by Fred McMillin
for February 3, 1999


Always a Winner


Reports in WineDay:
Vintage 1993—WineDay Mar. 6, 1997: "The theater manager says the 900-pound gorilla may sit any place he wishes. This huge Cab can have any seat in the house, too!"

Vintage 1994—WineDay Jan. 2, 1998: With silky power, this Cab won BEST OF TASTING.

Vintage 1995—WineDay Feb. 3, 1999: Easily one of the top Cabs my panel has tasted in the last 12 months. BEST OF TASTING.

The Rest of the Story

Guenoc Winery
Part of the ranch where today's wine was made, Guenoc Winery.
This winning string has been put together by the Guenoc Beckstoffer IV Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley. Guenoc is the emerging powerhouse located just north of the Napa Valley. They started buying Andy Beckstoffer's grapes in 1987, and that vintage in major competitions won six golds, a double gold (S.F. Fair) and a Platinum. Needless to say, they've stayed with Andy ever since.

The Wine

'95 Cabernet Sauvignon, Beckstoffer Vineyard
Guenoc Winery, Middletown, CA.
Ranch located in Guenoc and Napa Valleys
Contact—Karen Melander-Magoon, Winegrower and Director of Marketing, (707)987-2385
Founding—Orville Magoon, a major figure in ocean- coast engineering, turned his skills to winemaking two decades ago with dazzling success.


About the name Guenoc (GWEN-uk). It was in use some 130 years before Orville arrived. The word appears on a stream and a lake in a Dec. 8, 1844 Spanish land grant. Where did the Spanish get the name? The late Prof. Erwin Gudde wrote that anthropologists agree it was a Spanish rendering of an American Indian place name, "Wenok." However, the professor said he felt it more likely that it came from a recipient of an 1845 land grant named Geo. Rock. The last time we talked, Karen Magoon favored the theory that it was named after the 6th-century Welsh saint by the name of Guenoc. Stay tuned.

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.


WineDay Annex

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