Blackbird Vineyards is unusual in Napa Valley, being dedicated to Merlot and Cabernet Franc (“merle” being French for “blackbird”) rather than the ubiquitous Cabernet Sauvignon. Established in 2003, it came under the direction of John and Julia Hinshaw in 2019. Aaron Pott has been winemaker at Blackbird since the beginning, where the Right Bank Bordeaux inspiration resonates with long years making wines in St-Émilion and Pomerol. The 10 acre Blackbird Vineyard in Oak Knoll is at the heart of production, a unique vineyard in the area where the clay soil in which Merlot thrives is well drained by underlying gravel. Other vineyards from which fruit is sourced are Ballard Vineyard on Spring Mountain, Crocker & Starr in St. Helena, Star Vineyard in Rutherford, Stagecoach Vineyard on Atlas Peak, and Hudson Vineyard in Carneros.