Skip to main content

Wines From our historic vineyard

3 Wines

Graeme and Felicia in winery

Palisades Canyon produces a trio of wines crafted by fourth-generation Napa Valley winemaker and grape-grower Graeme MacDonald—Chenin Blanc, Petite Sirah, and Cabernet Sauvignon. With experience farming his family’s historic To-Kalon vineyard, Graeme also plays a central role in guiding the development of our vineyard and the stewardship of our vines.

native yeast fermentations

Felicia Woytak, Proprietor

”Graeme and I bonded over our love of historic vineyards and old vines. We discovered we shared an approach to farming and a common philosophy of winemaking. As our friendship developed, I asked Graeme to be our winemaker.”

In the cellar, we minimize intervention and employ native yeast fermentations. Our gentle approach creates red varietals that are restrained yet fresh. The tannins are ever-present, but don’t overwhelm. Our Chenin Blanc is aged sur lie in neutral French oak, yielding a wine of uncommon complexity and tension.


The Petite Sirah vines on our Palisades Canyon vineyard date to the mid-1960s. During Prohibition, Petite Sirah was the most widely planted grape in the Valley. The extensive root systems of these old vines access minerals and nutrients that result in concentrated and complex flavors in the fruit. A long and cool fermentation  allows for careful extraction in the cellar. Palisades Canyon is proud to be among the few producers in Napa Valley to offer a Petite Sirah showcasing the variety’s potential and elegance.

chenin grapes

Chenin Blanc’s naturally high acidity retains freshness and balance in a warming climate.

Our Chenin Blanc pays tribute to Napa Valley’s once dominant white grape. Today, fewer than 20 acres are planted to Chenin Blanc in the Valley, down from 750 acres in 1969. Palisades Canyon is reviving this once celebrated grape and returning it to a place of prominence.

cabernet sauvignon

In 2017 we introduced Cabernet Sauvignon to the estate. Planted in alluvial soils along the left bank of Horns Creek and in residual soils along the right, our left- and right-bank grapes exhibit distinct flavor profiles that combine to add depth and complexity to our Cabernet. In the winery, we co-ferment the grapes from our small block of Cabernet Franc with our Cabernet Sauvignon. Co-fermentation ensures full integration of the aromatic floral notes of the Cabernet Franc with the structure, tannins, and darker fruit flavors of the Cabernet Sauvignon.

The three wines of Palisades Canyon


“I strive for ‘specificity’ and ‘authenticity’ over ‘typicity’ in my wines. I want each wine to bear the distinct character of the special place where the grapes were grown.

The grapes from our estate vines carry the essence of our land. The rugged terrain, volcanic soils, steep canyon walls, morning fog, afternoon breezes, wildflowers and native forests define their character. Through the grapes, our wines inherit the vitality, complexity and natural harmony of our canyon ecosystem. They are our tribute to Palisades Canyon.

Graeme MacDonald in the barrel room