' Ehlers Story Leducq Foundation


The Ehlers Estate Story

Ehlers Estate produces world-class wines that are a reflection of the land from which they come.  Operating as a small family farm, Ehlers Estate adheres to a core set of values: quality, sustainability, and community. The historic and diverse vineyards of Ehlers Estate are certified organic and biodynamic, and are meticulously farmed to produce a small portfolio of exceptional estate-grown wines. 

Wine grapes have been growing on this rocky, loamy, northern St. Helena benchland since the mid-1800's and today these prized vineyards are at the core of our commitment to quality.

In 1985, French entrepreneur and philanthropist Jean Leducq began acquiring small parcels of vineyard land in Napa Valley’s acclaimed St. Helena appellation. A dedicated vintner and wine lover, his goal was to found a contiguous Napa Valley estate—in the classic French style—capable of producing wines with the power, grace and sophistication of the great Bordeaux houses. To this end, Jean Leducq worked with renowned enologist, Jacques Boissenot, to select land with the characteristics necessary to produce fruit capable of creating powerful, complex,  wines. The land they chose possessed a rich winegrowing tradition dating all the way back to the mid-1800s, and had once been home to the historic vineyard of Bernard Ehlers.

By 2001, Jean Leducq had joined the original 14-acre Ehlers Estate property with contiguous vineyard parcels to create a 43-acre estate. At the heart of this estate is the historic stone winery built by Bernard Ehlers in 1886. As a tribute to the site’s long winemaking history, Jean Leducq and his wife Sylviane revived the original Ehlers Estate name beginning with the  winery’s inaugural 2000 vintage Cabernet Sauvignon. The following year, Ehlers Estate produced its first Merlot, and with the 2002 vintage, the winery added its flagship, estate-grown "1886" Cabernet Sauvignon bottling to its portfolio of handcrafted Bordeaux-varietal wines. 

But 2002 also marked the passing of Jean Leducq. A committed philanthropist, Jean left Ehlers Estate in trust to the non-profit Leducq Foundation, that he and Sylviane had founded in 1996. Today, the Foundation continues to award over $30 million annually to directly support international cardiovascular research. This visionary union of estate winery and philanthropic foundation has defined Ehlers Estate ever since, giving the winery a unique sense of purpose and mission that combines the pursuit of excellence with a sense of social responsibility. This mission has also brought together and inspired an exceptional team of experienced professionals who take pride in their work—making great wines while making a difference.

In keeping with the winery’s marriage of quality and conscience, Ehlers Estate is at the forefront of environmentally aware farming practices. Guided by Winemaker Kevin Morrisey, the Ehlers Estate viticulture program embraced organic farming in 2004, and adopted biodynamic farming practices in early 2005. These hands-on methods help to preserve the purity and character of the estate’s mosaic of 25 vineyard blocks, each of which are individually fermented and aged. Beginning with the 2005 red wine vintage and the 2007 white wine vintage, all Ehlers Estate wines have been crafted exclusively from this stellar palette of certified organic, estate-grown grapes. 

One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sale of our wines is returned to the Leducq Foundation.

Copyright 2014. Ehlers Estate
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