Cabernet Sauvignon lovers should grab their credit cards because tickets are now available for the 2019 Vineyard to Vintner (V2V) weekend. Napa Valley’s Stags Leap District (SLD) is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year!. So, they have reimagined their annual event to ensure attendees enjoy rare library selections, decadent meals, in-depth education opportunities and exclusive vintner access. This is a perfect opportunity to revisit the stellar Cabernet Sauvignons from producers such as Chimney Rock Winery, Clos Du Val, Shafer Vineyards, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars and Taylor Family Vineyards.
While the Stag Leap District region’s reputation for premium wines had been critically acclaimed for decades, it was back on January 27, 1989 that it was awarded formal ATF appellation status. Bordered by the Vaca Mountains on the East and the Napa River on the West, the District was the first in the United States to be approved based on the distinctiveness of its soils. Today, it remains the smallest producing Napa AVA by acreage.
The district’s fame may be based on Cabernet Sauvignon but we have found plenty of stellar wines here made from other varietals. Some of our favorites at prior Vineyard to Vintner (V2V) events have been the Taylor Family Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, Regusci Winery Mary’s Cuvée Chardonnay, Malk Family Vineyards Rosé of Pinot Noir, Clos Du Val Cabernet Franc, Stags’ Leap Winery Petite Sirah, Steltzner Vineyards Malbec, Ilsley Vineyards Seis Primas red wine blend and Silverado Vineyards Late Harvest Semillon.
The 2019 Vineyard to Vintner SLD-wide events begin with Vintner-Hosted Library Wine Dinners, Vineyard Walks and Tastings, and a Gourmet Luncheon which will include a sneak preview of the upcoming 2016 vintage release. Then, the appellation’s annual Open House event moves to Sunday this year. Keep reading and we’ll give you some more details about this fun and enjoyable weekend.
2019 Vineyard to Vintner – Library Wine Dinners
The 2019 Vineyard to Vintner weekend begins with evenings celebrating world-class library wines and chef-driven menus honoring three decades of winemaking excellence. On Friday, April 26, V2V guests can choose from intimate dinners at 5 locations, limited to 40 guests each, scheduled from 6:30 pm to 10 pm:
Cliff Lede Vineyards (with cohosts Silverado Vineyards and Stags’ Leap Winery) – Begin with an alfresco toast and delicious hors d’oeuvres on the winery’s veranda, offering stunning views of the Stags Leap District Palisades. Then, move into the dramatic tank room for current vintage and rare library offerings, thoughtfully paired with the inspired cuisine of Ken Frank, Michelin-starred chef of Napa Valley’s La Toque restaurant.
Clos Du Val (with cohosts Lindstrom Wines, Malk Family Vineyards and Regusci Winery) – Celebrate under the stars on the patio at Clos Du Val’s new tasting room, Hirondelle House. Enjoy a four-course meal, prepared by Chef Ted Fleury from Stag Dining in San Francisco, paired with specially selected wines from each participating winery. For dessert, snuggle up next to the outdoor fireplace with a sweet treat.
Odette Estate Winery (with cohosts Baldacci Family Vineyards and Chimney Rock Winery) – Enjoy sweeping views of vineyards as you savor four courses from Estate Events of Meadowood Napa Valley. Each course will be paired with special wines from the host wineries’ current vintages as well as some truly special Library selections. Then, cap the night off beneath the stars and around the warmth of Odette’s vineyard-view fire pits.
Quixote Winery (with cohosts Pine Ridge Vineyards, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars and Steltzner Vineyards) – Quixote Chef Aaron LeRoi, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Chef Travis Westrope, Pine Ridge Chef Susan Lassalette and Steltzner Vineyards Chef Gina Robertson will each prepare one course, expertly paired with the soft and graceful wines of the Stags Leap District. The festivities will begin on the patio at Quixote, with views of the vineyard, then continue at the base of the majestic Stags Leap Cliff.
Taylor Family Vineyards (with cohosts Ilsley Vineyards and Shafer Vineyards) – Join the founding families of Stags Leap District with Champagne and Hors d’Oeuvres on proprietress Pat Taylor’s home deck overlooking the Stags Leap Palisades. For dinner, local chef Daniel Gomez will offer modern wine country cuisine impeccably paired with current releases and rare library Cabernet Sauvignons from the three host wineries’ cellars.
2019 Vineyard to Vintner – Vineyard Walks, Seminars and Tastings
On Saturday morning, April 27, the 2019 Vineyard to Vintner is offering an in-depth series of immersive seminars to choose from. These programs include opportunities to explore the region’s famed history, terroir, and people that make the SLD wines and region so special. Each program is limited to 40 guests each, and are scheduled from 10 am to noon:
Winemaker Wisdom at Chimney Rock Winery – Virginie Boone of Wine Enthusiast Magazine will moderate a winemaking panel sharing past adventures and the secrets of capturing the SLD Terroir. Chris Tynan of Cliff Lede Vineyards, Celia Welch of Lindstrom Vineyards, Jeff Owens of Odette Estate Winery and Elizabeth Vianna of Chimney Rock Winery will share decades of experience and stories as you taste outstanding examples of their wines.
