Winemaker - Tyson Wolf
Tyson Wolf makes appealing wines that express their full charm and complexity in their youth, while offering an unparalleled intersection between quality and value. A highly skilled winemaker with an artful approach to blending, Tyson is an expert with multiple grape varieties. He works collaboratively with the vineyard and winemaking teams to ensure the wines reflect the Decoy signature style, and its unwavering commitment to quality.
Tyson grew up just two miles from Duckhorn Vineyards in Napa Valley. Though Tyson learned to make wine at an early age, he didn’t fall under the spell of wine until years later, while he was earning a degree in biology from Loyola Marymount University. “Growing up in wine country, I rebelled against the idea of going into wine,” says Tyson, “but then I grew older and I realized what an amazing thing it is to grow grapes and turn them into beautiful wines.”
Tyson began his career at William Hill and Mumm Napa where he worked as a lab technician before taking a position as the enologist for Round Hill Winery. Tyson’s talents enabled him to quickly progress until he was ultimately named winemaker in charge of overseeing Rutherford Wine Company’s entire portfolio, including Rutherford Ranch, Scott Family Estate, Lander-Jenkins and Round Hill—experience that gave him the opportunity to work with numerous grape varieties and regions.
In 2016, Tyson was named the winemaker for Decoy. “As a wine country native, I grew up knowing how important a role Duckhorn Wine Company has played in the story of California wine,” says Tyson. “It’s an honor to be a part of such an iconic and innovative company. It’s also thrilling to collaborate with such a gifted team of winemakers.”
Fruit for the Decoy program comes from a mix of Estate vineyards and top grower vineyards. “It starts with our Sonoma County focus,” says Tyson. “Whether it’s Pinot and Chardonnay from Carneros, Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley or Bordeaux varieties from our own Ridgeline and Brownell vineyards in Alexander Valley, Sonoma County offers a range of world-class grapes.”
To benefit from the diversity of Decoy’s great fruit sources, Tyson and his team do as many as 150 individual fermentations each vintage with many lots as small as 5 tons. From there, hands on practices like open-top punch downs and lees stirring are applied. “There is an incredible amount of care that goes into these wines,” says Tyson. “If you want to achieve small-lot quality in your wines, you have to apply the same small-lot attention to detail, including hand-sorting, the use of the finest coopers and French oak, and a commitment to artful blending. From the wealth of viticultural and winemaking talent we can draw from to our world-class cooperage program and more, Decoy benefits greatly from the remarkable resources of Duckhorn Wine Company.”
Committed to Quality
Like all the grapes used to make wines in the Duckhorn Wine Company portfolio, fruit for the Decoy program comes from a mix of Estate vineyards and top grower vineyards. Decisions about which lots are used in Decoy are not made until well into the winemaking process. As a result, Decoy’s grapes receive the same meticulous care in the vineyard, and the same small-lot attention to detail in the winery.