About This Winery
Rustic and modest is how the Saddleback Cellars winery operation looks. Its wines, however, are anything but. In 1976, owner Nils Venge and his family purchased 17 acres in the heart of Oakville and began selling the fruit to other Napa wineries. Nils’ day job was winemaking at other prestigious wineries in the neighborhood, where he earned a reputation for making highly rated Cabernet Sauvignon wines. A few years later he started making wine from his own grapes.
Named after Saddleback Mountain near the owner’s birthplace in Orange County, he established his own brand. The resulting wines are rich, flavorful and distinctive. As a small producer, he is able to make his wines by hand, nurturing them to their final form.
The entrance and grounds of Saddleback are rustic and are the antithesis of many of Napa’s grand estates; “funky and friendly” best describes this off-the-beaten-path destination. The tasting room is basically the cramped front corner of the stone-and-wood winery building. The tasting bar is the round top of a 300-year-old barrel, and is wedged between the front door and the “lab.” Don’t expect too much glamour and glitz here; in fact, don’t expect any at all! Do expect to taste up to six premium wines made by a well-known winemaker working with premium Oakville, Napa, Sonoma and Clarksburg fruit.
Wines made include Cabernet Sauvignon, Old-Vine Zinfandel, Merlot, Chardonnay, Viognier, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Blanc and a Rose of Merlot. There are a half-dozen picnic tables alongside the vineyard for guests to use.↑ Less
Winery InformationHours: Open 10 to 4 pm daily by appointment only
Fees: $10 tasting fee
Price Range: $15 to $50 per bottle
Vineyards: 12 acres
Production: 6000 cases
Discounts: 10% discount
Winery Dog: Payton & Riley
- Barrel Sampling
- Casual & Relaxed
- Family Run
- Off the Beaten Path
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Pinot Noir