Stag's Leap Winery
Stag's Leap Winery enjoys a storied beginning. On one of California’s earliest wine estates, a unique terroir and ideal microclimate support a classical standard of viticulture, land use, and winemaking that is as relevant today as it was over a century ago. An intimate valley within the greater Napa Valley, Stags’ Leap is a place of natural beauty, storied buildings and gardens, a lively history, and a reputation for elegant wines showing finesse and intensity.
Estate Founder Horace Chase partnered with his uncle, W. W. Thompson, on land where grapes had been planted in the 1880s by T.L. Grigsby (of nearby Occidental Winery, today’s Regusci Winery). The construction of the Manor House in 1890 was followed by the blasting of the Historic Wine Cave and first vintage in 1893. By 1895 production on the estate was up to 40,000 gallons of wine.
The Stags Leap name originated in the late 1880s with the founding Chase family, and is attributed to a native Wappo legend of a stag leaping to escape hunters. The mountains behind the property on the eastern side came to be known as the Stags Leap Palisades.
Wine production has been interrupted periodically since the first Chase vintage due to financial reversals, Prohibition, and war; however, wine grapes have been grown continuously on the estate since its founding.
A fashionable country resort in the mid-twentieth century (the Grange Era), popular with Hollywood due to its 1890s stone Manor House and historic gardens, legends of bootleggers and gangsters, ghosts and gypsies, Stags’ Leap has been home to three major family groups up through the modern revitalization of the winery that began in the 1970s.
The topographical, geological, and climatic features of Stags Leap District make up the region’s reputation for Cabernet Sauvignon. Paying attention to this gift, understanding and working with its potential, lies at the heart of winemaking on this historic estate.
Winemaker Christophe Paubert practices a meticulous, hands-on style of winemaking that emphasizes balance. The Stags’ Leap estate is about intense wines, yet soft tannins; balanced winemaking brings these qualities to the bottle.
From the hand-picked and hand-sorted fruit to the oak barrels aging in caves carved out of the solid rock of the mountain, Paubert’s methods are simple and traditional. His goal is to convey the essence of this world-class terroir from the grape to the glass, to create handcrafted wines that tell an authentic story of the land on which they are grown.
Stags Leap District became an officially designated AVA (American Viticultural Area) in 1989. To use the appellation on a label, wineries must use 85 percent fruit grown within the district.
The district is located five miles north of the town of Napa, and east of the Napa River, along the Silverado Trail. Covering an area three miles long and a mile wide, half of its 2,700 acres are planted to vineyards.
The Stags Leap Palisades are the most prominent geographical feature in the area and are part of the Vaca Range that stretches along the eastern side of Napa Valley. Erosion from the palisades is the source of the volcanic soil acknowledged as a contributing factor to the modern reputation for Cabernet Sauvignon in the Stags Leap District.
STAG'S LEAP WAS RATED ON OF THE TOP FIVE MOST ROMANTIC WINERY DESTINATIONS - SONOMA MAGAZINE
Stags' Leap Winery is truly a hidden gem in the highly acclaimed Stags Leap District. Located off a long, private road, our nineteenth-century stone winery and Victorian era Manor House are nestled against the Stags Leap Palisades east of the Silverado Trail.