Yountville and Stags Leap District

Stags Leap District in Yountville

Stags Leap District

Essentially parallel to each other, the Yountville and Stags Leap District appellations in Napa Valley are both moderate regions cooled down by afternoon marine winds.  However, Yountville is influenced more by morning fog, and the bare rocks of Stags Leap reflect heat and sunshine, so the Stags Leap AVA can be up to 10 degrees warmer than the Yountville AVA.  Both areas are primarily known for their Merlots and Cabernet Sauvignons.

Favorite Tasting Rooms in Yountville and Stags Leap District

Baldacci Family Vineyards – With only 17 acres on their Stags Leap Disrict property, the Baldaccis craft premium wines with minimal handling of the grapes. Their reputation is largely based on their limited production Cabernet Sauvignons. Owners Thomas and Brenda Baldacci head the family and Michael (one of their four sons) is the Director of Operations at the winery. Our favorite wines include the Brenda’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, and the Black Label (SLD) Cabernet Sauvignon. The winery tasting room accepts visitors Tuesdays – Saturdays, by appointment only.  6236 Silverado Trail, Napa  (707) 944-9261  [reservation required]

Beau Vigne – Intense, balanced and rich Cabernet Sauvignons are served at this tasting room in Yountville.  The wines are served in Riedel’s XL (think really big) wine glasses which make the tasting experience a very elegant one. Beau Vigne is owned by Ed and Trish Snider, a former head football coach from St. Helena High School and his wife, and some of his former students are now manning the tasting room. We recommend their Reserve Chardonnay and Juliet Cabernet Sauvignon.  6795 Washington Street, Yountville  (707) 947-7058  [reservation recommended but not required] 

Bell Wine Cellars – Located just a little south of downtown Yountville, this winery was originally founded in 1991 by Anthony Bell.  An internationally known winemaker, he is committed to hand-crafting artisanal wines that best reflect the terroir of the vineyards and the care and passion of their growers. The wines here reflect an Old World elegance and sophistication and you’ll find both clonal-specific and single-vineyard wines as well. Bell Wine Cellars may be best known (and rightly so) for their Cabernet Sauvignons and one of the unique tasting experiences here is a Cabernet Sauvignon Clonal Tasting. In addition to their Cabernet Sauvignons, we suggest you also try to sample Bell’s Chardonnay, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Port wines.  6200 Washington Street, Yountville  (707) 944-1673  [reservation required]

Clos Du Val – Started in the 1970s, this producer crafts its wines to be able to pair well with food as well as age gracefully. Splendor, Mirth, and Joy (The Three Graces, the daughters of Zeus) are depicted on their familiar terra cotta label. Clos Du Val has recently reinvented itself to focus on producing wines on a much smaller scale and only from fruit which it grows on its own vineyards. Our favorites here are usually the Chardonnays and the Cabernet Sauvignon. Make sure to try and taste the Hirondelle Vineyard Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.  5330 Silverado Trail, Napa  (707) 261-5251 [reservation recommended for Estate Tasting experience, required for more intimate tasting experiences] 

Domaine Chandon – This beautiful property in Yountville is home to a winery focusing on sparkling wine made from grapes grown in the Yountville, Carneros and Mount Veeder appellations. Domaine Chandon was the first French-owned sparkling wine venture in the United States. Some of our favorites include Mount Veeder and Yountville vintage Bruts, Reserve Pinot Noir Rosé and Étoile Brut.  1 California Drive, Yountville  (888) 242-6366  [reservation required for parties of 10 or more] 

Elyse – Started in 1987 by the former head winemaker at Whitehall Lane, this winery focuses on small lots of vineyard-designated red wines made from a variety of grapes including Bordeaux, Rhône and Italian varietals, Zinfandel and Petite Sirah. Well-crafted Chardonnay and a white wine Rhône blend can also be found here. We are especially fond of L’Ingenue (the white Rhône blend), C’est Si Bon (a red Rhône blend) and the Morisoli Zinfandel.  2100 Hoffman Lane, Napa  (707) 944-2900, x1  [reservation required]

