Stags Leap Wine Cellars
The winery was established in 1970 by Warren Winiarski. His interest in wine stemmed from a trip to Italy. After returning to the US, he began experimenting with wine making at home. Warren’s interest compelled him to move his family to Napa in 1968 where he began to work in established wineries such as Robert Mondavi. In 1970, he took a leap of faith and purchased 40+ acres in what is now in Stags Leap Wine District (AVA) of Napa Valley, California. The original acreage was planted with prune, cherry and walnut trees with a small area of Petite Sirah and Alicante Bouschet vines. Warren quickly replaced the area with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grape vines and renamed his new vineyard Stag’s Leap Vineyard or “S.L.V.” for short.
S.L.V.’s first wine was created in 1972 in a rented facility. The second vintage was offered in 1973 in commercial quantities. In 1976, their 73 Cabernet was entered into the historic Judgment of Paris. Their 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon won first place in a blind tasting by the leading French wine experts of that time. This single event put California wineries on the map and launched S.L.V. into international fame.
In 2007, Warren Winiarski ultimately sold his beloved winery to Chateau Ste. Michelle. Chateau Ste. Michelle has continued with the legacy the Winiarski’s built.
The Stag’s Leap Wine Cellar’s newly designed FAY Outlook & Visitor Center was created to take advantage of the stunning views of the vineyards and the Stags Leap Palisades, allowing visitors to revel in the changing seasons. If that’s not enough, while you’re there, their caves tours are a must, worthy of the money and the time.
One of the wines I’ve greatly enjoyed is their Cask 23 Cabernet Sauvignon. This is what the winemaker has to say about their Stags Leap Wine Cellars Cask 23 Cabernet Sauvignon:
“The CASK 23 combines the signature perfume notes of FAY vineyard with the structure and minerality of S.L.V. The wine opens with aromas of black cherry, dark plum, espresso, and spice. A rich, ripe fruit entry leads to a concentrated core of dark fruit (plum, black cherry, dried currant).”
You can find this wine on their website, wine.com, bevmo.com, totalwine.com or at good wine purveyors. Take a moment to check it out.
For me, part of the charm of this wine and winery is their awesome location, history and of course, their great tasting wine. The fact that it’s not far from some of my favorite places, which includes wineries, restaurants, and many fun sights, is a plus.
Time for a glass…
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