About This Winery
In 1882, the stone castle of Chateau Montelena was built, and within a few years the facility was producing up to 50,000 cases of wine a year. Today, after decades of impressive wine history, the Chateau still stands among the wooded hillsides, welcoming visitors with its extensive offerings of winery tours and tasting programs.
Graperadio interview with the winemaker
The setting is one of the most peaceful in the Napa Valley – a stone castle carved into a hillside overlooking a Chinese garden, a lake, and vineyards reaching out to the base of Mt. St. Helena. (In keeping with the times, solar panels supply most of the power needs at the winery.)
The modern history of the winery began in 1972 under the leadership of James Barrett, who replanted the aged vineyard, brought in modern winemaking equipment, and started producing wines that received international attention.
In 1976 Chateau Montelena put California at the forefront of the wine world by taking first place in the famous “Judgment in Paris” tasting at the Inter-Continental Hotel. Chateau Montelena’s 1973 Chardonnay rated above all the other white wines there.
The historic tasting room and cellar provide a lovely venue for experiencing some wonderful wine-tasting options. In addition to the regular current-release tastings, a “Library Tasting” is offered three times a day in the intimate stone-walled Library Room. A more in-depth tasting is their “Estate Tour and Tasting,” is also available.
The winery produces rich white and red wines including Riesling, Chardonnay, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon, which is a blend with Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Wine club members are invited to experience the private gardens, lake, Bocce Ball court and picnic facilities.↑ Less
Winery InformationHours: Open daily 9:30 to 4 pm
Fees: Tasting fee $25 | $50 for Limited Release tasting at 11:30 and 1:30 daily by appointment | Additional tasting options available by appointment.
Price Range: $20 to $105 per bottle
Vineyards: 120 acres
Production: 50,000 cases
Tour Info: Vineyard Tour available on a first come first served basis, Monday & Wednesday at 10 a.m.; $40 per person |
Estate Tour available by appointment, Tuesday & Sunday at 10 a.m.; $40 per person
Unique Amenities: Tours are self guided
Winery Dog: Monte (cat)
- "Green" Technology
- Hip & Stylish
- Historic Features
- Kid Friendly
- Off the Beaten Path
- Resort Like
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Pinot Noir