Famous wine estate from the Napa Valley
The Arietta Estate is a quite recent creation, as it was founded back in 1996, in the American Napa Valley (to be more specific, it's located in the Los Carneros AVA district). There, John Kongsgaard, his wife Maggy and their business partner Fritz Hatton planted a small vineyard (less than 1 hectare of surface) and built their new wine estate. John was the man behind the Kongsgaard Wine company and Fritz was a famous wine auctioneer (he used to work for Zachys Wine Auctions Inc.) Together, they wanted to create a fine wine, born from their love of classical music. The name of the estate comes from the arietta movement found in Ludwig van Beethoven's legendary "Piano Sonata No. 32" (Opus 111), composed by the German artist after he lost his hearing. You can even find the sheet music on the estate's wine labels.
In 2003, the two partners started producing Cabernet. The following year, their Bordeaux-inspired Claret wine was released, made with 4 red grape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. In 2005, Fritz Hatton bought back all the shares owned by John Kongsgaard and thus became the sole proprietor of the Arietta Estate. After this, the Claret changed its name to "Quartet", as a way to stay close to the musical themes of the estate. The estate now produces 6 cuvées in total: H Block, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Quartet, Variation One (five red wines) and On The Wine Keys (the only white wine made by Arietta since 2005, using a blend of Sauvignon and Sémillion grapes). The couple hired the services of Andy Erickson, a former Harlan Estate employee.
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