NAPA, CA (June 26, 2013) – Dick Vermeil, Super Bowl-winning Coach and two-time NFL Coach-of-the-Year, and winemaker Paul Smith have announced the opening of the Vermeil Wines Tasting Room. Located at 1018 First Street in Napa, visitors to the tasting room can sample the selection of fine wines from Vermeil Wines.
“The Tasting Room is a great way to get to know our wines,” said Vermeil. “I invite everyone who visits the Napa Valley to stop by and learn about the history of Vermeil Wines, do a tasting flight and take home some wine to enjoy with family and friends.”
Opening the Napa tasting room was a natural step for Vermeil, who is a native of Calistoga, Calif. “The Vermeil family has deep roots in the Napa Valley,” Vermeil said. “A strong wine culture has been handed-down from generation to generation in my family.” Vermeil said he remembered helping his grandfather, Albert Vermeil, make their family wines, and that wine was regularly served in the household.
Born and raised in his great-grandfather’s home in Calistoga, Richard A. “Dick” Vermeil was a talented high school quarterback who pursued his love for the sport at Napa Junior College, and later San Jose State. Following graduation Vermeil spent four years in high school coaching before moving into the Junior College ranks. After two seasons as a JC coach, one as an assistant and one as a head coach at Napa Community College, he moved on to Stanford University for four years before entering the NFL as the league’s first ever special teams coach with the Los Angeles Rams.
Following four seasons with the Rams, Vermeil was hired to take over the head coaching job at UCLA. In his second year at UCLA, they won the PAC VIII Championship and went on to upset Ohio State, ranked #1 in the nation, on Jan. 1, 1976 in the Rose Bowl.
This victory led to Vermeil being hired to take over the head coaching responsibilities of the Philadelphia Eagles. In his third season, the Eagles initiated a four consecutive season playoff run that was highlighted by an NFC Championship in 1980 and a trip to Super Bowl XV.
Following the 1982 season, Vermeil entered the football broadcasting field, spending five years with CBS Sports and another nine years with ABC.
In 1997, after a fourteen year NFL absence, Vermeil became the head coach of the St. Louis Rams. In three years, the Rams went from being a “down and out” NFL franchise to the winner of Super Bowl XXXIV.
Vermeil holds the rare distinction of being named Coach of the Year at four levels: high school, junior college, Division I college, and NFL Coach of the Year (twice).
Crafting Vermeil Wines is talented winemaker, Paul G. Smith. Smith earned his degree at CSU-Fresno in enology-viticulture and has more than 30 years of experience in the wine field. He has held technical and management positions with companies including Joseph Phelps Vineyards and Robert Mondavi Corporation. During Paul’s 17 years with Mondavi, he was responsible for the technical development, facility design and project management of several internationally recognized, state-of-the-art facilities.
Since 1991, Vermeil has worked closely with Paul Smith on the highly acclaimed Jean Louis Vermeil Cabernet Sauvignon. Multiple Jean Louis Vermeil wines have received 90+ ratings from Robert M. Parker, Jr., the world’s most influential wine critic and publisher of The Wine Advocate. Parker wrote, “This is the personal wine project of the Super Bowl-winning, renowned NFL head coach, Dick Vermeil. His initial dive into the wine world is impressive. It goes against the rule-of-thumb that celebrities rarely achieve anything special in the world of wine.”
Born and raised in Calistoga, the northernmost town in the Napa Valley, Dick Vermeil grew up surrounded by vineyards that had been owned by his ancestors in the early 1900s. Vermeil’s paternal great-grandfathers, Jean Louis Vermeil and Garibaldi Iaccheri, had come to United States from Gattiéres, France, and Lucca, Italy, respectively, as teenagers to forge their futures in the New World.
After a successful business career which included a role on the Board of Directors with Bank of Italy in San Francisco (later to become the Bank of America), Garibaldi Iaccheri founded one of Calistoga’s first hot spring spas, the Iaccheri Baths, as well as one of the first local wine companies, the Calistoga Wine Company sometime around 1900.
The Vermeil and Iaccheri families would come together when Jean Louis’ son, Albert (Dick Vermeil’s grandfather) married into the Iaccheri family.
The Frediani Vineyards
Vermeil Wines fruit is sourced primarily from Calistoga’s dry-farmed vineyards in the esteemed Rosedale-Pickett Road area of Napa Valley, where Mary Sue Frediani can still be found sharing the history of the area. This unique area near the base of the Palisades features a broad variety of soil types ranging from the higher and essentially bottomless, Pleasanton gravels, to the lower, richer, and heavier Bale clay loams fronting the Napa River. The vineyards, the warm Calistoga days, cool foggy nights and third-generation Frediani Family winegrowing experience combine to bless us with fruit rich in color and flavor density.
Vermeil Wines are available for purchase online, at the Vermeil Wines Tasting Room located in both Napa and Calistoga, CA and at select retail stores nationwide. For a complete list of distributors and retail locations carrying the Vermeil Wines brand across the United States, visit VermeilWines.com.