Napa’s Newest Winery Parable Wines: Let Me Tell You Their Story

Napa has a new winery. Yep….another Napa winery. I was a skeptic when I first heard about it as my first assumption was that is was another vanity project. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to learn the story about Parable Wines. These newly release wines are a father’s ode to his passionate son as I wrote about for Men’s Journal and share here.

Napa’s Newest Winery Parable Wines: Let Me Tell You Their Story

Napa Valley represents only 4% of California’s wine production yet there are more than 500 wineries in Napa County and more than 1000 wine brands. Starting a new winery in Napa Valley is not an easy task and not for the faint of heart. Owning a winery was not on Fred Eppright’s agenda but today, thanks to his son Trey Eppright, he is the owner of Napa’s newest brand Parable, releasing its first wines in March 2024.

Fred Eppright is an Austin, Texas businessman whose business is commercial real estate. It is easy to assume that starting a winery in Napa is therefore a vanity project. After all, to start a new winery, especially in Napa, one must have the financial means. But Fred is quick to tell you, “This is a business.” So how did he end up starting a wine brand? Blame his son Trey.

Trey picked up an interest in wine at a young age, after tasting Champagne at the age of 15. He started reading about wine and started watching Wine Library TV with Gary Vaynerchuk when he was 20 years old. He started at Episode 180 and has watched through Episode 1000. While studying construction science at Texas A&M, he talked his way into taking classes on horticulture, grape growing, and winemaking. After college, he began working in real estate but a trip to Napa Valley in 2013 rekindled his love of wine. He joined wine clubs and traveled with VGS Chateau Potelle to Bordeaux in 2014. Trey dreamed of working in the wine industry and proposed looking for a property in Napa to his dad. Fred responded, “If you find something good, bring it to me.”

Trey moved to Calistoga in 2021 and the Epprights purchased the Dutch Henry property which had been destroyed in the 2020 Glass Fire. The property has a 2 ½ acre vineyard which they have replanted to Cabernet Sauvignon. While Trey has the passion and emotional interest in wine, Fred saw the business opportunity and invested in it. Parable Wines was born.

With experience in residential and commercial real estate development and related business startups, Fred knows that a successful business requires hard work and honesty. But it also requires building the right team. As Fred explained, “I want to be as good as we can be, so I surround myself with people smarter than me and I listen.” Trey is the Managing Partner and they have brought in an experienced team with winemaker Kale Anderson and General Manager Brian Kelleher.

Napa’s Newest Winery Parable Wines: Let Me Tell You Their Story

Kale Anderson has worked 23 vintages. After graduating from UC Davis, Kale worked at Colgin Cellars and Terra Valentine and was the winemaker at Pahlmeyer and Clif Lede. In 2008 he started his label, Kale Wines, and in 2016, he started Kale Wine Consulting. General Manager Brian Kelleher worked with Kale at Pahlmeyer and has also worked for brands including Adobe Road Winery, Elizabeth Spencer Winery, Pietra Santa Winery, and Wine Creek Cellars. At Parable, he is focused on developing the sales and marketing, as well as the organizational structure of the company.

Napa’s Newest Winery Parable Wines: Let Me Tell You Their Story

Parable Wines are small lots with each bottle numbered. Grapes are sourced from highly regarded vineyards, including Beckstoffer Bourn Vineyard, Hyde, Ritchie, Antinori Antica, and the Vangone Vineyard. The Epprights will also look to purchase vineyards, explained Fred, “if we can find the right deal.” Kale’s winemaking style is to make wines that are the best expressions of themselves. Kale differentiates the Parable wines through vineyard designates. The 2022 Richie Vineyard Chardonnay (Sonoma County) was made in a concrete egg and offers citrus and apple notes with soft acidity; the 2022 Larry Hyde & Sons Vineyard Chardonnay (Napa Valley) was made in a combination of French oak and stainless steel and has bright acidity and a fresh finish; the 2022 A18 Antinori Antica Vineyard Chardonnay (Atlas Peak) was made in French oak and some tropical notes and lingering acidity. For the red wines, the 2021 Vangone Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) offers notes of red fruits and brown spices with textured tannins and the 2021 Beckstoffer Bourn Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (St. Helena) has darker fruit and leather notes.

Like most new brands in Napa, Fred has established a good foundation with an experienced team and sourced fruit from the best vineyards. He reiterates that this is not a vanity project saying, “I really don’t have a big ego, so I don’t need to feed it.” And, if you meet him, you will believe him, especially after talking with him about his nonprofit charitable organization Impact Cares Foundation which involves faith-based humanitarian efforts in Haiti and Ukraine. But at the end of the day, Fred is a businessman, and he would like to see a profit with his new investment, Parable Wines.

Enjoy the original story in my first story for Men’s Journal.