Our Family
Welcome to the Family

For five generations, my family has lived and loved the Napa Valley. Our grandfather settled here in the 1800s and from that moment forward, we've grown to understand there is simply no substitute for an intimate knowledge of the land that only comes by "living" in the vineyard. Working the land with our own hands has given us insights into California winemaking that can't be found in any book or corporate farm manual.

-Chuck Wagner

 

We are the Wagner Family of Wine: Chuck Wagner continues to direct the world-reknown Cabernet program at Caymus Vineyards in Napa Valley; Charlie is making exquisite Chardonnay at Mer Soleil in the Santa Lucia Highlands of Monterey County; Joseph is making fine Pinot Noir under the Belle Glos label in the coastal areas of California; Jenny is learning the ropes here at Caymus and ah yes, our longtime winemaker for Conundrum, Jon Bolta, continues his craft of making that puzzling, white wine blend.

Wagner Family of Wine
A family tradition of farming & winemaking

Chuck Wagner was 19 years old when he founded Caymus Vineyards with his parents. Watch this video to see how the Wagner tradition continues with his children which make their own wines in the same fashion.

Caymus Vineyards

Caymus Vineyards was established when a mother and father and their son embarked on a family winery in 1972. Charlie, Lorna and their son, Chuck, began work in 1971 by planning the construction of a barn-like structure for the winery while they continued farming the already planted vineyards. Beginning in November of 1971, Charlie and Chuck along with one other worker pruned their 55 acres of grapes. With this first work began a bonded relationship, which would endure until Charlie's death in 2002. Charlie died in his 90th year of his hard working yet illustrious career. Charlie Wagner believed in moderation - yet had consumed about 3,000 gals of wine in his life. Having a glass of wine with both lunch and dinner continues to be in fashion for the Wagners - but always in moderation!

Chuck Wagner is the winemaker and viticulturist for Caymus. Decisions are made lot-by-lot about maceration times, fermentation temperatures, the type and toast level of French oak barrels, and the length of barrel aging. Finally, selected lots are blended to make wines Chuck Wagner believes best express the vineyards and vintage. Chuck Wagner says, "growing grapes and winemaking takes a tenacious will and endless spirit to be successful. I am proud that our family continues this way of life!"

 

Varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon 

Winemaker: Chuck Wagner

Winemaking notes: Caymus stakes its reputation on the production of two Cabernets - "Napa Valley" and "Special Selection." From the onset, this winery concentrated on the production of Cabernet Sauvignon, which produces the most superlative wine in the Napa Valley region. Often considered "trendsetters" in the style of Napa Valley Cabernet, Caymus has continued to forge new techniques in both vineyards and winery. Through trial and error the winery has made cautious changes over the four decades in business. The Wagners farm 350 acres of vineyards at 14 separate locations throughout the prime lands of the Napa Valley. Caymus cabernet is produced from approximately 25% hillside fruit and 75% valley fruit.


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Caymus Vineyards

Farming in Napa Valley
Innovative farming makes our Cabernet Sauvignon special.

When it comes to making Caymus cabernets we believe that the magic begins in the vineyards. Watch this video and see how we applied innovative farming practices throughout the 2010 growing season.

Chardonnay with Layers
Tropical fruit flavors with hints of Butter and Toasted Almond.

Full blown California style Chardonnay farmed from the Santa Lucia Highlands of Monterey County.  We believe this is the best place to make Chardonnay.  Watch this video to see how winemaker Charlie Wagner II describes this wine.

Mer Soleil

Charlie Wagner II is a 5th generation Napa Valley winemaker. He was named after his late grandfather, Charlie Wagner, one of the founders of Caymus Vineyards. Charlie II began learning about Chardonnay wine production when he was just 17 years of age. By the 2004 vintage of Mer Soleil, he had control of production. This winery is based on two Chardonnay wines – a barrel fermented version and an unoaked wine called "Silver," which is fermented and aged in small natural cement tanks imported from France. Charlie Wagner II continues to develop the techniques that best suit grapes grown in the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation of Monterey County.

Varietal: Chardonnay 

Winemaker: Charlie Wagner II

Winemaker Notes: Our Chardonnay from the Mer Soleil Vineyard, located in this cool, dry part of Monterey County on land we began cultivating in 1988, is now at full maturity. The sea ("Mer") and sun ("Soleil") climate of this coastal appellation causes morning and evening fogs and warm, bright afternoons, a combination that helps produce the high-quality fruit we use to make this California-style Chardonnay.


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Mer Soleil Vineyards

Mer Soleil
Silver

Winemaker Notes: Silver unites the crisp mineral essence of classic Chablis style with the tropical elements found in Chardonnay of the Pacific coastline. Using Chardonnay grown in special blocks of the Mer Soleil Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands of Monterey County, we harvest the grapes when just fully ripe, their gold color hued with the green, expressing clean aromas of Chardonnay fruit and firm acidity. The wine is fermented and aged in small cement wine tanks imported from France, allowing for this varietal's clean aromas to shine bright. We're celebrating this process with a new ceramic bottle and cork finish.

Varietal: Chardonnay, Unoaked 

Winemaker: Charlie Wagner II


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True Vineyard Flavors
Not your typical Chardonnay.  Silver is made in Cement Tanks!

Farmed from our vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands of Monterey County, this Chardonnay is fermented in stainless steel and cement tanks.  Watch this video and see our beautiful foggy mornings in the vineyard, our cement tanks and what flavors you can expect.

