NAPA (CBS SF) – In Coombsville, Napa you will find a number of small, family run wineries but one stands out among the many vines Ackerman Family Winery. The co-founder is Lauren Ackerman a woman of passion for all that she does in business, at play and for her many philanthropic ventures. The Ackermans began sustainable farming in 2004 and by 2009 earned the California Certified Organic Farm (CCOF) label – a designation no other Coombsville winery has obtained.
Before here wine country life, Lauren steered an impressive career in the information technology field, working in various marketing and sales positions for entrepreneurial technology companies until starting her own firm, Wavelength Marketing, Inc. in 1982. Through Wavelength, she helped to set up national reseller channels for companies such as Toshiba, Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems, and others before selling the company to a U.K.-based firm in 1988.
Lauren moved to the Bay Area in 1998 from Southern California and consulted with Philips Semiconductors, Motorola and PacificCare in national and international market channels and consumer database development.
Her non-profit career started in 1999 through her board involvement in Napa with Justin-Siena High School; Copia: The American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts (she served as Chair for three years); Blue Oak School; The Napa Valley Community Foundation (serving as Chair for two years); the Napa Valley Arts Council; The Institute of International Education (IIE) and NapaLearns. Currently, Lauren is on the boards of Napa Valley Film Festival, di Rosa and SEE International. She also served on the Board of Vintage Bank (NorthBay Bancorp) before its purchase by Umpqua Bank in 2006.
Lauren has a BA Degree from the University of Southern California and her MBA degree from Pepperdine University. She is also an alumni of the Rockefeller Foundation; TPW program in 2003.
We met in Napa recently for a tour of the winery, set on 15 glorious acres in Coombsville. We went on THE AVIARY, the tasting room in downtown Napa for a flight of wines along with Ackerman GM Lars Ryssdal. The 2013 Cabernet is an elegant wine with a nice long, smooth finish “like velvet” and just begs for an encore. Treat yourself to a tasting by appointment with world class wines and a cheese board too at the downtown NAPA tasting room at the back of the ACKERMAN HERITAGE HOUSE. You’ll be happy you did. The Heritage house is a 1888 Victorian purchased by the family in 2011 and over five years restored to it’s former glory. The house itself is a work of art and one of the grandest homes in NAPA being used for charity, culinary and winery events. It is beyond impressive, kit’s breathtaking.
Enjoy our wine fuelled conversation and hear more about Lauren Ackerman’s passions: history, hospitality, philanthropy and of course wine.
Ackerman Family Vineyards 2006 Cabernet
2006 Ackerman Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon is in a very dark and heavy 13” tall bottle with a 2” punt. Theblack capsule has the family crest at the top with a thin puttycolored line at it’s bottom. A 2” long cork has the crest and familyname but no vintage date. It will be smooth and is stained dark on the wet end. The wine will pour very clear and free of sediment. A decanting for aeration is recommended to allow the wine to openfor service.
A deep rich nose of sweet dark cherry, plum and dark boysenberry, complimented with hints of minerality and oakspice. The tension between ripeness and structure is the hallmarkof the 2006 vintage. This wine surprises me with its morerestrained and balanced character compared to most Napa ValleyCabernets, and yet the wine’s density, concentration andtremendous length indicate it will age superbly for 10 to 15 years.
Ackerman Family Vineyards 2013 Cabernet
2013 Ackerman Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon is in avery dark 12” tall bottle with a 1.5” punt. The black capsule has the family crest at the top with a thin putty colored line at its bottom. A 2” long cork is printed with the crest and family name. The cork will lightly stained on the wet end. Thewine will pour very clear and free of sediment. 2013 willbenefit from a vigorous decanting for aeration in service.
“Ackerman’s 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon is surprisingly precocious and delicious (well, the latter isn’t too surprising). Many 2013 Napa Valley Cabernets offer incredibly deep fruit and a tightly wound tannic structure. Ackerman’s Cabernet displays rich, mouth- filling fruit; nevertheless the tannins are unbelievably suave and seductive. Its flavors are incredibly complex with spiced plums, black currants, cedar, toasty oak and a dark earth note. The wine’s amazing, harmonious balance and long, smooth finish begs for another glass. Splendid to drink now, Ackerman’s 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon will improve over the next 5-8 years and persist for an additional 5-8 years beyond that. Not to be missed!
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