You are here
« Back to the Business Directory index

Acumen

Acumen has emerged as the embodiment of a dream to share with friends and family the very best of the Old and New Worlds

A dream where world-class winemaking and viticulture combine with a deep love of the land.

Our founding Acumen team of winemaker Denis Malbec and viticulturists Steve Matthiasson and Garrett Buckland were drawn to the mountainside vineyards of Napa Valley's eastern slopes, which have created countless world-class wines. It was here in the rugged Atlas Peak AVA where we set our roots in two unique vineyards with a total of 116 organically farmed acres. The Acumen labels share a glimpse of the inspiring views from our vineyards, both of which have an Old World feel, with bucolic rolling hills and textured rows of mountainside grapevines, surrounded by chaparral and sagebrush.

Volcanic soils, an ideal high elevation climate, long growing season and expert farming allow Acumen to produce wines of ideal ripeness, depth, complexity and phenolic concentration. Skilled farming for earlier ripening means fully mature flavors at a moderate alcohol level, which we believe is the crowning achievement of our Atlas Peak vineyards. For Acumen, the secret to successful farming on Atlas Peak is a full-time, hands-on vineyard and winemaking team that knows the sites intimately. Farming ourselves, riding our horses through the vineyards and careful observation of the limitless nuances in the vineyards are how we stay in tune with the vineyards.

Denis Malbec, a winemaking artist, inspiration and good friend, was born and raised amidst the vineyars and cellar of Chateau Latour, a Bordeaux First Growth in the Pauillac commune of the Medoc. He was our first winemaker and made the Acumen wines through the 2015 vintage. Tragically, in early 2016 he passed away in a car accident. He will be greatly missed and warmly remembered, with our 2013 and 2014 Acumen PEAK wines to bear a subtle tribute on the label in his honor. Steve Matthiasson, who scouted our vineyards before purchasing, and has farmed them since Acumen's inception, was a natural fit to take over the role as winemaker. He and Denis shared a common love for the vineyards and a goal to make classic wines that express the vineyard's character. Steve is a lauded winemaker himself, being Winemaker of the Year for Food and Wine Magazine in 2012 and the San Francisco Chronicle in 2014. In addition, his viticulture clients have included such great wineries as Araujo, Dalla Valle, Spottswoode, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars and more.

We live our belief that the world's best wine is grown in the vineyard, so we are very fortunate to have our vineyards and winemaking so thoroughly united under the artistry and expertise of Steve and supported by our amazing full-time vineyard and winemaking team.

Every glass of Acumen is an invitation to share in our dream, to be transported to the vineyards, to feel the sun and smell the earth, to taste the best that Napa Valley has to offer.