Our Story

Care, craft and terroir are the guiding principles which drive our passion to bring you the highest quality wine. We don’t care to be big; rather we care to be stewards of the land and vintners of wines with exceptional character.

With that in mind we create 2 portfolios of wines.  The first are wines made from grapes exclusively grown our estate; these are our Proprietor’s Reserve.  We also create wines made from grapes sourced from growers with whom we have established personal connections. The vast majority of these are single vineyard designate wines; and a significant proportion of our production is sourced from neighboring properties in the Atlas Peak AVA.

 First and foremost, we care to create wines that perfectly express the place and micro-climate that give our fruit its unique expression of each varietal’s characteristics. In a word, we want our wines to embody the unique terroir of Lagniappe Peak and of our partner vineyards.

Craft defines everything that we do. It begins in the vineyard with a clear vision of what we are trying to achieve. Our vineyard has been designed to express the unique aspects of our location and soil. We strive to select grower partners who share the same vision and dedication.

Craft continues with our vineyard practices, which encourage the highest quality fruit with minimal intervention. Our winemaking adheres to these guiding principles in the handling of our fruit, the selection of our barrels and the custom blending of each vintage.

Care, craft and terroir are the “something extra”, or “lagniappe” which we strive to bring to each vintage.

Lagniappe Peak, Napa Valley

Meet the Team

Debb & Bob Almeida – Proprietors

Debb & Bob were first bitten by the wine bug during an overseas assignment in Sydney Australia in 1983-85. Extensive visits to the Hunter Valley sparked an intense interest in creating a vineyard; one that would remain dormant during their return to Manhattan and Bob’s career in finance.

Upon relocation to the west coast, D&B scouted many locations throughout Napa and Sonoma before acquiring Lagniappe Peak in 1999. Creating a vineyard was considered impractical by previous owners and would wait until Bob retired in 2007. The clearing of the land and creation of the vineyards were true “lagniappe” and that special “something extra” is reflected in our wines.

Kian Tavakoli – Winemaker

Kian graduated from UC Davis in 1992, with a degree in genetics and viticulture. His first assignment in Napa took him to Opus One, where he spent four years as enologist. He subsequently moved to Clos du Val, where he spent 9 years; eventually heading the Cabernet Sauvignon program, including their prestigious Napa Valley Reserve bottling.

Kian combines his extensive experience in making award winning Napa Valley Cabs and Bordeaux blends with his love of food (developed at an early age as the son of restaurateurs) to create our elegant and food friendly wines.

Gerardo Cruz – Vineyard Manager

Gerardo spent 15 years as the associate crew chief at Peter Michael Winery. During that period Gerardo was principally responsible for the layout and planting of their extensive hill side vineyards; which are among the most challenging and renowned in Napa Valley. Gerardo’s experience has been invaluable in unlocking the “lagniappe” of our vineyards at Lagniappe Peak.

Erika Almeida Mooney – Winery Chef

Erika is Winery Chef and our daughter.  Following her undergraduate studies, with a degree in sociology, Erika developed a keen interest in culinary arts. She enrolled in the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan, where she studied under the tutelage of renowned chefs, including Jacques Pepin, Jacques Torres and Andre Soltner.

Upon graduation Erika worked with a number of culinary and media stars including Bobby Flay and Mario Batali. Erika’s recipes for suggested pairings with Lagniappe Peak wines are provided to wine club members and can be found on our web site.

Malbec – Chief Mischief Maker

Malbec joined the team in September 2012 and quickly assumed her role as head of mischief and overseer of all of our operations. In addition to her extensive responsibilities, Malbec also served as the muse for our Pugsley Syrah.

The concept of “lagniappe” is rooted in the hospitality, gracious elegance and fun-loving “joie de vivre” of Debb’s birthplace, New Orleans.
We strive to bring the essence of this spirit to you in each vintage of Lagniappe Peak wines.