February 18, 2008
Acclaimed Internet Pioneer Barry Schuler
Launches New Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvginon
February 2008, NAPA, CA.—Former America Online Chairman and CEO Barry Schuler announced this week that he will release a new Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon under the label Meteor Vineyard this Spring. Trade and press will taste 2006 Meteor Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from barrel for the first time this week at Premier Napa Valley. The winemakers for Meteor Vineyard are Dawnine Sample Dyer and her husband Bill Dyer, who are 50 percent partners in this venture.
Schuler likens his first-ever Napa Valley wine country experience decades ago to a lightening bolt shooting through his body. He says he knew then that one day he would grow grapes here. In 1998, after pioneering a succession of new technologies in the Internet world, Schuler and his family established the 22-acre Meteor Vineyard property in the southeastern hills of the Napa Valley where the Tulocay AVA is currently pending. The property is named for Medior Inc, the multimedia development company founded by Schuler and eventually acquired by AOL.
Schuler is best known for leading the AOL team that simplified the online service provider’s user interface, making it possible for millions of consumers to gain easy access to the internet. In recent years, while developing his new Napa vineyard, Schuler started Raydiance Inc. to develop commercial applications for ultra-short pulse lasers to be used for tumor ablation and tattoo removal, among other things. In collaboration with Adam Rifkin and Brad Wyman, he also co-produced and helped finance, “Look,” a film shot entirely from the point of view of surveillance cameras.
Michael Wolf was retained by the Schulers to develop their vineyard property, which benefits from San Francisco Bay breezes and is characterized by a mix of well-draining river rock and mineral-rich volcanic ash suited to Bordeaux varietals, including cabernet sauvignon.
Meteor Vineyard is a compilation of three clones of cabernet sauvignon grafted onto different rootstocks. Just 25 percent of the vineyard’s fruit is used to craft the Meteor Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. The balance of the property’s grapes are sold to a handful of high-profile properties including: Arietta, Etude, Lail, Favia and Vineyard 29.
The 2005 Meteor Cabernet Sauvignon will be sold primarily to those on the Meteor Vineyard mailing list, with a small allocation going to distribution channels later in the year. ####