Napa Valley's Trefethen Family Vineyards Launches Luxe Tastings

Legacy Tasting in Katie's Acre, photo by Robb McDonough

One of Napa’s true pioneering wineries, Trefethen Family Vineyards was founded in 1968 by Eugene and Katie Trefethen at a time when there were fewer than 20 operational wineries in the Napa Valley. Their initial intent was to sell the grapes grown on their 600 acres, but son John and his wife Janet had other ideas. In 1973, John produced Trefethen Vineyards’ first commercial wine, and just three years later, the winery’s 1976 Chardonnay earned ‘Best Chardonnay in the World’ honors at the 1979 Gault Milau World Wine Olympics in Paris, an accomplishment that put Trefethen Vineyards on the global fine wine map.  

Now, nearly six decades later, a third generation stands ready and poised to manage the winery’s operations. Brother and sister duo Lorenzo and Hailey Trefethen grew up in the middle of the family vineyard and each traveled extensively with their parents throughout the world’s leading wine regions. To say that wine, and specifically Trefethen wine, is in their blood is an understatement. Lorenzo officially joined the winery in 2007; his current duties include marketing and sales, with a focus on promoting direct and export sales of Trefethen wines. Hailey currently wears a variety of hats, from marketing to production, and even beekeeper of the estates bee hives. She currently works in viticulture and winemaking operations, and regularly makes her meals from the property’s bountiful gardens on which she keeps a watchful eye for ripening tomatoes and squash.

Photo by Robb McDonough

Hailey and Lorenzo often hatch schemes to make life at Trefethen even more exciting, and with the fall introduction of two new tasting experiences, they’ve more than succeeded. Starting in October, Trefethen wine fans can enjoy both the Taste the Estate and the Legacy Tasting experiences, both of which highlight their estate grown wines, culinary expertise, and the bountiful on-site fruit and vegetable gardens that provide winery chef Chris Kennedy with everything from fava beans, blackberries, and edible flowers, to corn and 12 pepper varieties.

Katie's Acre, photo by Robb McDonough

Legacy Tasting

The new by-appointment-only Legacy Tasting is personally hosted by the congenial Lorenzo whose deep and frequent laugh is infectious. This tasting showcases Trefethen’s smallest production Legacy Collection wines alongside seasonal pairings from Chef Kennedy.Guests enjoy a tour of the Main Ranch vineyard, including a stop at Katie’s Acre, the source of the winery’s limited-production age-worthy Harmony Chardonnay. After returning to the Villa, the family’s former home surrounded by gorgeous gardens, the tasting continues with the inaugural vintage of The Cowgirl and The Pilot Merlot, Hailey and Lorenzo’s tribute wine to their parents, and HaLo, the winery’s outstanding flagship Cabernet Sauvignon named for Hailey and Lorenzo, along with pairings from Chef Aken. Menu highlights include Ricotta and Estate Tarragon Crème Brûlée, The Morel Mushroom ‘Taco’ and Spooner Rice + Ha¯Lo Risotto, with Charred Garden Beets. The Legacy Tasting is offered for a minimum of four people for $175 per person by prior appointment only.

Taste the Estate, photo by Robb McDonough

Taste the Estate

For guests looking to immerse themselves in the flavors of Trefethen, Taste the Estate provides an educational and fun way to experience all of Trefethen’s bounty - from garden to glass. The 90-minute experience is offered daily at 3pm for $100 per person and features four wines, each matched with Chef Kennedy’s pairings. A sample menu features Seared Pacific Scallop with Cantaloupe Emulsion and Sunflower Granola, Yakitori Grilled Hen of the Woods Mushroom with Cabernet Tare and Cured Egg Yolk and Air Bread 'Tartine' with A5 Wagyu Beef and Aged California Cheddar. Fully customized versions of this tasting are also available, starting at $125 per person, by appointment.

Trefethen's historic winery, photo by Robb McDonough

For both Taste the Estate and the Legacy Tasting, guests are welcomed with a taste of Trefethen’s 2018 Dry Riesling and a walk through the recently restored winery whose original structure dates back to the 19th century. Both new culinary experiences launch in October and will be held in the Dining Room at the Villa, where the Trefethen family gathered for holiday meals when it was Gene and Katie Trefethen’s home. 

To reserve, call the winery at 707.255.7700 

Lorenzo Trefethen, photo by Robb McDonough
Chef Chris Kennedy, photo by Robb McDonough
Taste the Estate nibbles, photo by Robb McDonough
Hailey Trefethen, photo by Fran Miller
Legacy Tasting, photo by Robb McDonough
Trefethen garden bounty, photo by Robb McDonough

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, 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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