Spelletich Family Winery . started with the 1994 harvest in Napa Valley. The first wines produced by winemaker Barb Spelletich, were Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Bodog Red, a blend. With minimal intervention, the Spelletich family – Barb, Timothy, and Kristen -- rely upon its secret weapon: Barb's palate.
Barb focuses on three basic, yet critical principles: when to harvest, when to press and when to pull the wine off the oak to pursue something larger and more elusive than your ordinary wines. Spelletich’s approach is to produce wines of integrity; that are rich, ripe and refreshing. Barbs focus is the fruit. She wants one to taste real fruit flavors and smell the incredible aromas of her wines.
In 2012, The Spelletich Family Wine Company is united by four brands – Spelletich Cellars, SPELLwine, 3 SPELLS, and Crush 94. Spelletich Cellars produces about 3,000 cases per year made from grapes sourced from some of the finest Napa Valley vineyards. They are priced from $30 to $65. SPELLwine, which was created by Kristen Spelletich, is characterized as “A Next Generation” brand. SPELLwine produces up to about 2,000 cases annually. They are priced from $15-$20. The newest brand, 3 SPELLS, are “3rd generation” wines in the $22-$30 range. The last entity – Crush 94. – is the custom-crush arm of the company, which produces wine for clients from crush-to-bottle and everything in-between.
On blending Barb explains: “It’s my sensitivity. When I do blends I taste individual barrels and I cannot be disturbed. Then I do a composite blend. I usually come up with many blends on my Cabernet Sauvignon. Making wine is the same as cooking. You are looking for balance, nuances; and I predominantly focus on smells and flavors. My focus is fruit. The wine must smell and taste like the fruit from which it has been made. Wood and age add nuances
In the last year, Kristen has fully taken the reins of SFWC, expanded the business and made it flourish as never before as it comes upon its 20th anniversary.“I’ve adapted to the market, working to find new avenues,” she says. “My goal is to un-complicate the word of complicated wine. I’m a no-nonsense, uncomplicated person and I’ve proved that by showcasing our wines in Napa Valley.”
After graduating with a business degree Tim traveled to Italy. He worked at the Locanda Del Sant'Uffizio, a small country inn and restaurant near Asti in Piemonte. At this former monastery he experienced an old-fashioned way of life. Each prix fixe meal was prepared with the freshest ingredients available. The exposure to herbs, fruits and vegetables harvested at their peak and pairing the food with wine introduced Tim to flavors and sensory revelations that changed his life.
Director of Operations Kristen is a single mom, raising 3-year-old Gage, who she hopes one day will become the third generation at Spelletich Family wine Company. As proof of Gage’s possible ascension to the wine business, grandma Barb, who is also SFWC's winemaker coos, remembering an outing where, "I saw him (Gage) walking in the vineyard and checking out the vines and he’s a natural."
Vanessa has been the logistics manager for the Spelletich Family Wine Company since January 2012. That means she’s involved with Internet sales, shipping, inventory, legal work, and bookkeeping. Oh, and as part of her work in the first wine industry job she’s held, Vanessa has immersed herself in bringing the grapes into the winery, taking sugar readings, as well as taking barrel samples. “I’m getting to dip into every part of it,” she says of the small, family run operation.