Ink Grade launches in homage to the history of Napa Valley’s Howell Mountain


Led by winemaker Matt Taylor, Ink Grade celebrates the connection between winemaking and nature

Napa Valley, California (October 5, 2021) – Master Sommelier Carlton McCoy, Jr. and the Lawrence family are delighted to announce the launch of Ink Grade, a collection of authentically grown and elegant wines and the partners’ second new wine brand this year. Launched directly to customers in early October, Ink Grade will also be represented with limited distribution by its business and marketing partner, Demeine Estates.

Inspired by the utmost respect for nature, Ink Grade wines pay homage to Theron Ink, a Napa Valley pioneer who established a ranch on the remote eastern slope of Howell Mountain in 1875. Isolation and Nature The rugged landscape of Howell Mountain has become a place of retreat. and respite for the Ink family. The vineyard spoke to Theron – bound in layers of volcanic soil, latent and patiently waiting to be discovered, there was a terroir capable of producing concentrated and distinct wines.

Today, the Ink Grade Estate Vineyard is located in the northeast corner of the Howell Mountain AVA in Napa Valley. At an elevation of approximately 1,500 feet, the estate’s vineyards offer panoramic views of forest pines and redwoods while producing pure, intense fruit. The vines are planted on narrow terraces of land cut into steep slopes at elevations above 1,500 feet, which promotes a distinctive microclimate in the Napa Valley. The 800 acre property spans the Howell Mountain AVA with 200 acres of vines. Ink Grade seeks to honor and innovate the classic Napa Valley winemaking style, allowing the fruit to flourish through manual and organic farming, extended aging, and low-intervention practices that ensure maximum expression. of the place.

“Ink Grade is important for preserving the heritage of the region and the excitement of discovering magnificent vineyards, hidden like gems in this valley. These wines demonstrate the direct relationship between the volcanic soil of Howell Mountain and the purity of the fruit it produces, ”explains Carlton McCoy. “A true artefact of a place, Ink Grade is truly a Howell Mountain Grand Cru.”

With a heritage winemaking philosophy, the Ink Grade brand is based on the breeding and natural agriculture of the vineyards to vinify sober and structured wines in a classic way. The duality of rugged, rugged terrain and expressive, balanced wines is evident in this distinct range, which includes Ink Grade 2017 Andosol, Howell Mountain 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2019 Sauvignon Blanc.

The new wine line is led by Matt Taylor, who joined Lawrence Wine Estates as a winemaker in March 2020. Born and raised in Sonoma County, Taylor has been influenced by wine industry mentors, cultivating his passion for agriculture and winemaking. Prior to joining Ink Grade, Taylor started his own project, Matt Taylor Wines, focusing on West Coast Sonoma Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. He refined his winemaking philosophy from California to Burgundy, holding positions at Araujo Eisele and Joseph Swan with Domaine Dujac. With years of industry and winemaking experience, Matt Taylor brings his passion for biodynamic and natural farming practices to Ink Grade.

“Ink Grade is all about using natural and historical techniques to produce elegant, balanced wines and show off the purity of mountain fruit,” says winemaker Matt Taylor. “I am delighted to be able to work with this truly unique vineyard and to create biodynamic wines that honor this place and its history.”

Please see below for more details on this premium wallet.


A wine meant to be enjoyed in its youth, Andosol is inspired by historic California blends with Zinfandel as the protagonist. This Howell Mountain Zinfandel captivates and satisfies with every sip, bringing a new perspective to Andosol.


Inspired by the history of Howell Mountain, this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon shines wines and lessons from the past. INK GRADE’s Howell Mountain Cabernet is a bright but concentrated red that combines freshness and complexity.


Bright white, this Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc embodies tropical elements including passion fruit, honeydew and grapefruit. From the volcanic soil of INK GRADE’s Howell Mountain, this wine presents an herbaceous and mineral palate of unmatched quality and taste.


Ink Grade is a Napa Valley estate creating unique vineyard wines of remarkable intensity and grace. Rooted firmly in the east side of Howell Mountain and the product of a distinct microclimate and rugged terrain, Ink Grade and Winemaker Matt Taylor seek to honor this vineyard’s legacy and the mountain’s fruit purity. The inaugural range, launched in October 2021, includes Andosol Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. For more information, please visit or follow on Instagram @inkgradeestate.


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