Our Story

Retro Cellars

Meet Mike and Kara

When Mike and Kara Dunn decided to make a wine of their own, they knew that they wanted to honor the history of the vineyard as well as their family's foundations in the Napa Valley wine industry.

Historic Park Muscatine Vineyard

The historic Park Muscatine vineyard on Howell Mountain was chosen in part because Mike has known this vineyard since his childhood, pruning the vineyard in winter, and harvesting the fruit in the fall. With its scant ton per acre production, this vineyard is a gem.

What's In A Name

They chose the Retro name to pay homage to the generational groundwork that’s been laid for their endeavor, and with a vision for continuity in the future literally illustrated by the artwork on the label, which came from the hand of their then 11-year-old son, Alex. Alex, now 28, is a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, and part-time cellars hand at Dunn Vineyards and Retro Cellars.

Aging

For the aging of the Petite Sirah, Mike selected French oak barrels from four prestigious coopers: Tonnellerie Garonnaise, Tonnellerie Damy, Tonnellerie Billon and Richelieu. Located on the outskirts of Beaune, France (Burgundy region) the Tonnelleries produce wine barrels of superior quality. They maintain control over the forest origin of the wood, manage their own stave mill, air-dry the staves for a minimum of 24 months, and implement strict quality control measures. The fine grain and mellow toast of the barrels complements the Petite Sirah with vanilla and spice, while allowing the fruit core to shine through.

Oak barrels

Our long-time family friend Vincent Bouchard of the family Bouchard Pere et Fils in Burgundy represents the Damy and Richelieu cooperages to US winemakers. According to Vincent “The Richelieu barrel is hand-crafted using a unique, proprietary blend of oak from small micro-climates within three of the finest forests in France, all sourced from independent family suppliers with trusted, long-established relationships. One forest contributes a noted minerality, another imparts structure, texture and spice, while the third brings softness, freshness and elegance”.

Garonnaise

The Garonnaise barrel “is designed to enhance the density of your wines and concentrate their aromas, limiting redox potential for a richer sensory experience”.

Quality wine starts in the vineyard.
Kara Dunn, Owner

Founding Retro Cellars

Retro Cellars was founded in 2003 when Mike and Kara Dunn, natives of the Napa Valley wine industry, decided to make a wine of their own. Their current production includes two Petite Sirahs, one from the historic Park Muscatine Vineyard on Howell Mountain, and a Napa Valley Petite Sirah from the valley floor. Their wines embody the concept of “terroir”, a wine’s expression of the place of origin in the bottle, and an old world winemaking style that Mike learned from his dad, Randy.

Vineyards

Quality wine starts in the vineyard. The French know this, with their concept of “terroir”, a wine’s expression of the place of origin in the bottle.

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Map of the USA with the state of CA highlighted
Howell Mountain, Napa V...

Located in
Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California

Founded in:
2003
Owned by:
Mike and Kara Dunn
Winemaking by:
Mike Dunn
Case produced per year:
500

Our winery is proud to be supported by Vinebase, a Public Benefit Corporation.

See how a purchase from Retro Cellars is helping Vinebase build a bright future for independent producers.
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