`Harlan Estate might be the single most profound red wine made not just in California, but in the world` - Robert Parker `We took a trip to Napa Valley to visit Don Weaver who, together with Bill Harlan, Bob Levy and Michel Rolland, has been responsible for the creation of Harlan Estate, arguably - we`ll argue - Napa Valley`s best wine. In a nutshell, here`s what we think you`ll need. genius & vision obsessive drive & determination inspirational leadership unlimited funds good fortune & propitious timing half a century or so In 1958 an 18 year old Bill Harlan travelled north to attend UC Berkeley. While there he visited Napa Valley for the first time and a love affair was born. Throughout the 1960s, though bereft of the funds with which to do anything about them, he developed his ideas for making his own wine. In the 1970s, he pinpointed the land with which he hoped to fulfil his dream. Then, over the best part of a decade, he began to cajole its owners into selling. Bill, like John Shafer on the other side of the valley, had realised early on that the best wines in the world generally came from hillside vineyards. Obvious though this may seem today, at the time no one wanted the hassle or expense of developing hillsides. Bill had looked at the valley floor and identified a sweetspot of Oakville vineyards around Heitz Martha`s Vineyard (Far Niente, Mondavi To Kalon). If those are producing the best wines in the valley, thought Bill, imagine what the hills above them can do. Finally, in 1984, Bill made his initial land acquisition and Harlan Estate was born. Together with subsequent deals and parcel trades the estate today consists of 240 acres rising in elevation from 225 feet to 1225 feet above sea level, of which only 40 acres are under vine (70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot). The first commercial release was the 1990, annual production now averages 1,800 cases, and last year the winery made its first ever profit!