Stag's Leap Wine Cellars was founded in 1970 and is considered a Napa Valley first-growth estate. The heart of Stag's Leap Wine Cellars is undoubtedly the estate vineyards, and extraordinary care is taken to assure that a wine's aroma, flavor, and texture express a sense of place. Although the S.L.V. and FAY vineyards adjoin each other, the Napa wines they produce carry expressly different aspects of the terroir. S.L.V. soils are predominantly volcanic in nature and contribute multi-layered structure, concentration, and spicy intensity, often referred to as the “fire" elements. FAY's soils, more alluvial in makeup, yield more of the “water" elements of softness, perfume, and rich berry qualities.
Stag's Leap Wine Cellars is notably known for being the winery that won the Cabernet Sauvignon competition in the 1976 Judgment of Paris. On May 24, 1976, a blind wine tasting took place in Paris that changed the world's view of California wines forever. Famous French wines and other classified-growth red Bordeaux and white Burgundies were matched against California Cabernet Sauvignons and Chardonnays. The tasting was blind, with the identities of the wines concealed and the labels revealed only after the jury of nine tasters had voted its order of preference.
The 1973 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon was judged the best. The Napa Cabernet had bested four top-ranked Bordeaux, including first-growths Château Mouton-Rothschild and Château Haut-Brion.