Tony Cartlidge sat in the cab of a cement mixer on a nuclear power plant construction site in Washington, reading a book on great California winemakers…
Inspired to somehow enter the wine industry he had become enamored with, he jumped into his 1960 Rambler and headed to Napa. He checked into the Motel 6 and used the yellow pages hanging from the pay phone in the lobby to cold call wineries looking for employment.
And it was there the legend began.
Garagistes – (gar-uh-zhē-stuh) n, Fr. – A term originally used in the Bordeaux region of France to denigrate renegade small-lot wine makers, sometimes working in their garage, who refused to follow the “rules.” Now a full-fledged movement responsible for making some of the best wine in the world. Syn: Rule-breakers, pioneers, renegades, mavericks, driven by passion.
Legends often begin in the most ordinary surroundings. For Tony Cartlidge and Glen Browne, as with many great entrepreneurs and iconoclasts of the 20th century, the legend began in 1980 in an undistinguished Napa Valley garage. Cartlidge—a dreamer with a love of wine and a fondness for taking the road less traveled—and Browne—a man of great business sense and a small amount to invest—set out to build a wine company from scratch.
As far as they could tell, there was no need (or, more to the point, not enough money) to buy an estate. Only a desire to seek out the best vineyards, harvest the best grapes and make the best wine possible.
“The question that begs to be answered is why so many producers ignore what Cartlidge and Browne does better than just about anybody else in the state - produce fruit forward, pure, varietally correct, delicious wines.” —Robert Parker, Wine Advocate
”A superb choice for frugal consumers..."
"…Tony Cartlidge deserves accolades from consumers who are fed up with overpriced wines."
"This winery knows how to make popular, high quality wines that sell for a song."
"…no other California winery so consistently delivers this quality at such humble prices."
Like that vintage foreign convertible. Pinot Noir takes extra effort to maintain. But when done properly elicits respect and envy. If it was easy, then everyone would do it. And that’s half the point. Take the top down and go out for a spin just once and you’ll know it’s worth it all.Purchase Wine ›
Ah Chardonnay…a big, comfortable Cruiser. As smooth as tuck and roll seats. Easy to handle as three on the tree. Relaxing as a Sunday afternoon drive. Might not be the fastest but it’ll get you there. And all of your friends too. Dependable and perhaps unappreciated. Ah Chardonnay…Purchase Wine ›
Like a classic muscle car, Cabernet Sauvignon’s sleek lines belie its power and endurance. Sure this bold dark beauty is racy. But though it is quick to accelerate, it downshifts into a smooth finish. Revved up and ready to go now, you can trust that a little age won’t slow it down. True high performance.Purchase Wine ›
Merlot is like that ol’ pick-up truck of mine. Dependable. A real worker. Just jump in and start it up. It never lets me down. Oh sure it might not be fancy. But I can’t tell you how many times I’m glad I have it. And my friends are glad I have it too. It just makes my life easier. And isn’t that what it’s all about?Purchase Wine ›