What happens when a hyper successful Napa winery confronts one of nature’s most vexing and complex problems–not in the vineyard, but inside their own home? In 1990, Shari and Garen Staglin, owners of Rutherford’s renowned Staglin estate were on a surefire path to success. Sales were great. The press even better. Then one afternoon the Staglins were told about a future they never foresaw or prepared for: helping their teenage young son navigate through schizophrenia.
Salus, the estate’s superb second label, is the direct result of two parents who happen to work in wine re-orientating their life to the understanding and advocating mental health. Through their time aiding their own son, the family realized the full extent of the mental health crisis here. One in five Americans have a mental health condition. Among adults with mental illness, 60% are untreated. Youth mental health is worsening, not getting better. And nearly 40% of adults with a severe mental illness — such as schizophrenia— have received no treatment in the previous year. The Staglins, in their own unique way, are trying to help. Salus, named after the Roman goddess of health and wellbeing, is the family’s answer. 100% of the proceeds from the sales of Salus are donated toward fundraising for brain health research. Over the last 22 years, the Staglins have raised over $280 million.
The wines are also deeply impressive.
The grapes for the Salus Cabernet and Chardonnay are farmed and produced with the same care and attention as the Staglin wines. In some vintages, they are actually better. The 2016 Chardonnay is beautiful with ample depth and an elegance clearly keyed toward Puligny. The 2014 single vineyard Booth Bella Oaks – the same legendary vineyard once owned by Heitz – is remarkable in it’s purity, density and depth. Both are absolute steals for the price. As May is Mental Health Awareness month, what better way to show your support for this crucial cause?
2016 Salus Chardonnay