Krupp Brothers Story
The hunt to find unrivaled vineyard land led Dr. Jan Krupp high into Napa Valley’s eastern hills to a harsh mountain site, strewn with rocks and choked with chaparral, straddling Pritchard Hill and the Atlas Peak appellation. A physician with a green thumb and a passion for great wine, Krupp purchased a 41-acre property here in 1991 and began clearing the land for his new vineyard.
Four years later he enlisted the help of his brother Bart Krupp, a sharp businessman with an equal devotion to fine wine, to purchase and clear an additional 750 acres. The pair formed a partnership and the search for water began. They turned to a geologist who identified several potential sites and told them to drill 300 feet. Each time they hit nothing but dirt. With science failing them, they ignored their deep skepticism and hired a water witch, who pointed her divining rod to a patch and instructed them to drill – directly into a river flowing 400 feet underground, which would forever provide water to over half a million grapevines. The snaking road up to their vineyards took many months of red tape and required 135 legal documents to approve, but only a month to build. Once it was in place, the brothers lit their sticks of dynamite, cleared the boulders (some the size of SUVs), and began planting 100 acres a year. They also began diligently replanting native riparian vegetation, and committed themselves to restoring and maintaining their rare and wild ecosystem.
A half-million tons of rock and debris later, the Krupps had carved three of Napa Valley’s most esteemed vineyards out of what had once been considered virtual wilderness: the original Krupp Vineyard, Krupp Brothers Vineyard, and the renowned Stagecoach Vineyard. Surrounded by established neighbors Bryant Family, Dalla Valle, and Chappellet, the Krupps’ low-yielding vines today produce fruit sought after by some of the valley’s most iconic wineries. Only a small percentage of select fruit from the three vineyards goes into Krupp Brothers handcrafted wines.
Rising into and over the fogline of Napa Valley’s eastern mountains, Stagecoach Vineyard, Krupp Vineyard, and Krupp Brothers Vineyard boast thin, rocky volcanic soils ideal for growing world-class wine grapes.
Farmed sustainably, each vineyard is planted with a permanent cover crop to curtail erosion, and viticulturist Amy Warnock employs a minimum of pesticides, fertilizer, and water on each vine block. Stretching over 1,100 contiguous acres, the undulating, varied terrain creates diverse meso-climates and soil conditions that are distinctively suited to the 13 different varieties grown in these three vineyards.
In addition to this varietal variation, we have 16 different clones of Cabernet Sauvignon, which gives our winemakers a diverse palette from which to create wine. Every cluster of tiny, intense mountain berries is handpicked, gently de-stemmed into small vessels, and thoughtfully matched to select barrels in order to create concentrated, textured wines with superior complexity.