100% Napa Valley Carneros Pinot Noir
2016 is now available! "This is simply the best wine I've had the pleasure of getting to bottle."—Joe
Our inaugural release (2015) is really hitting its stride. It has a deep translucent ruby color. You'll notice aromatics of Rainier cherries, cola, tea, and the dark berries typical of Carneros Pinot Noir. Immediately the 33% new French oak is prominent, but as it develops over time, these characters will integrate and mingle into a lovely complexity. The palate is silky, the flavors consistent with aromatics. Now available!
The Rose: VIN GRIS OF PINOT NOIR
All stainless steel fermented, our saignee (juice taken from the Pinot within 24 hours) pink wine has lovely watermelon and passion fruit aromatics, with zippy acidity. We thank all of our wonderful customers who grabbed up our entire 2015 inventory in 2 weeks! We are running low on the 2016, but do still have some. Get it while you can!
Joe Knows Wine
Joe Weisenhorn has worked in pretty much every area one can in the wine business. Early in his career, it was wine list creation at dining establishments in Boston and Austin as well as buying and selling retail and wholesale. But that was just the start of the journey to becoming a winemaker.
After earning a degree at the University of Texas at Austin, the pull of winemaking led him to a winemaking credential at UC Davis. Then, on the road to "official" stints making wine, Joe worked several harvest internships, including Carrick Winery in Central Otago, New Zealand. (And, to round out his street cred, Joe is also a certified forklift operator.)
This launched winemaking posts at several esteemed enterprises—including Carneros icon Saintsbury, then refining the craft with consultants Julien Fayard and Chris Dearden.
Much of that work was in the Carneros region, which Joe loves not just for its ability to produce impeccable fruit, but also for its beauty and mystique.
About Duke's Folly
Have you heard this one before?
You've heard the story a hundred times. Someone makes a lot of money in a high pressure industry, then cashes out and makes a go of it following their dream—making wine.
That's not our story.
Ours is a story of hard work and persistence. It is a story of opportunities masquerading as setbacks. And it is the story of a family believing in a winemaker.
Duke's Folly is winemaker Joe Weisenhorn, his wife Susan Duke, her brother Kirk Duke and his wife Lanelle Duke, and Susan and Kirk's father, Richard Duke. Joe and Susan have been in the wine business for decades in varying capacities. (For more on Joe and winemaking, click here.)
Kirk, Lanelle, and Richard add marketing / business experience (and investment!). Together, they decided it was time for Joe to make his own wine. And that he did. And it was good. Really good.
What's in a Name?
The Duke's Folly name is a playful reference to just how wonderfully foolish it is to start a wine brand. Sometimes Joe says it's also a reference to himself being Susan's "folly."
But while it may be foolish, we believe. We believe because Joe knows what he's doing. We believe because the "proof of concept" barrels Joe already has under his belt are better wines than most.
So we are giving it a go. If you are lucky, you'll get your hands on some of our limited availability wine. And if you are really lucky we'll ramp up production in future years so you can buy more.
Joe, Susan, Kirk, Lanelle, and Dick