Pat & Anne Stotesbery
Proprietors & Vintners
As hands-on vintners, Pat and Anne Stotesbery have worked shoulder to shoulder for more than two decades building Ladera into one of Napa Valley’s most highly regarded wineries, with a reputation for making compelling mountain Cabernet Sauvignons and a sophisticated Sauvignon Blanc. While many mountain wineries have embraced the potential of mountain grapes to create extremely big and powerful wines, the Stotesberys have long championed a more balanced and layered expression of Cabernet Sauvignon, where bright fresh aromas and pure varietal flavors are supported by silky tannins and a lovely structure. “We have always made wines that are authentic to what we value and appreciate—wines that we are proud to share over a meal with fellow vintners and other friends,” says Anne.
The seeds for Ladera were planted in the early 1970s, when Pat and Anne fell in love while attending university in Northern California. Among their many shared interests, they discovered a passion for wine, and were soon taking wine classes together, and traveling to wine country for tastings. Though the next two decades took them to Minnesota and Montana, where they ran a 3,200-acre ranch with 750 head of cattle, their interest in wine only grew. As it did, they found that they had a special interest in elegant Bordeaux-varietal wines—most notably Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc.
In 1996, after a trip to California rekindled their appreciation of Napa Valley and the Bay Area, Pat and Anne acquired their first vineyard property on Mount Veeder. The following year, they purchased the Lone Canyon Vineyard, which would become the source for Ladera’s acclaimed early wines. They found that they loved the challenges and rewards of growing grapes and making wine. They also recognized that like Montana, a life in Napa Valley would allow them to raise their four children in an agrarian environment, where they could have a deeper connection with the land and their surrounding community. In 2000, this desire led the Stotesberys to acquire a historic property on Howell Mountain. Moving their family to Napa Valley, they dedicated themselves to Ladera fulltime, embracing their role as vintners.
Sharing desks side by side (as they have done for more than two decades), Pat focused on the vineyard and winemaking side of Ladera, while Anne guided its hospitality, direct-to-consumer and wine club programs. With Pat actively involved in every aspect of production, and Anne hosting guests and guiding the visitor experience, Ladera flourished, recognized both for the exceptional quality of its wines, and the warm, inviting nature of the winery. Beyond Ladera, Pat has also embraced the role of community advocate. He has served as a past president of both the Howell Mountain Vintners and Growers Association and the Napa Valley Vintners, and is the current chairman of the St. Helena Hospital Foundation, which has raised millions for the hospital.
In 2016, with their children grown and pursuing careers of their own, Pat and Anne decided to sell their Howell Mountain property. “As empty nesters, it was too big for us, and taking care of it was a fulltime job,” says Pat. “We wanted to focus our energies on doing what we love the most—making balanced, age-worthy mountain wines. Today, with 20 years of experience under our belts, and deep relationships in the community, we are fortunate to be able to partner with Napa Valley’s greatest winegrowers in pursuit of this vision.”