003 to pursue his dream of becoming a winemaker.

Glenn's winemaking experience is concentrated in Napa Valley and includes early assignments with Provenance Vineyards, where he learned from Napa legend Tom Rinaldi, and hands-on experience at Sedna Winery and Fleury Estate Winery. You could say he caught the bug. As the General Manager of The Bounty Hunter Wine Bar in downtown Napa, Glenn soon met Marco DiGiulio, Chief Winemaker for Vintage Wine Estates, and began his career with Girard.

Glenn's philosophy is simple: wine is to be shared with friends and family; it is a living and breathing expression that constantly evolves and instills memories.

Glenn Hugo Glenn Hugo, Winemaker

Our Vintner

Roots in Napa

A passion for wine and a love of Napa Valley led Pat Roney back to his California roots and straight to Girard.

Longtime vintner and native Californian, Pat Roney, purchased Girard shortly after the new millennium. Roney got his start in wine as a college student in Chicago working as a sommelier at the renowned Pump Room. Quite taken with the industry, he enjoyed a broad career in wine from importing for Seagram Wine Company to managing marketing for Christian Brothers Winery to president of Chateau St. Jean and Kunde in the Sonoma Valley. In 2000, Pat's passion for wine and love of Napa Valley led him back to California where he became a partner and owner at Girard. He has been influential in forging new grower relationships and opening Girard's Yountville tasting room.

Glenn Hugo Pat Roney, Vintner

Going Green

Responsibility in Practice

While our Yountville Tasting Room is perfect for relaxing and sampling our one of a kind wines, our winery was built for innovative winemaking.

Often called "ambitiously efficient", our state of the art facility, located in the Carneros district, employs cutting edge energy saving initiatives allowing our team to practice traditional winemaking techniques. Respecting the land does not stop in the vineyards and our facility is another way we reflect and respect the heritage of Napa Valley's terroir.


Water treatment and usage

We are part of the Wine Country Industrial Park, which is outfitted with its own water treatment plant on-site, allowing waste water to leave the building nearly as clean as when it arrived.


Propane gas

Water and glycol are heated using this clean-burning gas.


20-ton press

This state-of-the-art press allows whole cluster Chardonnay to be pressed with the highest quality and efficiency. As a result of its large size, there are fewer press cycles, which means less cleaning, chemicals, water and time.


Temperature control

Our cool conditions are created with the help of its modern cooling system, as well as a little help from Mother Nature. Primary cooling is handled by a fully automated, night-air cooling system, taking advantage of the Carneros appellation. The advantage to a system like this is that whenever the winery uses a piece of equipment to cool, heat must be dissipated, and we leave the heat outside.


CO2 removal

An automated, louvered ceiling allows cool air to be pulled down to floor level, where fans exchange the volume of the facility every 10 minutes.


Nitrogen generator

We makes our own nitrogen, eliminating the need for rental of tanks and gas-guzzling distribution.


Nitrogen application timer

A newly installed timer and retrofitted tank lids allow us to apply specified levels of nitrogen to tanks any day of the week. This system protect the wine and allows the crew to sleep in on the weekends.


Mobile fermenters

Custom four-ton, open-top fermenters were built to be mobile and stackable in order to free up valuable floor space after harvest.


Reduced waste

We use only a residential-sized garbage can for a 20-employee, 50,000-case winery due to our various efficiencies.


CO2 recycling

Lines used to transport nitrogen to tanks can also be used to recycle CO2. If one tank is producing CO2, the gas can be redistributed to other tanks, allowing elongated maceration time on the skins.


Mobile sorting table

We maintain our traditional artisan style of winemaking by hand-sorting all fruit. The vibrating tables, destemmer and must pumps are mobile to take advantage of multiple processing areas in the fermentation room, and can be put away when not in use.


Mobile bottling line

The bottling equipment housed in a goose-neck trailer can be pulled inside of the building to bottle independent of weather conditions, but makes free that valuable interior space when not in use.


Customized barrel rooms

Four separate barrel rooms were created inside the warehouse to allow for optimum temperature-control and labor efficiency. Custom ladders allow normal barrel practices, such as topping, to be done in place saving both time and forklift energy.


"Stacked" fermenters

Two independent tanks share one footprint by being stacked in the same skin. Though the tanks are mounted on top of one another, independent temperature controls allow concurrent use during fermentation, allowing maximum use of space.


Compressed air system

Our 30-horsepower compressor and 1,040-gallon holding tank minimize compressor cycle time to minimize energy.


Computerized barrel washer

A fully automated and self-timed barrel washer with high-pressure, low-flow heads, minimizes water use while optimizing barrel cleanliness.