The Seavey Family Vineyard & Salute to William Seavey, Charles K. Seavey’s father
William Seavey was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Coronado, California. He went East to Princeton and Harvard Law School and met his wife, Mary, who was at Radcliffe. They lived in Coronado and Switzerland before moving to the Bay Area in 1968.
“Bill” Seavey attended public high school in Coronado, CA, graduated from Princeton University in 1952, and then went on to Harvard Law School where he met his future wife, Mary van Beuren, a junior at Radcliffe College. Bill Seavey was a jazz musician.
In 1979, they bought the present Seavey Vineyard from an old family friend. It had been a vineyard in the 1870s, although by the 1970s it was a cattle ranch. While William continued his San Francisco law practice, Mary and he set about restoring the property and replanting the former vineyard. The four Seavey sons spent high school and college vacations working at the vineyard, and the Seavey daughter and her two daughters came out from Boston to help from time to time.
Mary passed away in 2008 and William “Bill” Seavey died Tuesday, Sept. 21 in 2016. They leave behind five children (Dorie, Art, Will, Fred and Charley), two granddaughters (Sarah and Annie Jefferson), and two grandsons (Jason and Cole Seavey).
Bill was convinced that excellent wines could be made from the property’s steep hillside fruit and he patiently persevered in producing an age-worthy Bordeaux-style cabernet that has come to be held in high acclaim. He immersed himself in every detail of viticulture and winemaking with a hands-on approach, laying out new vineyard blocks, tending the vines, constructing a larger tank room and cave, making harvesting decisions, and directing blending. The property was originally purchased in 1979 and has been a labor of love…especially since it required being converted from a cattle ranch.
The first vintage was released to the public in 1990. According to wine critic, Robert Parker, Seavey would eventually become “…One of the great, unheralded, under-the-radar terroirs in all of Napa Valley.” Of Bill and Mary, he said they “…were visionaries with regard to what could be achieved on these dry-farmed hillside vineyards tucked away in Conn Valley, east of Meadowood Resort.”
The Seavey Family Vineyard still accepts tours and actively welcomes you to raise a glass with us.
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