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Presented by Meadowood Napa Valley

Wineries That Put Napa on the Map

Presented By Meadowood Napa Valley
Jun. 17th, 2016

Napa Valley is recognized worldwide as a not only a destination for amazing wine, but great food, elegant accommodations, and outdoor adventure. As the area’s first luxury resort, Meadowood Napa Valley is a big part of the region’s rich history—even playing host to the first Auction Napa Valley in 1981.

While more than 400 wineries now call the Napa Valley home, it was the hard work of the pioneering vintners who made this distinct Northern California region what it is today. Here are five wineries that helped put Napa Valley on the map.

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars
Photo Credit: Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars

In 1970, Stag’s Leap’s founder turned a 44-acre prune orchard into a Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot vineyard. Just six years later, the winery conquered the Cabernet Sauvignon competition in the famous 1976 Judgment of Paris, launching it into infamy. Deemed one of Napa Valley’s first-growth estates, Stag’s Leap continues to impress guests with its stunning grounds, which include a $7 million visitors’ center and wine cave holding 6,000 barrels within its 34,000 square feet of tunnels.

Rutherford Hill
Photo Credit: Rutherford Hill

Rutherford Hill

In the early '70s, just as the Napa Valley was starting to pop up on the radar, Rutherford’s founders took notice of the similarities in the climate and soil of the Napa Valley and Pomerol—a French wine-growing region mainly producing Merlot. This foresight made Rutherford one of the original Napa Valley wineries to establish the area’s leading varietal. The Terlato family bought the estate in 1996, adding Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc among others, to their portfolio while maintaining their longstanding commitment to cultivating full-bodied Merlots.  

Robert Mondavi Winery
Photo Credit: Robert Mondavi Winery

Robert Mondavi Winery

If anyone deserves credit for establishing the Valley as a premier food and wine destination, it’s Robert Mondavi. His winery remains where it was founded in 1966 on Oakville’s Highway 29, and has become an exceedingly popular attraction for the area’s visitors. They were among the first to offer tours and tastings, exposing the world to some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon wines as well as Mondavi’s iconic Fumé Blanc made from their Sauvignon Blanc grapes. Mondavi recently passed away, but it's clear his influence and ingenuity lives on in his namesake winery.

Inglenook Estates
Photo Credit: Inglenook Estates

Inglenook Estates

Finnish sea captain Gustave Niebaum landed in Napa in 1879 with the goal to build a winery that could compete with the best in Europe. By 1891, production was at an all-time high, the property’s chateau finished construction, and President Grover Cleveland was sipping Inglenook’s wine at the White House. In 1975, Francis Ford Coppola and his wife bought a portion of the winery, producing the first of its leading vintage, Rubicon. Over the last 40 years, the couple has been devoted to honoring Inglenook’s rich heritage with each year’s harvest.

Beringer Vineyards
Photo Credit: Beringer Vineyards

Beringer Vineyards

Considered "the oldest, continuously-operating winery in the Napa Valley,” Beringer is both a California Historical Landmark and listed under the National Register of Historical Places. Jacob and his brother Frederick Beringer founded the winery in 1875 after buying 215 acres of land. Even through Prohibition, the estate continued to produce wine under the premise that it be sold only for religious purposes. Today, one of Jacob’s ancestors, Mark Beringer, carries on the family tradition, recently taking on the coveted position of head winemaker.

Meadowood Napa Valley

Meadowood offers the region's most robust collection of amenities, activities and services including golf, tennis, croquet, hiking, swimming, fitness, spa, wine experiences, destination weddings and a Michelin three-star restaurant. ...(Read More)