Belle Glos

Joseph J. Wagner is a 5th generation Napa Valley winemaker and viticulturist. In the production of Belle Glos he makes decisions about the cultural practices in the vineyard, harvest dates, fermentation technique and barrel aging. Stylistically his wines are produced from ripe grapes - as ripe as is possible before the onset of winter. Pinot Noir is often considered feminine as compared to the rustic boldness of Cabernet Sauvignon - but Joseph’s Pinots are not quite so subtle – they are intriguing, flavorful and texturous. Belle Glos is named after Lorna Belle Glos Wagner (wife of Charlie and mother of Chuck). It is a tribute to one of the founders of Caymus Vineyards and one of the few who can remember back when Napa Valley was a sleepy little valley. Born in 1915, Lorna "Belle Glos" is 97 years young and has always loved Pinot Noir wine.

Varietal: Pinot Noir 

Winemaker: Joseph Wagner

Winemaking notes: A 100% Pinot Noir brand concentrating on grapes grown in California's coolest climates. With good reason California is the home of many very special wines. Climate being the most important criteria for quality grapes, the state's climate was studied 30+ years ago by UC Davis, then divided into Regions (I - V) determined by the heat summation. All Belle Glos wines are 100% grown in Region I - which all critics state is the best region for Pinot Noir. It is the coolest region in the state that can support vines and ripen grapes.


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Belle Glos Vineyard

Single Vineyard Wines
Three distinctive wines to match with your palate.

Watch this video to learn about the farming practices that make your favorite Pinot Noir whether its from Sonoma, Monterey, Santa Barbara or all three!

Meiomi

Varietal: Pinot Noir 

Winemaker: Joseph Wagner

Winemaking notes: The word Meiomi, (pronounced May-OH-mee) means “coast” in the language of the native Wappo and Yuki tribes. Meiomi draws its profile from the abundant choices presented along California’s lengthy Pacific coastline. The three appellations where Meiomi’s Pinot Noir vineyards are located – Sonoma, Monterey and Santa Barbara counties–produce grapes with wide differences in character and style. The unique characteristics of each vineyard combine to enhance Meiomi’s broad flavor profile. The lots are aged in French oak for nine months before blending.


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Meiomi Vineyard

Coastal Pinot Noir
Made from the best coastal areas of California.

Farmed from vineyards in Sonoma, Monterey and Santa Barbara County, this Pinot Noir is truly a food driven wine. Watch this video to learn about the winemaker's favorite food pairing.

California's Favorite Wine Rebel
Blending five white varietals from the best places in California. 

Caymus founder Charlie Wagner was never afraid to break the rules when it came to making wine. Watch this video and learn the story behind this wine that continues to impress even after 20 years.

Conundrum

Conundrum White was one of the first white wine blends made in California and it is very near and dear to winery owner Chuck Wagner’s heart.  Chuck recalls, “It was inspired by my father, Charlie Wagner; who way back when, would sit at the dining room table blending all sorts of wines together to create the ‘perfect glass’ to pair with his meal."  For over twenty years we have been blending a ‘conundrum’ of white varietals together to create a complex, yet harmonious symphony of flavors that will complement an array of different cuisines.  And more recently we introduced Conundrum Red; yet another intriguing blend, like no other.

Conundrum White Winemaking Notes: Aromas of tangerine, green apple and honeysuckle with exotic flavors of peach, apricot and tropical fruit.  Wonderful as an aperitif, or pair it with an array of flavorful dishes such as fresh seafood, salads, spicy cuisine, fish tacos and burgers.  Best served chilled with family and friends.  

Winemaker: Jon Bolta 

Conundrum Red Winemaking Notes: This is a serious wine with a playful profile.  The nose is fruity and almost floral, with flavors of rich berry fruit, a hint of chocolate and silky smooth tannins that add richness and complexity.  This wine tastes great with many different dishes, particularly richly flavored foods such as spicy tomato-based sauces, Asian or Indian cuisine, smoked meats and BBQ. Try serving it chilled.  

Winemaker: Charlie Wagner II

Pour a glass, relax and find clarity at ConundrumWine.com


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What's Your Conundrum

Wine Locator

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Events

February 22, 2014

New York Times Tribute Dinner
Location: Loews Miami Beach Hotel
Pouring Caymus, Belle Glos, Mer Soleil and Emmolo.
Official Event Page

March 12, 2014

Boston Wine Festival - Boston, MA
Location: Boston Harbor Hotel - Atlantic Room
Pouring Caymus, Belle Glos, Mer Soleil, Conundrum, Emmolo
Official Event Page

April 29, 2014

Wine Spectator's Grand Tour - New York City
Location: New York Marriott Marquis
Pouring Caymus and Belle Glos.
Official Event Page

May 1, 2014

Wine Spectator's Grand Tour - Washington D.C.
Location: Ronald Reagan Building
Pouring Caymus and Belle Glos.
Official Event Page

May 3, 2014

Wine Spectator's Grand Tour - Las Vegas
Location: The Mirage
Pouring Caymus and Belle Glos.
Official Event Page

May 17, 2014

Santa Lucia Highlands Gala 2014
Location: Mer Soleil Winery, Salinas, CA
Featuring Charlie and Joseph Wagner
Pouring Belle Glos Las Alturas Pinot Noir, Mer Soleil & Silver Chardonnay
Official Event Page