When Todd Newman set out on his quest to craft a wine of substance, he didn’t start that journey with a pedigree or degree. Coming from Minot, ND, Todd knew hard work was his edge in fine wine sales. The word Dakota evokes the belief that working hard is essential to creating your place in this world. The second word Shy was a funny accusation; Todd would catch a meeting with someone he admired and absorb all they had to share about the inner workings of the wine industry. After a few bottles of wine, the information shared would be vital to avoid common mistakes when starting a wine brand. These contacts would yield meetings with other professionals, and when the introduction would take place, it would sound like, “Here is that shy kid from North Dakota, crazy enough to start a wine brand.” Finally, it dawned on him that if this is going to work, he must be both hard-working and humble, which is ultimately us, Dakota Shy.
Dakota Shy from there grew out of the passion that friends and colleagues Todd Newman and Tom Garrett have for the wines, history, and vineyards of Napa Valley. Their goal was to craft wines of substance and place that rival the best of what Napa Valley has to offer, from the pinnacle of quality and luxury to world-class Cabernet Sauvignon that can proudly be placed on the table and enjoyed every week.
After years of working together at Revana Family Vineyard, under the tutelage of Napa Valley winemaking legends Heidi Barrett, Thomas Brown and vineyard manager Jim Barbour, these two friends decided to create a world-class estate of their own.
They began by sourcing Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from a range of great vineyards throughout Napa Valley. These vineyards represent the arch of grape growing history in the valley from old, trusted sources to new, highly regarded plantings. Produced in limited quantities, their handcrafted Cabernets reflect the highest expression of the vintage.
Dakota Shy purchased an estate in the heart of Napa Valley at the base of Pritchard Hill in 2014. Its history dates back to the 1850s when George Yount took possession via the Spanish Land Grant. Beautiful redwood and magnolia trees dot the estate along with 1.2 acres of Italian and Spanish olives from which Dakota Shy presses their estate olive oil. As Todd says, “there is so much soul here you can’t help but marvel at the beauty and history of the property.” The acquisition of the estate was nothing short of a miracle, and we welcome the opportunity to steward this next chapter. With five completed vintages under our roof, we are building a legacy that will define the future of boutique wine brands for decades to come.
We are passionate about how we live, where we live, and the wines and people that define our valley. We strive to make the greatest Cabernets we are capable of to showcase our appreciation for the land and legacy of Napa. Blessed with great friends and partners in the Napa Valley, we have been fortunate to assemble an outstanding portfolio of vineyards whose grapes are the foundation of our wines. Those vineyards and the people who work them are critical to the exceptional quality we can put into bottle. Over the past ten vintages, we have seen our craft become laser-focused, with a collection of single vineyard designates and many illustrious scores from critics; even as our star rises, we remain Dakota Shy.