Caymus Vineyards and the Wagner family both have a long history in the Napa valley area. The Wagner family moved to the area in 1906, following the San Francisco earthquake. They started planting planting vineyards that same year in the Rutherford appellation. By 1915, they were growing their own grapes for use in bulk wines. In 1941, before America entered World War 2, the Wagner family bought 73 acres of prime vineyard land in Rutherford. It took over 20 years before they were able to truly start seriously planting grapevines. Prior to being planted with Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir, the land they bought had been used primarily as a fruit ranch.
1972 saw the official debut of Caymus Vineyards. Caymus Vineyards took its name from the original Mexican land grant awarded during the 19th century in the Rutherford section their vines were planted in. Just three years later, Caymus Vineyards became one of the first wineries to produce a California Cabernet Sauvignon made from a special selection. The wine is produced from a selection of the estates best parcels located in Rutherford. Due to the selection process for the wine, it was logically called, Caymus Special Selection.
They did this with the help of Randy Dunn, who later formed his own, eponymous winery. In fact, the creation of Caymus Special Selection was due to suggestions from Randy Dunn. At first, Caymus Special Selection was aged up to 4 years in a combination of new and old, French oak barrels. Today, more new oak is used, up to 90%, but the aging time has been reduced to an average of 18 months.
From 60 acres of vines in Rutherford, Caymus Vineyards produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Caymus Special Selection, Conundrum, Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel. They also produced Pinot Noir for a few short years, but that grape variety is no longer used by Caymus. Much of the non Cabernet Sauvignon wines are produced from fruit purchased from other growers.
In 2013, Caymus vineyards added 178 more acres to their holding in Northern California. To handle the increased production, Caymus is building a new, massive wine making facility and storage area in Fairfiled California, where at least 33% of their wine will be produced and bottled. This adds to their operations in Santa Lucia Highlands for Conundrum, Mer Soleil and Silver, along with their labels Belle Glos and Meomi, which are made in their Rutherford location.