At SmokeScreen, the mission is to redefine the quality that people associate with every day drinking wines. In today’s market, there are great opportunities to buy finished wine from acclaimed vineyards and winemakers that, quite simply, are bottling less wine than they have in the past. This gives everyone from the restaurateur and retailer down to the consumer the chance to buy these wines at a fraction of the cost.
|In 2002, beauty industry executive Paul Johnson thought it was time to finally do it. Having owned a large wine store for many years, his goal after the store was sold was to go to the “other side”. The other side was to make wine, and do it before he turned fifty (therefore the name Fiftyrow).
Paul started by reaching out to some friends in the industry he had got to know during the wine store years. He interviewed several winemakers and settled on Gary Galleron. Paul had followed Gary over the years from Grace Family to Vineyard 29 and all the great Whitehall Lane wines of the 1990’s. Next he sourced vineyards that he could rely on for years to come.
For the Cabernet, he decided to go with two vineyards that Gary had made great wine with in the past, the Morisoli Vineyard and the Lewelling Vineyard. With everything in place, he then convinced longtime friends the Salant brothers to take a stake in the business and as they say, the rest is history. The first vintage was 2005, an incredible first effort. Structure and grace along with a Bordeaux style that made it unique in the world of Napa cabernet. Today, the word is out as Fiftyrow has received accolades’ from many including Robert Parker.