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Proprietary Blends

Often, wineries don’t list their grape varietals in the blend in order to keep their formula a secret from competitors. Creating a blend requires many hours in a laboratory and is a collaborative process among the winemaking team that takes many years to perfect.

Some well-known examples of proprietary blends from Napa Valley include Caymus’ Conundrum (includes both a red and white blend), Joseph Phelps’ Insignia (features Cabernet Sauvignon in the red-wine blend), and Dalla Valle Vineyards’ Maya (Cabernet Franc blend).

Quick Facts

  • Hailing from Spain, the 2009 Alvaro Palacios L’Ermita Priorato—an example of a proprietary blend—retails for nearly $800
  • Opus One’s Overture—a proprietary red blend sold only to club members of this esteemed Napa Valley winery—is crafted from five classic Bordeaux-style varietals.
  • Claret and Meritage are often used interchangeably on the label to indicate a proprietary blend

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