Tracey Reichow

Tracey Reichow

Black Cat Vineyard (Winemaker & Proprietor)

A decade spent in the world of investment banking taught Black Cat Vineyard founder Tracey Reichow that there is no substitute for hard work and “doing your homework.” The tenacity and drive that were essential in the business world proved invaluable in establishing a winery when Tracey, her husband Rick, and their two children moved to Napa Valley in the mid-1990s.

A longtime fan of classically styled wines, Tracey holds a special interest in Syrah from the Rhône region. Once in Napa, her passion for learning led to the next challenge – crafting wines that evoked the artful finesse of those she had tasted in the small caves and cellars of France. Her first step was to study winemaking at the University of California, Davis and viticulture at Napa Valley College.

With the help of family and friends, Tracey pounded stakes, drove tractors, trenched and installed irrigation, and personally planted all three acres of vines. With great joy and satisfaction, the grapes were sold to well-known Napa Valley vintners.

In 1999, Tracey tested her winemaker’s wings. The enthusiastic response of local wine pros, friends, and family inspired Tracey to continue pursuing her dream of crafting a fine artisan wine. By the 2004 vintage, the wine measured up to her exacting standards, and Black Cat Vineyard Syrah saw its public debut. Bottlings of Family Cuvée and Cabernet Sauvignon soon followed. Today, less than 200 cases of each wine are produced, allowing the unparalleled attention to detail that defines Tracey’s style.