Quintessa

3.63/4

1601 Silverado Trail , St. Helena, CA 94574

(707) 967-1601

About This Winery

Along the Silverado Trail a long, graceful, crescent-shaped rock wall fits snugly against the eastern-facing hillside; it is the facade of the “quintessential” winery. The indigenous stone and natural landscaping of native plants and oak trees create a subtle presence
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Along the Silverado Trail a long, graceful, crescent-shaped rock wall fits snugly against the eastern-facing hillside; it is the facade of the “quintessential” winery. The indigenous stone and natural landscaping of native plants and oak trees create a subtle presence against the backdrop of the wonderfully diverse 280-acre estate.

The property includes a valley, lake, river, five hills, four microclimates and many soil types. The property was developed by Agustin and Valeria Huneeus in the early 1990s. The Chilean-born proprietor has had a significant role in the wine industry over four decades, including major responsibilities at Concha y Toro winery (Chile’s largest winery), Seagrams Worldwide, Concannon Estate and Franciscan Estates.

The winery’s 170 acres of vineyards include Cabernet Sauvignon (129 acres), Merlot (26 acres), Cabernet Franc (7 acres), Petit Verdot (4 acres), and Carmenere (4 acres). The winery takes the first-choice juice from these vineyards to create their one Bordeaux-style, blended wine — Quintessa.

From its very inception, the vineyard has been maintained with a strict criterion of care for the soil and the environment. This includes using organic biodynamic vineyard practices, avoiding all chemical controls, minimal tilling and soil disturbance and the use of diverse cover crops, which results in enriched microorganisms in the soil. The winery design facilitates a gravity-flow process, starting with their rooftop delivery system. There are 17,000 square feet of caves and tunnels carved into the volcanic ash hillside directly behind the winery.

The tasting experience is very intimate, with a comprhensive vineyard, winery and cave tour followed by a directed formal tasting of various vintages of the winery’s sole product. The winery reception and tasting areas are elegant and uncompromising. Grand rock walls with glass and concrete touches give a modern, yet warm ambiance. The feeling is that of a very exclusive spa, with a relaxed but attentive staff. There is a fireplace and comfortable leather chairs in their lobby. The tasting salon is stylish and unique, as is the entire experience at Quintessa. The most recent release of Quintessa is offered at $120 per bottle.

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Winery Information

Hours: Open daily by appointment
Tasting Fees: $35 with tour
Price Range: $120 per bottle
Established: 1989
Vineyards: 170 acres (all organic & biodynamic)
Production: 8500 cases
Winery Dog: Sammy (Dalmatian/Labrador)

Amenities

  • "Green" Technology

Ambiances

  • Hip & Stylish
  • Resort Like

Wine Types

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

Winery Map

Wineries


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Reviews

3.5/4
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The winery is an interesting architectural sight from the road. But as you ascend up the driveway, realize you are driving on top of the winery itself! Gravity flow production and biodynamic viticulture make this place even more special. Make certain you have a reservation (no walk-ins), it is well worth all the effort. The wines are presented at your table, with views of the vineyard, and you are guided through a few of the vintages of their wine.

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I used to live right up the Silverado Trail from Quintessa, and remember watching it being built. The caves are just as impressive as the external architecture, and I personally think their grapes need a few more years to produce some really great bottles, but they're definitely still worth a taste!

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