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 Filed as : Featured WinemakersPeopleWinemakers

From A-Squared to D-Cubed

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  • Publish Date: Aug 24, 2009

We all have mentors that changed the course of our lives. For Duane D. Dappen, founder of D-Cubed Cellars, those mentors have come in the form of Napa Valley's giants.

Duane’s formal foray into the world of winemaking came by working in the cellars of some of Napa Valley’s greats: 1st: Mike Grgich (the winemaker at Chateau Montelena when their Napa Valley Chardonnay beat out the French at the famous 1976 “Judgment of Paris”, also founder of Grgich Hills); 2nd: Dr. Jerry Seps of Storybook Mountain Vineyards (previously featured in The Daily Sip™, the master of all-things-Zin); 3rd: Rombauer, and 4th: Frank Family Vineyards.

After receiving this “Ivy League” wine education, it’s no surprise that Duane decided it was time to use his experience and talents to create his own brand. He chose Zin as his focus for it is “the most ‘California Styled’ grape that begs to be drunk with merriment and smiles.” Zinfandel, Duane continues, “has a unique mouth-feel, an intensity of fruit and an inherent element of fun not matched by other reds.”

D-Cubed Cellars’ Zinfandel is one that absolutely reflects its mentors’ influences, particularly that of Dr. Seps. With hints of dark, black cherry and a little cured meat, D-Cubed’s Napa Valley Zin offers bright fruit balanced with a healthy dose of acidity.

If only every “dissertation” turned out this tasty.

Discover Duane's wines at

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