TOR Napa Valley
"Over the last four decades, I’ve walked almost every corner of the Napa Valley striving to understand exactly what makes a great wine. When I founded TOR Wines, the plan was simple. Our wines would come from only the best blocks in great vineyard sites I knew and revered."
TOR wines focus on single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, cuvées and Bordeaux varietals—each wine is handmade and bottled in a very small quantity. Their secret is to stay out of the way, not to manipulate—preserve a place in time, capture it in a bottle.
The TOR winemaking team has been together since the beginning. Jeff Ames is winemaker, and Tor and Jeff share a simple rule: the vineyard, not a heavy winemaker’s hand, is showcased. Each wine is nurtured to bottle unfiltered and unfined.
Jeff Ames Winemaker
"In just over a decade, Ames has become one of Napa's rising stars." - Wine Spectator
Jeff is one of an unusual breed of winemakers that includes his mentor Thomas Brown, Failla's Ehren Jordan and a few others who learned wine making primarily hands-on. Walking the vineyards, harvests and tastings were Ames' real classrooms. "The model that was set before me was to get big, rich fruit, plush flavors, and not fine or filter if you don't have to," he says. "That's where it starts." Jeff is a purist, making sure the wines express their site foremost, rather than a particular winemaking style. He first met Thomas Brown, then the winemaker for Turley. Brown brought on Ames to work with several of his projects for the 2001 harvest, including stints at Schrader, Maybach, Outpost and TOR. During their many years of working together, Jeff and Tor have earned world-class critical acclaim. In most vintages, their single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons and Chardonnays have scored in the top ten wines of the vintage, always among the best of Napa Valley, making them rare and hard to find. This seems to be a trend that will also be very much a part of their future.