Laura and Jason Ray met in 2013, brought together by a shared passion for wine and the wine country lifestyle. Laura was originally in medical sales, but left that career after unexpectedly winning a sommelier blind tasting competition at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone against some Master Sommeliers. She realized her true vocation was in wine and subsequently worked for a Napa Valley barrel broker called Tonnellerie Ô. After years of experience, Laura now has her own company selling barrels, corks, foils, and bottles to wineries in northern California.
Jason founded Napa Select Vineyard Services, a high-end vineyard management company, in 2005 after completing his degree in Fruit Science & Viticulture at CalPoly down in San Luis Obispo. He began with a single client and now works with almost seventy vineyard owners throughout Napa and Sonoma counties and is one of the top five growers in Napa. He is counted on and recommended by some of Napa’s best consulting winemakers such as Philippe Melka and Thomas Rivers Brown. After thirteen years of farming over 1,100 acres, Jason ‘knows where the good fruit is’, and has accordingly sourced fruit from some of these unique vineyard locations to craft Strala wines.
The Strala name is a play on their last name of Ray - it means ‘to emit rays or radiate light’ in Swedish (Laura’s family lineage). Strala’s first vintage was in 2014, where they produced only 300 cases of a Cabernet Sauvignon and a similar proprietary red blend. Massimo Monticelli, winemaker for Strala, has a familiar last name if you recall the Ilaria Malbec featured in our CWM Wine Club last year… He is the brother-in-law of Anna Monticelli, winemaker for Piña Napa Valley and Ilaria. Massimo’s family connection allows for the purchase of select Malbec grapes from the Dr. Reid Vineyard in Coombsville, which exhibits a signature wild blueberry fruit and white pepper spice. The Cabernet Sauvignon is also sourced from Coombsville, adding a darker fruit core and tannic structure. Chiles Valley is the source for the Petite Sirah and Zinfandel, lending both jammy fruit and structure to the finished blend. The supple character of the Merlot fruit comes partially from Chiles Valley as well, but is also sourced from the Oak Knoll District. The 2015 bottling of Strala draws from these diverse vineyard sources to deftly display the true art of the blend.
Wines to be Tasted
Strala 2015 Brut Rose, Napa Valley $60.00
Strala 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley
Strala 2015 Proprietary Red Wine, Napa Valley $50.00
Strala 2014 Proprietary Red Wine, Napa Valley $40.00
Strala 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley $80.00
Strala 2009 Blanc de Noir, Napa Valley
$20 Per Person
CWM Wine Club Members (plus one guest) FREE