The Napa Valley is steeped in winery history going back to the late 1800’s. We’ve picked out 3 of our favorites to share with you for your next trip to the Napa Valley. These dynamic and storied Napa wineries, including the first ever, Charles Krug, help to tell the story of this rural part of the San Francisco Bay Area. They charm us with a history that shows us Napa Valley has always been on the move, except for a little hiccup called Prohibition.
Appropriately, that trip down memory lane starts at the first Napa winery bonded by Mr. Charles Krug, his eponymous winery Charles Krug on Main Street just north of the old town St. Helena. For being the first official Napa Valley winery, it is still making history today… specifically this April 5th is the reopening of the historic Redwood Cellar that was originally opened in 1872. The restoration includes reclaimed redwood from the family’s original redwood fermentation tanks. The National Historical Landmark is re-imagined by renowned architect Howard Backen and features a warm and beautiful lounge to greet you as you arrive. Amazing to fathom this winery has survived through two bouts of phylloxera, Prohibition, and the coming and going of literally hundreds of wineries, all with their own incredible stories of despair and repair.
Charles Krug, 2800 Main St, Saint Helena, CA 94574
Chateau Montelena has great anecdotes that occupy an epic span in Napa Valley winery history. Part of a select group of wineries designed by Hamden McIntyre his other projects include Trefethen Family Winery, a wooden winery, but he’s known for his large stone buildings built into hillsides. Both Inglenook, the Christian Brothers Winery now the Culinary Institute of America, and Far Niente were designed to be gravity flow wineries with naturally cool cellars.
Chateau Montelena ties the past together with our present, and plays a central role in the immortal movie Bottle Shock that tells the story of the Judgment of Paris tasting. Visitors to Chateau Montelena can experience their special once weekly tour “Beyond Paris & Hollywood” that takes place on Thursdays at 9:45am
Chateau Montelena, 1429 Tubbs Lane, Calistoga, CA 94515
Spring Mountain Vineyards
Another winery that was involved in the historic Judgment of Paris tasting with its Cabernet Sauvignon is also steeped in history and located in the beautiful Spring Mountain District near Saint Helena. Spring Mountain Vineyards traces its’ history back to 1873 when Charles Lemme the upper most property of the modern estate, La Perla.
A visit to Spring Mountain Vineyards in its idyllic setting is an experience to be treasured where the rich past of the Napa Valley criss crosses with modern winemaking methods.
Spring Mountain Vineyards, 2805 Spring Mountain Road, Saint Helena, CA 94574
The story of this valley has been told by the people and the wineries they promote not as just as individuals, but as a cohesive and comprehensive odyssey. These historically important wineries are must sees on any wine tour of Napa Valley, and our Intro to Napa Valley is the perfect way to check them all out. Contact us now to learn more about the rich heritage of this world famous wine country!
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