1972 - Justin Meyer became a winemaker
American vintner, enologist, and Christian Brothers monk Justin Meyer, also known as Raymond Meyer, lived from 11 November 1938 to 6 August 2002. He co-founded Silver Oak Cellars with Raymond Twomey Duncan in 1972; it is a thriving winery with facilities in the Alexander Valley and Napa Valley. Duncan’s sons David Duncan and Tim Duncan are the current proprietors of Silver Oak Cellars and Twomey Cellars, both of which were established in 1999. Meyer transferred Duncan’s ownership interest in the company to him in 2001. In the 1990s, he held a number of positions in the wine industry, including president of the American Vineyard Foundation. He is a leading authority on wine in California. Meyer is described as “one of the legends of the Napa Valley” by the San Francisco Chronicle.
He left the Christian Brothers in 1972 to become the leader of V&E Consulting and Management Company. In that year, Meyer met Colorado businessman Ray Duncan, who had purchased a 750-acre plot of property in the Napa Valley of northern California, formerly the Oakville Dairy farm, with the intention of investing in the production and marketing of grapes. Meyer, a wine-making monk of the Christian Brothers, and Duncan came to an agreement to erect a winery on the grounds of the order at St. Helena. Meyer would give his expertise in winemaking, horticulture, and the Californian market while Duncan would provide the financing.