Anthony Bell of Bell Wine Cellars
What is your job?
Founder, winemaker and for a great deal of the years, sales and marketing representative.
Where is your winery?
We are located in Yountville, Napa Valley. Our winery is about 1 mile south of the town.
Why did you choose that location?
Yountville is both a historic origin of grape growing in Napa Valley, as well as enjoying a very special microclimate. Additionally, the winery was suited to our size and style of wine production.
How many employees do you have?
My wife and I have 6 employees.
Why did you choose wine?
I am one of those unique individuals in our industry – I was fortunate enough to have grown up on a wine estate in Stellenbosch, South Africa. This allowed me to develop an early passion for vineyards and grape growing.
Describe your wine in one word?
What is your favorite varietal?
What was your favorite wine that you produced and what set it apart from your other wines?
In 1991 we were the first winery to produce a single vineyard, single clone varietal wine. This was our Clone 6 Cabernet sauvignon, made from a hundred year old vine that I brought back into commercial production while working at Beaulieu Vineyard.
What was your greatest ever wine experience?
In 1991, I had the opportunity to celebrate the 50th Anniversary Release of a BV Georges de Latour Cabernet – the 1986 vintage. In conjunction with the great Andre Tchelistcheff, I hosted numerous vertical tastings of the wine, culminating in two tastings of all 50 vintages – a first in the California wine industry and an incredible retrospective look at Napa Valley grape growing and vintages.
What is your favorite meal to pair with one of your wines?
Shellfish with our Sauvignon Blanc, roast duck breast with our Syrah and a well aged steak with our Clone 6 Cabernet.
What does “terroir” mean to you?
The influence of the soil and microclimate upon a specific vineyard location. Our Canterbury Vineyard Syrah is a great example of vineyard specific terroir.
Besides your own wines, who would you say is your favorite wine producer?
I enjoy the earth and fruit driven flavors of Italian wines.
What do you hope for the future of your winery?
Survival! Honestly, to continue to improve our wines and to become known for producing classically styled Napa Valley wines that have a sense of place, with elegance and balance.
Gardening, sailing and traveling.
What is your favorite sports team?
San Francisco 49ers; although my partners own the San Diego Chargers so I also root for them! And my wife, being from Vermont, loves the New England Patriots – so it makes for a lively, and conflicted, football season!
If you were not into wine, what would you do?
No clue. I have been around grapes and wine my entire life. I have always wanted to play the saxophone or piano, so possibly a musician?