Hestan Vineyards – The name of the winery comes from the first names of Helen and Stanley Cheng (he of the international cookware company Meyer Corporation).  Winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown crafts wines under the Hestan Vineyards and Meyer Vineyard labels, while Jeff Gaffner makes the wines under the Stephanie and Vincent Christopher labels.  Well-behaved canine companions are welcome to join you at the nicely appointed, modern downtown Yountville tasting salon.  While enjoying the wines, you can shop from a collection of Ruffoni Italian cookware and other stylish accessories.  Our favorite wines here have included the Hestan Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, Stephanie Malbec, Hestan Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon, and the Meyer Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.   6548 Washington Street, Yountville  (707) 945-1002  [reservation recommended, required for parties of 6 or more]

James Cole Estate Winery – Small family winery on the Silverado Trail with limited quantities and a stellar Cabernet Sauvignon. Wines produced here also include Chardonnay, Bordeaux blends, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and red wines incorporating Petite Sirah and Carignane. We enjoy their Chardonnay, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon.  5014 Silverado Trail, Napa  (707) 251-9905  [reservation required]

JCB Tasting Salon – This one-of-a-kind tasting room (with gourmet food store Atelier next door) encompasses the Jean-Charles Boisset approach of combining wine, luxury and style. Most of the wines here are meaningfully assigned numbers for names, and part of the wine-tasting fun here is learning why each number was chosen. There are about 30 wines in the JCB portfolio and you’ll have a choice of three tasting flights: Classic (showcasing sparkling wines), Premium Collection (mostly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir) and Surrealist (focused on Cabernet Sauvignons).  The retail store in the salon features jewelry, perfumes, candles, luxury lifestyle books and of course, wine.   If you reserve a tasting in the private tasting room, JCB staff can help coordinate delivery of items such as cheese or charcuterie from Atelier to accompany your wines.  Our favorites here are 39 (Blanc de Blancs), 49 (Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay), and 3 (a combination of French Burgundy and Russian River Pinot Noir).  We also recently liked the Leopard (Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah) and Surrealist (Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot).  6505 Washington Street, Yountville  (707) 934-8237  Reservation recommended, required for groups of 6 or more

Malk Family Vineyards – Brian and Nancy Malk are the charming owners of Malk Family Vineyards, the smallest producers of hand-crafted Cabernet Sauvignon from the Stags Leap District. The winery’s logo is an homage to the Malks’ late but beloved Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Griffin. As the winery is only open once a year to the public, during the Stags Leap District’s Vineyard to Vintner event weekend, you’ll definitely need to make a tasting appointment in advance the rest of the year. We are big fans of both their Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon, year after year. We also like their newest addition, a Rosé of Pinot Noir.  5850 Silverado Trail, Yountville  (858) 795-0699 [reservation required]

Pine Ridge Vineyards – With a team headed by Winemaker/GM Michael Beaulac and Vineyard Manager Gustavo Avina, Pine Ridge produces structured, classically proportioned and expressive Cabernet, Chardonnay and Bordeaux varietal wines. From the original vineyard planted in Stags Leap District the estate has grown to 200 acres spanning a dozen vineyards and incorporating sites in four additional appellations: Carneros, Oakville, Rutherford and Howell Mountain. Our favorites here include the Dijon Clones Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, and the Rutherford, Oakville and Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignons. More in-depth experiences include a Cave Tour and Tasting or a 5-step food and wine pairing experience called “Savor Pine Ridge” featuring small bites from Estate Chef Susan Lassalette.  5901 Silverado Trail, Yountville  (800) 575-9777 [reservation not required for Estate Tasting experience for parties of 6 or less, required for larger parties and for any of the more advanced tasting experiences] 

Priest Ranch – This winery crafts wines from rich, diverse vineyard sources that feature a variety of elevations, exposures, soils and microclimates.  The tasting room is open a little later than most (until 7 pm daily) and not only are there regular flights of four wines each to choose from, but you could also opt for one of three interesting pairing options: Chocolate & Wine Experience, Food & Wine Pairing, or Bacon & Wine Experience (yes, Bacon!).  The chocolate experience includes confections from Kollar Chocolates and features pairings such as Sauvignon Blanc and a Passion Fruit Truffle, or Coach Gun (a Bordeaux Blend) and a Raspberry Truffle.  The food experience includes artisan cheese and charcuterie curated from Cowgirl Creamery.  The bacon experience includes savory selections such as Sriracha, Honey Walnut, and Chimichurri Bacon from Chef Erik Hangman paired with wines.  The folks are friendly and the tasting room is very comfortable with a variety of seating areas.  Our personal favorites have included the Brut Rosé, Double Barrel, Coach Gun, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mauser Cabernet Sauvignon, and a 2010 Port.  6490 Washington Street, (707) 944-8200  

