MATTHIASSON is a family endeavor, the effort of Steve and Jill Klein Matthiasson, and their two young sons. Steve & Jill both have had life-long careers in sustainable agriculture, and they apply those ideals of balance, restraint, and respect for the individual--and for the whole--to their wine. Their production is simple but careful. This concept is central to the tradition of viticulture and winemaking. Respect for this tradition forms the core of their work. To that end, their hands literally touch every vine and every bottle.
After moving to Napa in 2002, Steve and Jill took their plans another step forward in December 2006, and bought a small parcel tucked behind a subdivision just west of the city of Napa. They began replanting the property's 3 1/2 acres of vineyard to an initial lot of Ribolla Gialla - traced back to Josko Gravner's vineyard in Friuli -- Merlot, Refosco, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Steve coauthored an industry-revered guide to integrated farming and his background in sustainable farming and Masters degree in horticulture from UC Davis provides a foundation of scientific methodology, while his astute and compassionate personality lends an artistic - at times almost spiritual - air to his practice. Steve has built a reputation as a top vineyard consultant, focusing on his passion for sustainable viticulture practices, with an enviable roster of clients that include Araujo Estate, Spottswoode, Chappellet, Hall, David Arthur, Robert Sinskey Vineyards, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Long Meadow Ranch, Trefethen, Limerick Lane, and others. As a vineyard consultant he teaches and makes decisions, such as when to water and how to prune, on vineyards throughout Napa and Sonoma.
On his own vineyards, however, Steve cares for the vines with his own hands, driving the tractor at night, and working with the crews on Sundays. Under the Matthiasson label, Steve crafts wines according to the philosophy of selecting a small number of exceptional vineyard sites to make unique wine of the highest quality, with production that is simple but careful. He is known for using varietals and winemaking techniques that buck conventional wisdom to explore the possibilities in California’s terroir. Alder Yarrow’s Vinography, says, “If Napa is going to evolve and change as a wine region…. it will do so in the hands of people like Steve Matthiasson. His wines are so unlike anything else being made in Napa Valley at the moment that they are enough to stop any seasoned Napa wine lover in their tracks. Not just that, though. They are also phenomenally good.”