As a child, Charlie Wagner attended Liberty School, a grade 1-8 primary school in Rutherford, California. Years later, in 1950, Charlie Wagner and his wife, Lorna Belle Glos, built their new home using wood from the original Liberty School structure.
In 1972, the Wagner family founded Caymus Vineyards and began producing Cabernet Sauvignon. A few years later, they created a secondary wine with the purpose of offering Cabernet Sauvignon with quality, consistency and value. Wanting to commemorate the old schoolhouse, Charlie Wagner named the wine Liberty School and used its image on their label. The first vintage of Liberty School was produced in 1975, using excess fruit coming from Napa Valley that didn’t make it into the Caymus Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon. Grapes were later sourced from other regions in California and even Chile.
In the mid 1980s, the Paso Robles region caught the attention of Charlie Wagner’s son Chuck as a source for good quality, value-priced Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. In the late 1980s, the Wagners met Chuck Hope and his brother Paul, who had already been growing grapes in Paso Robles since 1980. As the growers for Liberty School over the years, the Hope family helped give the brand a sense of place and a home in Paso Robles, and together the Hope and Wagner families worked towards solidifying Liberty School’s solid reputation for quality and value.
In 1996, the Hope family acquired the label and began producing Liberty School in Paso Robles. Since then, the Hope family has added Liberty School Chardonnay and Cuvée to the brand. The wines are comprised of fruit from over 50 independent, family-owned Paso Robles and Central Coast vineyards, some of which were developed by the Hope family, and are made in a traditional style: fruit-driven, barrel-aged and crafted to reflect true varietal and regional character.
|Winemaker: Jason Diefenderfer|