Freemark Abbey Winery Napa Valley Rutherford Sycamore Vineyard

Sycamore Vineyard

As Napa Cabernet wine tasting opportunities go, it would be difficult to top a library tasting of a single-vineyard wine like Cabernet Bosché. Unless, of course, the Sycamore Vineyard gets added to the mix.

Happily, for Library Experience tasters at Freemark Abbey, Sycamore Cabernet has always served as a counterpoint to Cabernet Bosché. The comparison doesn’t just relate to sit-down tastings, but has existed throughout these Rutherford vineyards’ long, shared history.

Sycamore and Bosché are both located in Rutherford, one of Napa Valley’s classic winegrowing districts. The vineyards are roughly the same size, though Sycamore was planted in the mid-70s, about ten years after Bosché Vineyard. The gravelly soils differ slightly, but each is planted with an eastern sun exposure, a key grower’s component to ripening balanced fruit.

Family-Owned Napa Valley Cabernet

Originally, the Sycamore connection to Freemark Abbey as a fruit source was, in its way, even closer than Bosché’s, as it was purchased and restored by the late Freemark partner, John Bryan, and his family.

The Bryans still own the property and sell the fruit to Freemark. Considering the link between the winery and the Napa Valley Cabernet the vineyard has produced for over three decades, it’s hard to imagine otherwise.

Ted Edwards inherited a winegrower’s relationship to Bosché Vineyard when he started at Freemark Abbey in 1980, while he was instrumental in the development of Sycamore Vineyard after taking over as head winemaker in 1985. So, to him, the differences between the two properties are like how a parent might look at two different children: it’s impossible to say which one he loves more.

If pressed, he describes the Cabernets made from each property as “stand-alone wines.”


Freemark Abbey Winery Napa Valley Rutherford Sycamore Cabernet Sauvignon

You Can’t Have One without the Other

Ironically, perhaps the best way to fully grasp Ted’s “stand-alone” characteristics of these two single-vineyard Cabernets is to taste them side-by-side. For Freemark Abbey visitors who might not have vintages of each tucked away in their cellars, the winery’s Library Experience tasting is the best introduction. The unique Cabernet aromas and flavors of Sycamore and Bosché reveal themselves in this sit-down setting, while the knowledgeable hospitality team is able to provide much historical context.

That shared history between the vineyards, mentioned earlier, works as the backdrop to a pair of the best grower-producer stories that exist today in the Napa Valley. Freemark Abbey guests, collectors, and enthusiasts will continue to profit from these relationships, as long as Bosché and Sycamore continue to grace the winery’s labels.


Freemark Abbey Winery Napa Valley Rutherford Caberenet Bosché Sycamore