Black Stallion Estate Winery winemaker Ralf Holdenried holds a deep-seated appreciation for prime locations and careful picking. For Holdenried, winemaking starts in the vineyard, where he hand-selects fruit from some of the finest vineyards in Napa Valley’s 16 individual AVAs to craft Black Stallion’s style.

While the winery has only recently reopened for tastings, Pursuitist got a sip of Black Stallion’s selections during a private virtual visit with the winemaker himself in which he showcases two very different wines as a representation of Black Stallion’s unique blending techniques and dedication to site-specific vineyard winemaking.

The 2018 Napa Valley Chardonnay (SRP $22) is all about perfect balance. This Chardonnay combines bright acidity and citrus with a fuller-bodied character, with fruit sourced from five unique Napa Valley AVAs, including the cool Los Carneros, moderate Oak Knoll District, Oakville and Atlas Peak, and the warmer Rutherford. Each vineyard was handpicked for taste, in the cool mornings. The juice was fermented in barrels and generally left on the primary lees for six months with the barrels being stirred twice a month to increase the creamy texture of the wine. The result is a Chardonnay with a delicate balance of fruit and oak.

The 2017 Gaspare Estate Vineyard Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (SRP $75), is a single-vineyard 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon that expresses another side of Holdenried’s experience and the benefits of site-specific winemaking. Grapes for this wine are sourced solely from the Black Stallion estate in the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley, which has a temperature slightly cooler than other Napa Valley AVAs and finishes with excellent balance and vibrant acidity.

Let this virtual visit to Black Stallion Estate whet your appetite for more at this small-batch winery on a historic equestrian estate that features a circular tasting bar and a scenic terrace.