For Silver Oak and Ovid, #LifeisaCabernet

For Silver Oak and Ovid, #LifeisaCabernet

Spring is a time of rebirth, renewal and rebuilding.

And that seems to be what Silver Oak, the iconic Cabernet Sauvignon in restaurants everywhere, is thinking too.

They recently purchased Ovid Vineyards, a super-modern cult winery on just 15 acres of the most coveted property in the Pritchard Hill section of Napa Valley, to add to their well-known red wines collection.

When Silver Oak was founded in 1972, its creators, Raymond Duncan and his partner Justin Meyer, decided back then to focus on one varietal and hit it out of the part.

And that’s exactly what they did.

And now #LifeisaCabernet (a hastag they often use) under the guidance of Duncan’s sons David and Tim because Silver Oak consistently is one of the Top Ten Most Popular Restaurant Wine List Brands.

Silver Oak currently makes about 100,000 cases of just two different red wines — one from Napa and one from Alexander Valley — that retail for $75 to $125.

In 1999, they decided to create another label so they could experiment with other varietals. They bought property to begin Twomey, which now makes Merlot, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc from both Napa and Sonoma counties.

And while CEO David Duncan has been buying vineyards over the past few years, purchasing Ovid seems like the perfect next step in keeping their choices small and deliberate.

The Ovid property is an exceptional rare piece of land in Napa Valley and could carry $50 million price tag though the terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

CEO David Duncan first met Ovid's founders, Mark Nelson and Dana Johnson, when they came to Napa from New York City 19 years ago.

The founders named the winery Ovid, after the Roman poet, whose most famous work, Metamorphoses, is about transformation and change — much like winemaking.

Ovid’s founders coincidentally also chose to focus — they basically create only two high-end wines and produce around 2,000 cases annually.

Which therefore makes it very hard to get, so you need to get on the waiting list if you are interested.

Consolidation in the wine world has been happening for a while now. Big companies have been ferociously buying up popular labels –like Constellation Brands buying Meiomi and five wines from Washington State winemaker Charles Smith. And wineries have been coming together to improve economies of scale and take advantage of super low interest rates.

But the best marriages love their partners the way they are and don’t expect them to change.

And while we can’t say that has been true for many of the recent wine world mergers or acquisitions, we have faith that Silver Oak will allow Ovid to continue to transform in the way Ovid would want.

Tracy Byrnes, former FOX Business Network anchor and host of “Wine with Me” for, is editor-in-chief and chief contributor of The Sip.

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