In 1982 Bill Frazier purchased 15 rolling acres of land on the east side of Napa where he built a home for his family and decided to settle down. In 1990, Bill planted 9.5 acres of Cabernet and Merlot grapes on two opposing hillsides below his residence. At the time, Cabernet Sauvignon was not routinely planted this far south in the valley. Recent years had seen Merlot come of age in the Carneros region, just southwest of the Frazier Estate. The Merlot being grown in this cool region was particularly elegant, with great finesse and backbone, in addition to rich fruit. This young success influenced Bill Frazier's thinking and is what led him to take a risk, planting both Cabernet and Merlot in his east Napa location.
The young fruit from this first planting proved to be of the highest quality and in 1995 Bill made the decision to start a winery. The first releases of the Frazier wines garnered glowing reviews from wine critics and publications. Robert Parker of the Wine Advocate commented that “Frazier's impressive 1995 Merlot...” would leave him “searching out subsequent vintages”. After selling out his first few vintages with little effort Bill decided it was time to expand.
In 1998 Bill purchased a neighboring 46 acres of land and began a second planting. This new block of 11 acres contained Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. In 2001 Bill completed the construction of a 50,000 gallon winery facility where the Frazier wines were made from 2001-2010. In 2003, Bill drilled 10,000 square feet of cave into the hillside on the Rapp Lane property creating an optimum environment for storing and aging barreled wine. The cave, with its natural rock wall, quickly became the signature of the property.
In 2011 Bill and his family made the decision to sell his property and move to a virtual winery model. His daughter Kim and her husband Adam now manage the business and run it alongside Bill. They plan to put all of their efforts into the wines now having the opportunity to source fruit from top Napa Valley Vineyards. They will continue to work with Kirk Venge to produce wines in a similar style that rival the best in the Napa Valley.