Since establishing his reputation at Newton Vineyards in the 1980s, John Kongsgaard is now rightfully revered as the one of the finest winemakers in California. From their bunker-like winery at the top of Atlas Peak Mountain, John and his wife Maggie produce profound wines from Chardonnay, Albarino, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines are produced in tiny quantities and are difficult to find, but the trouble is more than worth it once the cork gets popped. In addition to producing great wines, John has also acted as mentor for some of the most important young winemakers now playing their trade in the state. Abe Schoener of the Scholium Project, Duncan Meyers of Arnot Roberts and Andy Ericksson of Mayacamas (and previously Screaming Eagle) have spent time learning from this modern great of Californian wine.