History is in the walls of the AXR Winery

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AXR Winery was founded by four best friends, Kelly Trevethan, Mark Schratz, Don Van Laeken, and their consulting winemaker, Jean Hoefliger. They like to call themselves the FAB 4.

They always say, “if these vines could talk, they would tell you stories of the old Napa Valley. The history of the estate is compounded in layers; rooted in historic tales of fierce Native American hunting grounds, wild west pioneers and the first woman vintner of California in 1886. It has changed hands over the course of 134 years to become a brewery, restaurant, inn, winery, and saloon. Tales of love, lust, heartbreak, murders, and great fortune create an imaginative backdrop to their present-day vision of AXR.”

Today, AXR celebrates the history that the walls have endured over the years. The good, the bad, and the wonderful.


Q: Who are the owners of the winery?

A: Mark Schratz, Kelly Trevethan, and Don Van Laeken

Q: Who is the master vintner?

A: Consulting Winemaker, Jean Hoefliger


Q: How did you get started in the wine industry?

A: Out of failure … because I [Jean] spent two years in law school playing cards and drinking wine and my father was a wine collector and exposed me early to wine and what it represents as a tool for society to human interaction.

Q: What is one of your favorite varietals to work with and why?

A: Wine is a mood and just like moods, it changes. It also depends on the region where it grows. I consult in many different countries and there is no doubt that Napa is the land of Cabernet. There are amazing Pinot’s from a colder climate and the balance they show in Edna Valley are amazing as well.

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Q: Is there a fun fact or interesting bit of information about your winery?

A: Our estate has the home to one of the first pioneer woman winemakers in Napa Valley!

Q: What type of music do you play in your tasting room?

A: A Pandora Station called Dirty Art Club Studio

Q: Is there anything you want us to know?

A: Yes, call us to setup a visit and see what taking your time to enjoy life is all about and how many great conversation and moments wine creates.

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Lauren Fish