A Taste of Place at Pine Ridge Vineyards – Winemaker Michael Beaulac, Director of Viticulture Gustavo Aviña, and geologist Ed Bortugno will lead guests on a tasting tour across five Napa Valley appellations through the lens of Cabernet Sauvignon. Pine Ridge Vineyards currently owns 160 acres covering ten estate vineyards from Carneros to Howell Mountain. Bring your palate and discover for yourself if a single region does indeed have a signature profile.
Earth, Wine & Fire at Regusci Winery – One of the fiercest wild fires in Northern California ripped through the Napa Valley in October 2017. A year and a half later, you can walk amongst the vineyards and experience a deeper look at the land and what lies beneath. Meet vintners, fire heroes, winemakers, vineyard managers, and soil experts and hear what makes Regusci and the Stags Leap District so unique while enjoying delicious past and present vintages from the winery.
An Exploration of FAY Vineyard at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars – Come for a deep dive into the history of the Stags Leap District and the FAY Vineyard, where the story of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars began. Established by pioneering grape grower Nathan Fay in 1961, it was the first planting of Cabernet Sauvignon in what is now the Stags Leap District. Join Vineyard Manager Kirk Grace & Viticulturist Tim Rowe for a vineyard walk. Afterwards, you will taste a selection of library vintages of FAY Cabernet Sauvignon on the new North Patio, with sweeping views of the Vineyard.
First Families of Stags Leap at Steltzner Vineyards – Explore the history of three SLD founding families, as you hear first-hand accounts of the beginnings of Ilsley Vineyards, Silverado Vineyards and Steltzner Vineyards. Your morning will start at the base of the famed Stags Leap Palisades at Steltzner Vineyards’ poolside property. Then, you will take in a morning stroll, explore old vine plantings, and discover what makes the terroir so distinct. You’ll dive even deeper during a sit-down tasting of the wines crafted here including past library treasures.
2019 Vineyard to Vintner – 30th Anniversary Luncheon and Appellation Collection Tasting
On Saturday, April 27, from 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm, the beautiful and historic Stags’ Leap Winery will greet you with a Champagne Welcome, followed by a gourmet luncheon with wines from across the Stags Leap District. You can also be one of the first to taste the upcoming Cabernet Sauvignon portfolio for the region, the 2016 Stags Leap District Appellation Collection (which won’t be released until October 15, 2019). Garden party attire is suggested for this occasion.
Some of our personal favorites from last year’s Appellation Collection were the:
- Baldacci Vineyards 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon
- Chimney Rock Winery 2015 Ganymeade Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
- Clos Du Val 2015 SLD Cabernet Sauvignon
- Malk Family Vineyards 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon
- Pine Ridge Vineyards 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon
- Quixote 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon
- Regusci Winery 2015 “The Elders”
- Silverado 2015 SOLO
- Steltzner Vineyards 2015 SLD Cabernet Sauvignon
2019 Vineyard to Vintner – Savor SLD
Rounding out the 2019 Vineyard to Vintner weekend is Open House Day. On Sunday, April 28, V2V guests can spend the day tasting at the appellation’s wineries’ tasting rooms and hospitality venues. Simply begin at the starting point of your choice and then explore the other Open Houses along the Silverado Trail at your leisure.
Between 10 am and 4 pm that day, you can enjoy visiting Baldacci Family Vineyards, Chimney Rock Winery, Cliff Lede Vineyards, Clos du Val, Lindstrom Wines, Pine Ridge Vineyards, Quixote Winery, Silverado Vineyards, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Stags’ Leap Winery and Steltzner Vineyards. Please note, Malk Family Vineyards is also participating, but will only be open from 10:30 am to 2:00 pm.
2019 Vineyard to Vintner Tickets
If you are interested in being part of the 2019 Vineyard to Vintner weekend, we encourage you to purchase your passes quickly, This event is limited to just 200 guests this year, and tickets went on sale last week. The Friday through Sunday experience is $895 per person, which includes access to all of the 30th Anniversary V2V events. You can purchase your tickets, and find complete details on the weekend by going here.
In honor of the 30-year milestone, the Stags Leap District Winegrowers will donate $50 of each ticket purchased to the UCD Nathan Fay Graduate Fellowship Fund. The endowment was established by the SLD Winegrowers in 2000 as a tribute to District pioneer Nathan Fay, who planted the first Cabernet vines in the region. The coveted scholarship is awarded each year to one graduate student at UCD in the School of Enology and Viticulture.
2019 Vineyard to Vintner – the Stags Leap District
The Stags Leap District has been growing grapes since the mid-1800’s, although the first Cabernet Sauvignon grapevines weren’t planted until 1961. In 1976, the Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars’ 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon took first place at the famous “Judgment of Paris,” surpassing Bordeaux wines. This brought much attention to Napa Valley and the Stags Leap area.
We are looking forward to the 2019 Vineyard to Vintner (V2V) weekend because V2V is one of our favorite Napa Valley events. If you are looking for more information about the appellation, and our personal recommendations for nearby restaurants, please go here. Depending on your interest, you can also follow the drop-down menus on the navigation bar above to see our Favorites By Wine Region for other areas in the Napa Valley (or Sonoma, Mendocino, Santa Barbara, etc.).