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Copyright © 2015
Forkmedia LLC

by Fred McMillin
for February 10, 2000

Harrison Precision


Acres of Cabernet Sauvignon in the Napa Valley:
1961— 387 acres
1973—2,432 acres

The Rest of the Story

Harrison Vineyards Part of the planting explosion in 1973 included 17 acres on Prichard Hill in prime Cab country, the eastern slopes of the central Napa Valley. Fourteen years later the Harrisons, Lyndsey and Michael, bought it. That land has supplied all the grapes for their Cabernet, which immediately garnered the expected high marks.

The Wine Spectator's James Laube described the 1989 as "bold, intense and powerful.
My panel described the 1997: "Nice, strong Napa fruit," "Lovely. My style," "Best of the day."

Food Affinities

Let's turn to Chef Mary Evely's The Vintner's Table Cookbook, Favorite Recipes Press, Nashville, Tenn. Some of her recommendations for Cabernet...

  • Salmon Grilled in Fig Leaves. Three cups of Cab are used in the reduction sauce, too.
  • Black Olive Pesto Pizetta. Includes pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and puff pastry. Dreamy.

My the book. Great guide on what to pair with your favorite wines.

Wine of the Day

1997 Harrison Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
1527 Sage Canyon Road, St. Helena, Napa Valley
Winemaking—Wild yeast, 80% new French oak aging, no fining or filtering (all the fine flavors retained.)
Contact—(707) 963-8271, FAX—(707) 963-4552
Production—740 cases...hurry!
Price—$54 range


We mentioned above that the vines that made our wine were planted in 1973, part of a Napa planting boom. Other gastronomic-type booms that year included

    a) McDonald's opened 445 new outlets, requiring so much more ketchup that Heinz couldn't keep up with the demand,
    b) For the first time in the U.S.A., vodka outsold whiskey and
    c) Carl Sontheimer introduced the Cuisinart food processor. (Since we had taken lessons in Paris where the machine was created, Carl offered my wife the West Coast dealership; alas she decided she'd rather continue teaching cooking, but we'll talk about French wines and food processors in Paris another time.)

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.


This page created February 2000