Founded way back in 1889 by a pickle magnate called John Henry Fisher, the original Mayacamas vineyards property was planted to the vine and a winery was built so that barrels of the estate wine could be produced and sold in San Francisco.
Thanks to the earthquake of 1906 Fisher went out of business and was forced to sell the estate, following which it fell into disrepair until the end of prohibition. By 1941 it had been purchased by an Englishman called Jack Taylor, who re-christened it Mayacamas (after the Native American word for the property) and embarked on a replanting program.
When Bob Travers took over in 1968, Mayacamas was already well respected locally, but Bob – who had trained at Heitz Cellars and was a protégé of Andre Tchelistcheff – saw there was potential to make world-class wine there. From his very first vintage, Bob fulfilled this promise, and by the time of the 1976 tasting in Paris (which included the ’71 Cabernet), Mayacamas was regarded as one of California’s great wineries.
Ageing for Mayacamas wines takes place almost exclusively in neutral oak, ensuring the style of the finished wine remains fresh, vibrant and pure. A significant portion of the ageing vessels are large format foudrés, some of which have been in continuous use in the Mayacamas cellar since the 1920’s. This commitment to large cask ageing is central to the unique style of Mayacamas wine, especially Cabernet Sauvignon.