California, USA
At a Glance
  • Ric Forman is one of California’s most iconic wine figures and has been making wine in Napa Valley since his first vintage in 1966
  • Ric honed his craft at Stoney Hill (where he created the first non-malo Chard in California), Sterling and Newton before purchasing land at the base of Howell Mtn in St. Helena in 1978
  • Forman Vineyards flagship wine is their estate grown and bottled Cabernet Sauvignon. a classic Bordeaux styled blend dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon and blended with Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot
  • The vineyard is located within a few hundred yards of the winery and deep underground caves where the wines rest and aged in perfect cool, dark conditions
  • In additon to Cabernet Ric also makes small amounts of non-malolactic Chardonnay from the Star Vineyard located on the Rutherford Bench
  • The long history, combined with the gravel/volcanic soils at Forman Vineyard make for classic, old world styled wines that age very well

Forman Vineyard was founded in 1983 to fulfill a dream of producing small quantities of classically made Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.

In 1978, after a three year search of the Napa Valley for the perfect location, Ric Forman purchased the current winery and vineyard site which is perched on a ridge at the base of Howell Mountain overlooking the town of St. Helena. A remarkable site, it has produced some unusually elegant wines from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot.

Forman is founded on a philosophy of winemaking which follows a more traditional approach as opposed to a technological one. Ric began his career in the late 1960’s at Sterling Vineyard and then at Newton. During his tenure at Newton he took a trip to Bordeaux and his viewpoint on winemaking was forever changed. Ric returned to Napa and started to use techniques that he learned in France and were essentially unheard of in California. Many of these practices are now taken for granted in fine wine production in California. Grapes are gently handled from harvest through fermentation. Small stainless steel fermenters for red wines and new Burgundy barrels for white seem fitting for the need to pay close attention to detail during the winemaking process. Deep caves have been constructed which maintain a cool dark and humid environment in which to age red wine in new French oak barrels. The wines literally age in the soils from which they grew.

With a wonderfully situated vineyard and deliberately planned cellar, Ric and his family are fulfilling a dream in the pursuit of producing the finest quality possible from the estate.