Winery Review: Black Stallion Winery in Napa Valley, California

Wineries in California: Located on a picturesque stretch of the Silverado Trail, Black Stallion Winery recalls the rustic charm of early California. The winery is situated on the grounds of a historic equestrian center, which underwent extensive renovation. Black Stallion Winery is one of Napa’s newest, having just opened its massive wooden doors to the public in the summer of 2007.

The inspiration for Black Stallion Winery’s name came from the fabled history of the area that surrounds it. Horse and cattle ranching dominated the region around the Silverado Trail throughout the 1800s. During the 1900s, most of the open land was converted to vineyards. More than 50 years ago, the Silverado Horseman’s Center—a sprawling 32-acre equestrian center—was located on the winery grounds. The original facilities housed an indoor riding track and an outdoor arena that seated 3,000 spectators. The property also included a half-mile race track, recreation buildings, a private paddock, riding trails, and a stallion-breeding facility. The indoor riding track featured 36 horse stalls and a grandstand for training, boarding, and riding events. Remnants of the original horse stalls are still visible on the stone walls of the facility, which has been retrofitted to house the winery’s production operations.

Black Stallion Winery is committed to crafting ultra-premium wines that reflect the elegance and complexity of the newly appointed Oak Knoll District, where the winery stands. This appellation is distinguished by a temperate climate that is frequently cooler than other regions of the Napa Valley. The winery’s estate vineyards are being planted with several different clones of Cabernet Sauvignon that will support Black Stallion’s philosophy of creating balance and complexity by blending small lots. The current portfolio contains nine different varietals, including a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Chardonnay, and a dessert wine.  Total case production for Black Stallion Winery is 3,800 cases. All Black Stallion wines are sold exclusively on location at the winery or through its Web site.

Visitors to Black Stallion Winery enter through a drive flanked by century-old olive trees leading to a circular fountain that features an impressive 10-foot bronze sculpture of a black stallion frozen in motion. Inside, a sizeable mahogany-trimmed tasting room awaits, with a long, circular tasting bar taking center stage. The lofty ceiling allows for plenty of natural light and a crackling fireplace encourages guests to take their time at the tasting bar.

Besides this breathtaking space, the winery’s hospitality center offers two private tasting rooms and a private lounge for club members. The grand private dining room, aptly named the Barrel Room, is lined with stacks of barrels. Glass walls and tall glass doors on both ends of the room allow visitors to look into both the central tasting room and the barrel-aging cellar. The 20-foot-high, coved burgundy ceiling was designed to emulate a wine barrel’s interior. Many private event opportunities, including private tastings, lunches, and dinners are available on the spectacular estate, which is located just minutes from the town of Napa.

What To Buy:
‘05 Cabernet Sauvignon Well-structured, cherry, cassis, plum, eucalyptus, licorice, chocolate finish $65
‘06 Merlot Complex, hazelnut, savory spice, cassis, dark chocolate $42
‘06 Chardonnay Medium-bodied, apple, honeysuckle, fresh pear, creamy texture and finish $38
‘08 Sauvignon Blanc Elegant, balanced, honeydew melon, peach, pear, lemongrass $26

707.253.1400; Fax: 707.253.1471
4089 Silverado Trail
Napa, CA 94558
Tasting Room Open Daily 10–5

Getting There:
Located on the Silverado Trail, 2.5 miles north of Trancas St.

Touring & Tasting
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Touring & Tasting

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