Regusci Winery – This property was originally established as the Grigsby-Occidental Winery in 1878 and was one of the “Ghost Wineries” in early Napa Valley in existence between 1860 and 1900. In 1932, Gaetano Regusci purchased the historic piece of property and his grandson Jim opened Regusci Winery in 1998 focusing on estate wines. We have historically liked their Mary’s Cuvée Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignons (particularly “The Elders”) the most.  5584 Silverado Trail, Yountville  (707) 254-0403  [reservation required]

Robert Sinskey Vineyards – Originally started by Robert Sinskey, MD, this amazing winery is now run by his son Rob Sinskey and his wife Maria Helm Sinskey, a nationally recognized chef. The focus here is on food and wine as well as promoting the enjoyment of the two together. All tasting experiences include food in some fashion which is prepared daily by the winery chef. The winery’s vineyards are certified organic and also biodynamically farmed. Robert Sinskey Vineyards is without a doubt one of the most environmentally-friendly wineries in Napa Valley. The winery is primarily known for fabulous Pinot Noirs, but they also make wonderful Alsatian-inspired white wines and Bordeaux-style blends. We like everything they make here, but hope your tastings include Abraxas (an Alsatian white blend), Pinot Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Marcien (a proprietary red blend), the Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon, and of course, the fantastic Pinot Noirs (usually 4 or 5 different ones produced each year). A variety of tasting experiences are offered. A tasting at the bar is available on a “first come, first served” basis for groups of 5 or less without a reservation. Other more in-depth food and wine experiences, some of which include a tour, are available by appointment.   6320 Silverado Trail, Napa  (707) 944-9090 [reservation required for more in-depth experiences and for parties of 6 or more] 

Robinson Family Vineyards – A close-knit family runs this small boutique winery situated on the 78 acres originally purchased in 1967 by Norman (Bud) Robinson and his wife Helen (Dinky). Today, their daughter Susie Robinson Jinks and her husband Tom Jinks run the day-to-day operations while the next generation, their daughters Carrie, Kim and Robin, provide support. The wines here come from estate grown grapes and our personal favorites are their Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. Above the tasting room, a viewing (and sometimes tasting) deck provides a lovely lookout over the Stags Leap District.  5880 Silverado Trail, Yountville  (707) 944-8004  [reservation required]

Stags’ Leap Winery – Wine grapes have been growing on the lands of Stags’ Leap Estate since the 1880s and the romantic property here is a place of natural beauty, storied buildings and gardens. Stags Leap Manor, as it was called in the 1920s, was a fashionable country resort in the Napa Valley at a time when resort and spa business was big. Nowadays, the 240-acre estate houses a nineteenth century stone winery, a Victorian-era manor house and 90 acres of vineyards down a long, private road off the Silverado Trail. We’ve greatly enjoyed their Viognier, “Twelve Falls” Red Wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Merlot), “Ne Cede Malis” Petite Sirah, “Audentia” Cabernet Sauvignon and “The Leap” Cabernet Sauvignon.  6150 Silverado Trail, Napa  (707) 257-5790  [reservation required]

Stewart Cellars – This collaborative project was founded by James Stewart and is now headed by his children James Stewart and Caroline Stewart Guthrie.  Centered around a heritage oak tree, the visitor center consists of a trio of buildings: the Tasting Hall, the NOMAD Heritage Library (named after their proprietary Cabernet Sauvignon) and Southside Cafe, an extension of the original restaurant from the Carneros region. There are two tasting flights, a Portfolio Flight representing the breadth of wines crafted here by winemaker Blake Guthrie, or the Nomad Heritage Flight focusing on their Cabernet Sauvignons.  Our favorites are the Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay, Napa Valley Merlot and Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.  6752 Washington Street, Yountville  (707) 963-9160   Reservation required for tastings in the NOMAD Heritage Library for parties of all sizes, or for parties of 6 or more for tastings in the Tasting Hall  

