Napa's Newton Vineyard Celebrates Four Decades of Excellence

Photo by Marc Olivier LeBlanc

The Napa Valley is known for many favorable characteristics, chiefly its topographical beauty and its highly desired vinous export. And while several Napa wineries successfully blend the two aspects to create memorable guest experiences, Newton Vineyard is at the top of the list. 

Originally founded by Peter Newton and his wife Su Hua, the iconic winery marks its 40th vintage this year. The duo originally designed their hillside property to blend into the mountainside while combining elements of their native lands of England and China, and their personal styles remain. Chief amongst its visitor appeal is the ‘secret garden,’ a fantastical and exceedingly ‘Instagram-able’ central English herb and flower garden accented by a pagoda. Additional facets include an Asian red gate, lanterns, and an English phone booth which serves as the sign point for visitor parking. So steep and varied is the terrain that visitors are directed to park near the phone booth, far below the winery and tasting room, in wait for a golf cart trek to the top, where the reward is 360 degree views of the Napa Valley and tastes of some extraordinary wines. 

Newton Vineyard's Secret Garden, photo courtesy of Newton Vineyard

Today, the winery looks much as it did when Newton and Hua reigned over their 560 acres. Situated in the bucolic Spring Mountain appellation on the northwestern side of the valley, Newton is now owned and operated by parent company LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE (LVMH), the French multinational luxury goods company headquartered in Paris. The winery retains its unique and polished flair thanks to LVMH’s commitment to upholding - and in many cases elevating -  the high standards set forth by Newton and Hua. The gardens and unique structures continue to delight, and the property and guest experiences are befitting their luxe ownership. Elevated, by appointment guest experiences include: 

Newton Vineyard Exploration (Private experience also available): Tour the Newton estate in a deluxe utility vehicle that takes you to the top of the property for panoramic views of Napa Valley, followed by an intimate tasting on a platform nestled among the Cabernet Sauvignon vines, 1600 feet above the valley floor. Each tasting menu can be customized. (120 minutes, $250 PP)

Newton Discovery Tour: Includes a stroll through the iconic garden followed by a visit to the underground barrel caves and a tasting room sampling of wines from the labels unfiltered offerings. (90 Minutes, $75 PP)

Photo by Marc Olivier LeBlanc

Single Vineyard Immersion: Experience and explore the unique expressions of Cabernet Sauvignon through Newton’s varied iconic terroirs: Spring Mountain, Yountville and Mt. Veeder. The Single Vineyard range was recently launched to celebrate the winery’s 40th anniversary. A stroll through the gardens and underground wine caves is included with a seated tasting. (90 minutes, $125 PP)

Photo by Marc Olivier LeBlanc

The Winemaking and the Wines: 

Cradled in a bowl on the ridgeline of the Mayacamas mountain range where the vines grow at varied elevations and with differences in exposure and wind patterns, Newton’s vineyards spread across 170 acres planted with Cabernet Sauvignon (55%), Chardonnay (35%), Merlot (5%), Cabernet Franc (2%), Petit Verdot (2%) and Malbec (1%). The winery’s ‘nature by design’ philosophy embraces rather than seeks to alter the complexities of the land and climate. Newton pioneered the use of Burgundian-style unfiltered winemaking in Napa Valley and was first to put ‘unfiltered’ on the label. Newton’s vineyards are farmed organically, and sustainability is central to the winery’s philosophy. Newton is ‘Napa Green,’ and a voluntary participant in The Napa Green Certified Land and Winery program whereby it meets a host of requirements such as water and energy conservation, pollution prevention, and waste reduction.

Photo by Marc Olivier LeBlanc

The steep vineyard blocks dictate that farming be done by hand, the result produces an artisanal quality found in each and every Newton varietal such as the winery’s hallmark ‘Puzzle,’ a dark and fruity Bordeaux blend named for its original Spring Mountain vineyard parcel which was shaped like a puzzle piece. Additional coveted labels include a series of single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons from Spring Mountain, Mt. Veeder, and Yountville, and an iconic unfiltered Chardonnay first released in the early 1990s – one of Newton’s hallmark wines. Note: The first visitors of 2020 will have the opportunity to sample a brand new release – a 2017 Newton Beckstoffer Carneros Lake Vineyard single vineyard Chardonnay.

Newton Vineyard: 2555 Madrona Avenue, St. Helena 

(707) 204-7423

Fran Endicott Miller

Fran Endicott Miller is a luxury focused freelance feature writer for a variety of lifestyle publications and websites, editor-at-large for JustLuxe.com, a Forbes Travel Guide inspector, and a California editor for luxury travel concierge service Essentialist. Prior to her journalism career she held positions in the fields of politics, television, and professional sports, and is proud to have esta...(Read More)

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