Maze – a complex branching puzzle with choices of path and direction
– perfectly sums up the story behind Maze Wines, a boutique family producer making stellar, highly rated wines in the Napa Valley.
Working his way into the maze of winemaking, Ireland-born Paul McSharry was first inspired by the knowledgeable sommeliers he encountered during his early days working for a French Advertising agency. After diving into his wine education with the WSET, he and his father Gerry McSharry, launched a small import business in Ireland. Their goal was to introduce the country to small wineries they’d never seen before, with an emphasis on wines from South Africa, Argentina, South of France and California.
Paul’s desire to explore the physical side of winemaking led him to the Napa Valley, where he had the chance to work his first harvest in 2009 with esteemed winemaker Mark Herold. With Mark’s encouragement (and access to premium fruit and oak barrels!), Paul reached out to Gerry to support this winemaking venture. It was a very easy decision for Gerry, who developed his own love affair with fine quality wines while entertaining prospective media clients in some of the world’s finest restaurants, to join Paul in his wish to make hand crafted wines in California.
Their dream took substance when Mark Herold, who co-founded Merus in 1998, agreed to be wine consultant to the fledgling venture. In 2017 Mike Hirby joined Maze as Consulting Winemaker, a seamless progression of Mark’s winemaking style and fruit selection. The team currently makes around 1300 cases, focusing on Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc, and plans to maintain this small level of production and attention to high quality.
The young team has exited the Maze successfully on the other side, with national recognition, high scores and a trajectory that is second to none. Listen to our full podcast with Paul McSharry to learn more about this award-winning winery. Sláinte!