WHO: John & Tracey Skupny started Lang & Reed in 1996 with the intent to explore the unique charms of Cabernet Franc in California. The name Lang & Reed, derived from maternal family names, is also attached to our sons, J Reed and Jerzy Lang. For over thirty years, we have worked with wineries in California and, since 1984, have lived and worked in the Napa Valley. Prior to starting Lang & Reed, John held executive positions at Caymus Vineyards, Clos du Val and the Niebaum-Coppola Estate (Inglenook), whereas Tracey recently retired from a lengthy tenure at Spottswoode Winery as Marketing Director.
WHAT: Cabernet Franc! Two red wines are produced. Lang & Reed ~ North Coast is released a little over one year after harvest and crafted in an imminently quaffable style. Lang & Reed ‘Two-Fourteen’ ~ Napa Valley represents a more structured and age-worthy profile of Cabernet Franc, made exclusively from Entav Clone 214 which originated from the Loire Valley in France. We try to create wines that express the unique character of Cabernet Franc. Lang & Reed’s annual production is just under 3,500 cases per vintage.
WHEN: Lang & Reed was founded in 1996 after realizing the potential of Cabernet Franc as a varietal that can stand on its own. We recognized this potential in a prototype ‘franc’ that we produced in 1993 and decided in 1996 to forge ahead to try to make the world safe for Cabernet Franc.
WHERE: Our family has lived in the heart of Napa Valley for thirty years, mostly working for Cabernet Sauvignon producers. As a source for fine Cabernet Franc grapes, our focus is in Napa Valley, but our exploration and fine-tuning has led us to other regions in California, most notably other North Coast grape growing regions, specifically Lake County. We are a bonded winery [BW 7007] that operates at the Laird Family Estate in Napa.
WHY: We have been charmed by the great Cabernet Franc wines from the regions of Chinon, Bourgueil and Bordeaux in France, to those in Italy, Australia, South Africa and as close to home as New York and California. Having arrived in the Napa Valley in the early 1980’s, we had the opportunity to see the first serious wave of vintners who were utilizing the ‘other’ Bordeaux grapes in the creation of their Cabernet Sauvignon. This led us to look at the pieces of the puzzle and to realize the charms of Cabernet Franc. Inspired by this, we set out to produce a wine that is heady in aroma and fruit that possesses rich and satisfying flavors and yet, is not overburdened with tannin or oak flavors
AND HOW: We work closely with half a dozen vineyards to insure that we have fine, ripe and balanced fruit. The techniques employed in vinification accent the profuse aromatic profile of the grape and bring out a rich, fleshy middle palate. By combining grape growing techniques with handling and fermentation methods, we are able to hold the tannins in balance, yet produce a wine of structure and substance. Lang & Reed is a wine that has immediate charm and enough ‘stuffing’ to gain complexity in aroma and flavor with bottle age. It is a continual exploration into this fascinating grape.