Simply put, this tiny, family owned winery is making some of the most stunning wines in Napa Valley. And it’s no wonder, given that Favia is the product of husband and wife team, Andy Erickson and Annie Favia, two of Napa’s brightest stars.
Annie comes to wine by way of her roots. Her dad made wine in their family home, and her mom, who focused on the gastronomic side of things, gardened, canned, and cooked, inspiring Annie to take note of the way things were made. While in college, Annie spent time studying in France. There her interests in food and wine grew into passions. She came back ready to embark on a lifelong journey in the wine business. Her career officially began in 1993 at Newton Vineyard under John Kongsgaard. Next, she moved to Corison wines, with another one of Napa’s best, Cathy Corison. During this period Cathy purchased the legendary Kronos Vineyard, and it was while working in it that Annie discovered that her place in wine was among the vines. Following this revelation, she went back to school at UC Davis to do post-bac work in viticulture. Around the same time, she met David Abreu, who she would work with for the next 11 years, developing some of Napa’s top vineyards.
Andy Erickson’s resume reads like a Who’s Who of Napa Valley. Since arriving in 1994, he has worked at Screaming Eagle, Harlan, Staglin, Dalla Valle, Ovid, and is now leading Mayacamas. However, there can be no doubt that Favia is his baby.
Established in 2003, the brand is small but growing, specializing in Bordeaux blends and Rhone varietals. Both Annie and Andy have a life-long love affair with Cabernet Franc, and it plays a big role in their wines. They source fruit from Oakville Ranch, Meteor in Coombsville, and Rancho Chimiles, a historic vineyard east of Napa in Wooden Valley, that Andy says is, “one of the most dramatic plantings of Cabernet Franc,” he has ever seen. And this coming from the guy who makes Dalla Valle! He has worked with the site in Wooden Valley for ten vintages. It is a magnificent parcel of 30-year-old vines planted in well-drained volcanic soils, cooled by breezes from the bay, and situated at 1,500 feet.
The wine power couple also produce and own Leviathan, a brand that bottles one wine per year — a red blend sourced from various sites throughout California. Along with Favia, it will soon be produced in a new winery, currently under construction.
As a growing brand, Favia is one to keep tabs on. Better yet, get on the mailing list as soon as you can. Quantities to this point have been very small. Quality, however, is outstanding.