Joe and Pat Harbison's entry in the wine business was anything but typical. Known for his legendary wine cellar, Joe was often called on by various charities to create auction lots or rare and exquisite wines. Culling the best from his cellar, their generosity helped raise much needed funds for over three decades. Recognizing wine's importance in fundraising, they decided to produce their own label called JP Harbison with purchased fruit from Oakville. Norm Roby of Decanter Magazine called their project "the ultimate new boutique brand" when just six cases of the first vintage were made available for sale and the rest donated to charity. JP Harbison produced vintages from 1998-2007 and generated over $3m for children's charities.
In 2005, Joe and Pat were fortunate to find a small parcel of land on Oakville's East side and began development of their winegrowing estate. The site proved ideal for planting Cabernet Sauvignon and sits on the same uplifted allivial fan and red volcanic dirt as its already famous neighbors. The estate is planted to five small vineyard blocks that yield approximately 75 cases of Harbison Estate Cabernet Sauvignon each vintage.
Harbison Estate's team of artisans includes Russell Bevan, whose wines Robert Parker calls, "exuberant and showy," and Jim Barbour, venerable Napa Valley viticulturist for nearly 40 years. Together, they produce focused and graceful wines from the land that is Harbison Estate.