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Gandona Estate is a 116-acre winegrape growing property perched on the steep northwest slope of Pritchard Hill, ranging from 900 to 1,100 feet in elevation.  The site is home to four vineyards and a newly built winery and 4,000 square-foot cave complex, completed last December 2011.  The legacy of Pritchard Hill began in the 1870s when Charles Pritchard established a homestead on the top of the now-famous knoll and planted grapevines.  His success led to continued vine propagation on the hill and earned the area the nickname, Pritchard Hill.  The tract that current owners Manuel and Cristina Pires chose had its beginnings a century and a half ago when, in 1862, Daniel K. Dille homesteaded the property, located just downhill from Pritchard’s future home.  Miners eager to find gold and silver — and locally quicksilver — flocked to California in the prior decade, and Napa County had recently been established.  The property sold several times over the years until Bob Long purchased it in 1966 and planted the site’s first vineyard.  Portuguese in design, the Gandona winery was constructed using recycled wood and stone from the property.  Calçada Portuguesa, a zig-zag pattern of tiles, has been used in both outdoor and indoor tasting and reception areas.  Overlooking Lake Hennessey, the site benefits from afternoon sun exposure and cool evening breezes. Grapevines thrive in the broken fractured rock and volcanic soils, making it ideal for producing exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon.  Back in 2006 when Long Vineyards were purchased by Manuel Pires he asked a couple of industry professionals to help him with the new Gandona wine project. Well known viticulturist Jim Barbour oversees vineyard operations, while the winemaking effort is in the capable hands of respected vintner Philippe Melka.  The day-to-day cellar operation is overseen by Jason Phillips.

website: www.gandona.com