White Rock Vineyards – Owner/winemaker Henri Vandendriessche and his wife Claire originally purchased this property in 1977 and began restoring the land and vineyards, committing to sustainable natural farming.  Today, their sons Christopher (winemaker) and Michael (vineyard manager) have taken over the business. The outstanding wines here reflect the family’s dedication to producing high-quality, terroir-driven wine with a focus on balance, complexity, intensity and ageability. The property is in the southern foothills of the Stag’s Leap Range, technically just outside of the official Stags Leap District AVA boundaries. We highly recommend their Chardonnay, Claret, Cabernet Sauvignon and “Laureate” Cabernet Sauvignon. We’ve also enjoyed one of their very small production wines, a “Hand Press” Malbec.  1115 Loma Vista Drive, Napa  (707) 257-7922  [reservation required]

Favorite Restaurants in Yountville and Stags Leap District

ad hoc – Originally intended to be a temporary concept, this one-fixed-menu-per-day establishment has been packing them in ever since Thomas Keller (of French Laundry and Per Se fame) started it. Each day’s menu is posted on the website in the morning and served family-style that night. Main courses have included Santa Maria Smoked Tri-Tip, Beef Short Ribs, Grilled Pork Chop, and Buttermilk Fried Chicken.   6476 Washington Street, Yountville  (707) 944-2487

addendum – This offspring of Ad Hoc offers boxed lunches to go based on the most popular meals there (such as Buttermilk Fried Chicken, BBQ Pork Ribs, or Pulled Pork Sandwich) and the main courses are accompanied by two house-made sides and a Cornbread Muffin. You can take your food to go, or eat on the available picnic tables. Please note that addendum is only open for part of the year, Thursday – Saturday between 11 am and 2 pm, but orders can be placed online in advance.  6476 Washington Street, Yountville  (707) 944-1565 

Bistro Jeanty – Authentic French bistro (after all, the chef was born in Champagne) in downtown Yountville that has been recognized by Michelin several times over the years with a star and most recently as a Bib Gourmand destination. The Crême de Tomate en Croute, Rilletes de Canard, Coq au Vin, and Cassoulet are all traditional, beautifully executed options.  6510 Washington Street, Yountville  (707) 944-0103

Bottega – Celebrity chef Michael Chiarello’s restaurant has received accolades such as Best Newcomer by Zagat, Top 10 by Forbes, and Top 100 Bay Area by Michael Bauer at the San Francisco Chronicle. The food is amazing here, and recipes for popular dishes like the Roasted Beets, Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad, and Polenta Under Glass are all in Chiarello’s Bottega cookbook.  6525 Washington Street, Yountville  (707) 945-1050

Bouchon Bakery – Originated as a bread source for Thomas Keller’s local restaurants, the Bouchon Bakery is now open to the public with a wide range of baked goods available for sale. This is the original, although four other locations have opened nationwide (Las Vegas, Beverly Hills, and two in New York).  6528 Washington Street, Yountville  (707) 944-2253   

Brix – The best option in the valley for an upscale Sunday buffet brunch done right.  Oysters, Shrimp, Smoked Salmon, Sourdough Pancakes, Eggs Benedict, Quiche, Applewood Smoked Bacon, Pizza, and a selection of salads and artisan cheeses are just the beginning here. Happy Hour is back again at Brix, from 4-6 pm daily, with specials on beer, wine and cocktails, and food items such as Tempura Green Beans, Dungeness Crab Fondue with Garlic Crostini, and a Cheeseburger (with Fries).  If you have the chance, please visit the beautiful gardens on the property.  7377 St. Helena Highway (Highway 29), Yountville  (707) 944-2749

Ciccio – This family owned Trattoria-style restaurant showcases pizzas and Italian entrees made in a wood-fire oven. The family here is the Altamuras, who also own the nearby Altamura Vineyards and Winery. Their ranch (in the family since 1855) helps provide fresh ingredients for the seasonally changing menu. We’ve really enjoyed a rotating list of vegetables “Al Forno” (Artichoke, Asparagus, Broccoli Rabe, Cauliflower), Gemelli with Rabbit, and every pizza we’ve ever ordered. Ciccio has walk-in dining only during their normal dinner hours, which explains the line at 5 pm when the front door opens. But, they do offer reservations for a Chef’s Dinner Prix Fixe option for small groups if arranged in advance. 6770 Washington Street, Yountville  (707) 945-1000

