On the sun and vine-dappled slopes of the Napa Valley, overlooking the town of St. Helena, we took a chance. Possessed with an unshakable desire to create something of our ‘own’, and to make an impression both immediate and lasting, we embarked to produce a signature wine we could be proud to put our name on. It was 1993 and wine had a twinkle in its eye.
The act of winemaking involves equal parts mystery and mischief. With this combination at play we came up with not just one, but two, proprietary blends. First and foremost, Bacio Divino - a divine kiss of predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon, with the added dimensions of Sangiovese and occasionally other varietals. And, in 1999, its vivacious kid sister, Pazzo, was set loose; a Sangiovese-centric blend with undercurrents of Merlot, Syrah and a touch of our estate Cab.
Ever curious, we later ventured towards single varietals resulting in our namesake Janzen (2004), Vagabond (2004), and Lucie (2009).
Twenty vintages into our small family-run venture, we are immensely proud of our wines. Each acclaim humbles us, yet the desire to single out, blend, taste and create drives on. With hard work we have made many things come true. We hope you will find your own favorite amongst ours and that enjoying each will prove effortless.
Claus & Diane Janzen
Several ski seasons at an upscale establishment in Switzerland can be blamed for introducing a young Claus to fine wines – an encounter from which he will likely never recover. Later, after transplanting his family from Winnipeg, Canada to Napa, he spent 12 years at Caymus, developing for them the most enviable international marketing operation in the Valley.
Meanwhile, Claus’ own viniculture ambitions were ripening. A chance acquisition of some practically-discarded Sangiovese grapes in 1993 led to the first vintage of Bacio Divino and the realization of a family estate.
An accomplished photographer and music freak, Claus takes time out from the cellars on the nearest lake dock he can find.
Back in Winnipeg, Diane hosted many elaborate wine dinners, unintentionally fuelling her husband's enophilia while honing her mastery of logistics. As manager of sales and customer relations she is the keel of the ship, keeping wine top-of-mind (and the captain in line).
When not attending to your order, Diane can occasionally be found bottling her own olive oil.
If anyone can speak to the origins of their wine exposure, it’s Kyle. At a very early age he mastered the corkscrew and not long after, the finesse of swirling, sniffing and eventually speaking.
At first just an adorable asset to his parents’ wine dinners, it was later found that he had, in fact, inherited their predilection for a fine red. Kyle lives in sync with the rhythm of the winery from harvest to crush, blending to bottling. His hands-on experience in all of these areas makes him the perfect spokesperson for our wines.
Professional Enophile and Vine Coach
On the ground and behind the scenes, Kirk is an indispensable co-conspirator. His family roots run deep in viticulture and his passion for the industry has led to early recognition in the world of wine. Kirk's heritage and tutelage along with his love for the process, give him an unequaled edge in the wine industry.
It’s possible that this woman has not gone a year without packing a suitcase. With several passports to her name and an ability to adapt to wherever her nomadic lifestyle takes her, Risa keeps her finger on the pulse of, well, everywhere.
Our go-to gal for media communications and strategy, her extensive customer experience and insatiable appetite for what’s ‘trending’ keeps us out of the dark ages. This website you’re looking at has her fingerprints all over it. #whereisrisa
Our Collaborators:Photography: Kurt-Inge Eklund and Cloudy
Website Development Guru: Alex Uher
Wordsmith Extraordinaire: Leandra Fallis