About Cimarossa Vineyards
Dino Dina and Cory Dekker
Cimarossa is a beautiful estate in the very heart of Howell Mountain at an elevation of 2,100 feet. It is surrounded by forest and scrub, with O'Shaughnessy winery nearby and Outpost just above. Before buying the property, owners Dino Dina and Corry Dekker searched for 10 years for a place to create a small farm reminiscent of those in Northern Italy where Dino grew up. They finally found it in 1997, naming it for its steep hills and its iron-rich, red-hued volcanic soils. In Dino’s native Genovese dialect, Cimarossa translates to “red hilltop.” Like so many others, Dino and Corry only planned to plant a few acres of vines and some olive trees, but one thing led to another, and before they knew it, they had 15 acres of vines and 1,200 olive trees.
The property, which covers 60 acres and was formerly a horse ranch, has a variety of soils, altitudes, and exposures, divided into three single-vineyard sites in a total of 10 blocks. Planting was done by Pina Vineyard Management not long after Dino and Corry acquired the property.
The first wines were made in 2003 with Sean Capiaux at the helm. For the first three years, only one bottling, the Riva di Ponente, was released. Most of the fruit was sold off to other vineyards including Sbragia and Tor Kenward. In 2007, three wines were added to the lineup: the Riva di Levante, Rian, and Rive di Cimarossa. The first two are single-vineyard bottlings, while the Rive di Cimarossa is a selection from all blocks. General Manager Beth Pryor describes the Cimarossa as “perhaps the best expression of the whole site, a great introduction to the style and quality of the winery.” At about $75, it is also a little less expensive than the single-vineyards, which are $95. Given the super-high quality here, these are all very reasonable prices by Napa standards. Production is small, less than 200 cases for the single-vineyard wines, and only about double that for the Rive di Cimarossa.