Our Story A shared foundation of process and excellence
In many respects, the Diamond & Key story began long before the vines that produce this intense, yet supple wine were planted, when two families – the Arenados and the Thompsons – met one another in Los Angeles. From the beginning, both families shared a love of athletics with their three sons, and although Nolan and Klay chose different sports, each achieved a level of excellence that is rare in any endeavor. Klay chose basketball and is best known for being a four-time NBA Champion and, arguably, one of the greatest shooters of all time. Nolan’s passion was baseball where he has had a remarkable career, with the Colorado Rockies and the St. Louis Cardinals, amassing an impressive nine Golden-Glove awards.
Throughout their respective careers, Nolan and Klay have taken time to share the love of their sports in their communities, through youth programs and their philanthropies. As Nolan’s father, Ferando Arenado, says regarding the youth program: "There is something to take away from every pitch, every swing, and every step around the bases." Klay’s involvement with youth basketball demonstrates a similar philosophy.
It was in 2017, after the wildfires that ravaged the Napa, Sonoma, and Santa Rosa communities that Klay’s interest in producing wine started to bud. Setting out to help those in need after this crisis by partnering with the North Bay Relief Fund – a fund that that raised over $10 million for the victims affected – Klay had the opportunity to meet not only the fire victims, but some of the top winemakers in the valley. This is where Klay met Joe Harden, the winemaker for Nickel & Nickel and Salty Goats.
Klay and Joe share common interests, but none greater than their love of basketball, and their commitment to being the best version of themselves in their respective arenas. Joe started his collegiate career at Notre Dame, and later transferred to University of California, Davis where he continued playing his sport and started his viticulture education. After his colligate career, was later drafted to the Warrior’s NBA G-League team out of college, and finished his playing career in Australia. Joe then turned his attention to the wine industry where he continues his own pursuit of excellence.
As the worlds of athletics and wine began to coalesce, Joe was introduced to Nolan, Klay’s family friend. Although Nolan spends his time on the Diamond, rather than in a Key, he shares Klay and Joe’s pursuit of excellence. It is the union of these remarkable athletes partnered with Joe Harden that produces Diamond & Key, a wine that reflects this ethos.
While Nolan and Klay could have chosen an easier path into the wine industry by collaborating with a big winery and selecting barrels to blend, that would run counter to their focus on excellence. Klay and Nolan wanted to understand the entire winemaking process and ensure that their wine expresses their life-mission.
So, they turned to Joe Harden to find a special vineyard of Cabernet Sauvignon and take the time to create something truly memorable. Panek Vineyard, located in Napa Valley’s St. Helena, met that criterion, and in 2018 they harvested their first vintage of Diamond & Key. Just as Klay and Nolan have distinguished themselves in their athletics; with this wine Joe Harden has done so as well. The quality of this wine speaks for itself; we hope you enjoy the experience.
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