summer dreamsAccount

Recent Releases from Hundred Acre, Fortunate Son and Summer DreamsThe Wine Advocate | Lisa Perrotti-Brown


At the end of October this year, I caught up with Jayson and Helen Woodbridge at their house nestled within the Few and Far Between vineyard in Calistoga, blighted on the upper hill by the devastating loss of trees during the 2020 Glass Fire. Despite the somber surroundings and that it was just three years since our last epic tasting—when I tasted every Hundred Acre made up until then—the kitchen was brimming with energy and more new achievements than many winemakers manage in a lifetime.
Readers may want to refer to this comprehensive piece I wrote about Hundred Acre back in 2018: Hundred Acre: A Complete Retrospective. The article contains in-depth information about the vineyards and winery as well as the Woodbridges’ philosophies and approaches to grape growing and winemaking. Apart from Hundred Acre, this time, we tasted the recent releases from two new/revived projects: Fortunate Son and Summer Dreams.
Fortunate Son was a label that Woodbridge started a few years ago. “Some of the fruit for this label comes from Hundred Acre vineyards,” he said. “Additionally, I’ve negotiated to farm and take per-acre fruit from selected family vineyards in Napa Valley.” More recently, he and his wife, Helen, purchased the historic David Fulton ranch, winery and vineyard, located on Fulton Lane in St. Helena, partly to restore the winery and establish a dedicated winery for Fortunate Son. The 2021 harvest was the first vintage to be produced at the new winery, while the 2018 wines reviewed here were made at Hundred Acre’s “The Ring” winery. “We’re using the same methods and equipment at the new winery as at The Ring winery,” Woodbridge confirmed.

“I came up with Summer Dreams because I love summer,” said Woodbridge. “You can still get summer in the winter with these wines. They are made the same way that Hundred Acre is made, coming from very low-yielding vineyards in the Sonoma Coast, sorted berry by berry.”
And just when you thought there was nothing new that could possibly come from Hundred Acre, Woodbridge reveals the new “Wraith Crypt” cuvée. “This is the crypt of the wraith, based on the legend of wraith,” said Woodbridge. As a reminder, Wraith has been a project in the making pretty much since Ark vineyard came on board. Woodbridge explained to me his frustration that existed for many years when he would try, vintage after vintage, to compose an über-blend, sum-greater-than-the-parts expression of Kayli Morgan and Ark vineyards. But all his attempts would equate to something lacking and, ultimately, a less evocative blend than the single-vineyard expressions on their own. Then he purchased the Few and Far Between vineyard. “It was like I was trying to crack one of those vast combination safes,” Woodbridge explained, twisting his hands as though he were unlocking a safe. “And then, swoosh! The final combination was added, and the safe was open.” That final element was, of course, the contribution from the Few and Far Between vineyard, which, poignantly, is named after one of his children. And so, Wraith is a barrel-selection blend composed of all three vineyards, although the percentage of each vineyard is dictated, as with everything at Hundred Acre, purely by taste and varies each vintage enormously. The first vintage of Wraith was 2013.

Finally, Jayson Woodbridge is a perfectionist. He physically recoils when he recalls occasions when his vision was not perfectly, flawlessly achieved. Anything that falls short of this vision is a failure in his eyes. This attribute/affliction is not something Woodbridge told me about—it’s an observation. And it’s what’s in the glass. It’s tough to find fault in the Hundred Acre wines. Their scores remain consistently high, but I do not give these scores without careful consideration. It would not be honest, unbiased or fair to knock back scores just because they appear too consistently high. You can love or hate the style of these wines, which I aim to describe in the notes accurately, but what the Woodbridges have produced thus far at Hundred Acre is of an amazingly high standard across the board. Further to this, Helen and Jayson decided in the autumn of 2020 that no Hundred Acre Vineyard wines would be made from that vintage due to smoke taint.

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“I’m a direct descendent of Jacques Cartier, the cartographer,” Jayson Woodbridge tells me, seemingly apropos of nothing. But nothing is random or out of context with Jayson. For example, he describes Cartier as a cartographer, not an explorer—the profession by which Cartier is better known. With Jayson, every casually offered piece of shared information is specific and purposeful, whether you get it or not.


Producer Profile: Hundred Acre

Decanter | Jonathan Cristaldi

In a rare in-depth interview granted to Decanter, we meet the dauntless Jayson Woodbridge. The founder of Hundred Acre is a controversial figure in the Napa Valley, yet the wine community can't ignore the fact that his wines are celebrated by pundits the world over.

Our Collection

discover the style and spirit of Sonoma Coast wines

Pinot Noir

Golden Hour

Due to the more eastern orientation of the vineyard, this wine is a riper and fuller expression of a mix of red and purple fruits.

Pinot Noir


Glimmering in the glass like a polished ruby stone, splashes of red berry fruit linger with cedar and sandalwood.

Pinot Noir

Super Chill

Red fruit-forward with cranberry and raspberry notes, very textural in the mouth, and has a lifted finish.

Pinot Noir


A dark edge with dark fruit, black cherry, and black plum with hints of the salty sea-spray and misty fog rolling into the Sonoma Coast from the Pacific Ocean.

Bottle of Summer Dreams Twilight


The Sun Also Rises

An intertwining of Sonoma coastal notes featuring lemon drop candy and lemon verbena are supported by a subtle oak frame.

Sauvignon Blanc

Walking On Venice Beach

White flower, stone fruit and Asiatic tropical fruit notes with a textural mid palate, vibrant acid, and a racy finish.


Martian Pink

To create a truly special rosé, we use a blend of winemaking techniques on 100% Pinot Noir grapes. A mailing list EXCLUSIVE.

Summer is a state of mind