Stags Leap District Beckons: 2016 Vineyard to Vintner

Malk Family Vineyards, a 2016 Vineyard to Vintner participant

View of Stags Leap District from Malk Family Vineyards

If you’re a fan of Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignons, you might want to venture to Napa Valley for the 2016 Vineyard to Vintner event taking place the weekend of April 30 and May 1.  You can stop by multiple Winery Open Houses (including wineries that only open to the public for this event) on Saturday and then attend a spectacular Brunch on Sunday which also provides a comprehensive peek at the upcoming 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon releases.

Pine Ridge Vineyards Chardonnay

Pine Ridge Vineyards Le Petit Clos Chardonnay

Known worldwide for its premium wines, the Stags Leap District produces Cabernet Sauvignon wines critically acclaimed for their lush fruit and soft tannins with complex layers of flavor. However, there are also plenty of stellar non-Cabernet-Sauvignon wines in the area, and some of our favorites at last year’s Vineyard to Vintner were the Pine Ridge Vineyards Le Petit Clos Chardonnay, Taylor Family Vineyards Hillside Chardonnay, Stags’ Leap Winery Viognier, Hartwell Estate Vineyards Estate Merlot and Robinson Family Vineyards Malbec.

Vineyard to Vintner Backstage Open Houses

Steltzner Vineyards one of 2016 Vineyard to Vintner participants

Steltzner Vineyards

The linchpin of the Vineyard to Vintner weekend is the “Backstage Pass,” a collection of sixteen Open Houses on April 30 offering intimate opportunities to taste this appellation’s award-winning wines between 10 am and 4 pm.  Passholders can enjoy both wines and nibbles as they meet and mingle with the winery owners and winemakers in historic wineries (which are sometimes actually at the owners’ homes).  You can find the full program here but some of the special experiences available that day include:

  • Cliff Lede Vineyards – Enjoy the newest Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon, “Stardust Heaven,” highlighting vineyard blocks named after David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust” and Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.”
  • Clos Du Val – Start the day with a “Bienvenue Brunch” in the property’s Olive Grove from 10 am to noon featuring made-to-order savory crepes, charcuterie and other delicious brunch fare to go with single block Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and other winery exclusive wines.
  • Malk Family Vineyards – Visit the smallest producer of wine in the District and enjoy pairings of fresh berries with their Sauvignon Blanc, Cave-aged Cheeses with their Pinot Noir and a South African Barbecue of Boerewors (farmer’s sausage) with their Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • Pine Ridge Vineyards – Savor delicious small bites from Winery Chef Susan Lassalette paired with exclusive Stags Leap District wines such as a single-vineyard Le Petit Clos Chardonnay and the winery’s Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • Quixote Winery – Peruse art, architecture and nature at this whimsical winery (participating in Vineyard to Vintner for the very first time) offering Rosé of Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah for you to enjoy along with live entertainment from Bay Area guitarist Jonny Zywiciel.
  • Regusci Winery – Stroll around one of the oldest properties in Napa Valley, enjoy current and library wines (and sample barrel futures), and between noon and 3 pm you can listen to live music from Sean Carscadden.
  • Shafer Vineyards – Compare young and aged Cabernets when you taste a newly released Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon (One Point Five) and then follow that with a library wine, the 2007 Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • Stags’ Leap Winery – Explore the winery’s nineteenth century Manor House (renewed to its former glory after an extensive eighteen month restoration) and meet winemaker Christophe Paubert as he pours his newest releases as well as exclusive library and large format selections.
  • Taylor Family Vineyards – Relax on a casual and inviting deck overlooking the family’s hillside vineyard and the Stags Leap Palisades as you taste wines thoughtfully paired with various appetizers and “Grown-Up” Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.
Chimney Rock

Chimney Rock Winery

Other wineries participating in the Vineyard to Vintner Open Houses are Baldacci Family Vineyards, Chimney Rock Winery, Lindstrom Wines, Odette Estate Winery, Robinson Family Vineyards, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Steltzner Vineyards, and Terlato Family Vineyards.  For a helpful map of the Stags Leap District and its wineries, please go here.

Vineyard to Vintner Brunch and Appellation Collection Tasting

Vineyard to Vintner Brunch

Vineyard to Vintner Brunch

On May 1, Silverado Vineyards will host the Vineyard to Vintner Brunch in the winery’s courtyard where you can enjoy a selection of White and Rosé Wines with delicious Farm-to-Table Brunch fare catered by the Michelin-starred Meadowood Resort from 10:30 am to 1 pm.

2012 Stags Leap District Appellation CollectionAfter the food, you can then take advantage of a Sneak Preview of the upcoming Cabernet Sauvignon portfolio for the region, the 2013 Stags Leap District Appellation Collection (which isn’t scheduled for an official release until October 15, 2016).  Some of our favorites from the 2012 Appellation Collection were the Baldacci Family Vineyards Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon, Hartwell Estate Vineyards Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Pine Ridge Vineyards Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon, Regusci Winery Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and the Steltzner Vineyards Martini Clone Cabernet Sauvignon.

After the Brunch, you can visit (or revisit) Pine Ridge Vineyards and Robinson Family Vineyards which will again host V2V visitors on Sunday afternoon.

Vineyard to Vintner Tickets

If some (or all) of the above sounds good to you, please go here soon to purchase tickets as they will sell out. Admission to the Winery Open Houses is $175 per person, or you can purchase a 2-day pass good for both the Open Houses on Saturday and the Brunch/Appellation Collection Sneak Preview on Sunday for $300.


Stags Leap District Winegrowers LogoStags Leap District Winegrowers is a non-profit association of 20 wineries and 11 grower members whose mission is to enhance the reputation of the appellation and its wines, and share its quality with the wine-loving world.  The Stags Leap District is bounded on the east by the towering Stags Leap Palisades, to the west by gently rolling hills and the Napa River, to the north by Yountville Cross Road and to the south by low-lying flatlands.  To learn more about the District, and full details of the 2016 Vineyard to Vintner, please follow the link at the start of this paragraph.


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