French Laundry – Opened in 1994, this world-famous restaurant from Thomas Keller deserves its stellar reputation. Each day two nine-course meals are designed and no single ingredient is ever repeated throughout the meal. Reservations required, available starting at least two months before the calendar date, and are still frequently difficult to acquire. You can now try to make your reservations online, on their website.  6640 Washington Street, Yountville  (707) 944-2380 

Mustards Grill – Chef and owner Cindy Pawlcyn opened this famous wine country restaurant in 1983 and the dining room is still usually full of locals and tourists seeking well-made delicious food. Sweet Corn Tamales, Grilled Quail, Baby Back Ribs, Mongolian Pork Chops, and the Seafood Tostada are all excellent choices here.  7399 St. Helena Highway (Highway 29), Yountville  (707) 944-2424   

Ottimo – From Chef Michael Chiarello, Ottimo is a combination Italian marketplace/restaurant a few feet away from his Bottega restaurant.  You can find and buy (and usually taste) salts, rubs, olive oils, salumi, and jars of Bottega’s Parmesan Dip in the Mercato section.  The Breakfast menu includes Coffee and Espresso drinks, Muffins, Juices, and Breakfast Pizzas and Panini.  The Lunch menu offers Salads in a Jar, Panini, and Pizzas such as Margherita,  Spicy Calabrese or Caramelized Mushroom.  You can also assemble your own antipasti plate with a choice of cheeses, vegetables, salumi and crackers. We heartily recommend the Avocado and Meyer Lemon Panino, and the Tartufo Bianco Pizza with Truffle Béchamel, Asparagus and Teleme Cheese.  6525 Washington Street, Yountville  (707) 944-0102 


Other Favorite Food Purveyors in Yountville and Stags Leap District

Atelier Fine Foods – Next door to the JCB Tasting Salon, Atalier is an epicurean boutique offering a curated assortment of culinary delights sourced both locally and internationally. You can purchase Foie Gras, Smoked Salmon, Anchovies, Trout Rilletes, Octopus, Escargot, Olives, Mustards, Pickles, Crackers, Nuts, Chips and Toasts.  Cheeses include 10-year Cheddar, Epoisses, Fleur Verte, Hornbacher, Humboldt Fog, Manchego, Mt. Tam, North Holland Gouda, Ossau Iraty and Pecorino Ginepro. Charcuterie choices include Hobbs’ Coppa and Wine Cured Dried Salami, Salumeria Biellese Soppressata, Lomo Iberico Chorizo and Jamon Iberico Serrano. If you arrive before they sell out, you can also buy prepared-to-go Sandwiches, Salads, and other Food Trays.  6505 Washington Street, Yountville  (707) 967-7600, x3

Kollar Chocolates – This artisan chocolate shop is located on the ground floor of the V Marketplace and well worth seeking out.  Trained as a savory chef, Chris Kollar is a self-taught chocolatier who was named one of the Top 10 Chocolatiers of North America by Dessert Professional Magazine in 2015. The glass show kitchen here produces truffles that resemble edible works of art in flavors such as Almond Praline, Earl Grey, Espelette Chili, Fennel Pollen, Lavender, Passion Fruit and Vanilla Rum. The treats here can also be purchased in larger quantities for corporate gifts.  6525 Washington Street, Yountville  (707) 738-6750 

Other Links for Yountville and Stags Leap District

Stags Leap District Winegrowers – A non-profit association of local wineries and grower members whose mission is to enhance the reputation of the Stags Leap District appellation and its wines, and share its quality with the wine-loving world.

Napa Valley Vintners – A nonprofit trade association, of over 525 members, that champions Napa Valley as the premier wine region in the world and has a mission to promote, protect and enhance the Napa Valley appellation.


Ad Hoc on UrbanspoonAddendum on UrbanspoonBistro Jeanty on UrbanspoonBottega on Urbanspoon
Bouchon Bakery on UrbanspoonBrix Restaurant & Wine Shop on UrbanspoonFrench Laundry on UrbanspoonMustards Grill on Urbanspoon


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