The Collateral Story
The First Bottles
In 2014, Justin surprised his father, Don Stephens, with the dedication of a special bottling with a striking, minimalist label. He called this wine COLLATERAL in honor of the many years of father-son collaboration, producing wines together under the D. R. Stephens Estate label. Justin initially limited COLLATERAL releases to only the very finest Moose Valley Vineyard barrels from the very best vintages. But this rare wine soon developed its own following, and sent Justin in search of additional remarkable sites for the project.
2020 was a tough year for us, and not just due to the pandemic. Don Stephens passed away in February, then the devastating Glass Fire swept through the Napa Valley, damaging much of Justin’s winery, HUNNICUTT, and flattening the shady stands of firs, oaks, pines, and madrone surrounding our caves.
But nature rebounds, and so did our passion for making fine wine. Our caves are now surrounded by native plants and young trees. And the D. R. Stephens Estate and HUNNICUTT teams have joined forces to create something new and lasting. COLLATERAL, for us, represents a fresh start as well as a nod to the past. It’s the name and label that drew a cult following as part of D. R. Stephens Estate, but now it is much more. It’s a collection of vineyard-designate wines that celebrate extraordinary sites and evocative fruit. And it’s a place where Justin Stephens and Mike Hirby can thoughtfully explore the styles of wines that enchant and excite them.