Stag's Leap Wine Cellars
The Stag's Leap region is named after the legend of the stag who eluded hunters by leaping across the area's landmark peaks to freedom. The magnificent Stag's Leap Palisades form the eastern boundary of the Stag's Leap estate - founded in 1970 when Napa Valley winemaker Warren Winiarski purchased a 44 acre property, primarily a prune orchard, and replanted it with Cabernet Sauvignon and a little bit of Merlot. The property was located right next to the vineyard of Nathan Fay. Fay was a pioneering grape-grower who planted his vineyard in 1961 with Cabernet Sauvignon in what would become the Stag's Leap AVA, but was at the time a region thought too cold for this grape variety. However, all that was about to be turned on its head! Winiarski is legendary for winning the famous 1976 Judgement of Paris blind tasting for his 1973 Stag's Leap Cabernet Sauvignon - beating some of Bordeaux's finest châteaux - and this catapulted Stag's Leap to international recognition and worldwide acclaim. The secret was out – Stag's leap could produce wine that could rival the best on the planet! In 1986 Winiarski purchased Nathan Fray's 66 acre vineyard and named it in his honour. The soil here is a combination of fine Bale gravelly clay loam and volcanic alluvium and is planted mainly with Cabernet Sauvignon, but with an inclusion of 1.5 acres of Cabernet Franc. Fay, along with Stag's Leaps other estate vineyard wine, S.L.V. where the soils are mainly volcanic, are among the most highly prized and collectable Cabernet Sauvignons in the world. Stags Leap are considered a Napa Valley first growth estate. The signature style of their wines has been described as “an iron fist in a velvet glove”, a reference to the skilful balance between ripeness and restraint, softness and structure. These are wines of exceptional balance with terrific ageing potential. In 1996 Stag's Leap began to excavate its wine caves. Completion was in 2000 with an entrance called The Arcade designed by renowned Spanish architect Javier Barba. There are over 34 square feet of tunnels and at the centre of this network of caves is the the Round Room. Suspended from its ceiling is a Foucault pendulum, one of only about 50 in the world, which marks the passing of time and the ageing of wine. In 2007 a partnership between Winiarski, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Piero Antinori led to the acquisition of Stag's Leap by Marchesi Antinori. For their Their Napa Valley Collection, which includes the Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon, Karia Chardonnay and Aveta Sauvignon Blanc, Stag's Leap use estate fruit to form the backbone of the wines, rounded out with grapes from select Napa Valley vineyards to express regional character and the signature style of Stags Leap - harmonious wines of classic beauty, complexity and balance.