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Stags' Leap Winery
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Location: Napa, CA
Stags' Leap Winery is one of California's earliest wine estates. Estate Founder Horace Chase partnered with his uncle, W. W. Thompson, on land where grapes had been planted in the 1880s by T.L. Grigsby. The construction of the Manor House in 1890 was followed by the blasting of the Historic Wine Cave and first vintage in 1893. By 1895 production on the estate was up to 40,000 gallons of wine.
The estate's unique terroir and ideal microclimate support a classical standard of viticulture, land use, and winemaking that is as relevant today as it was over a century ago. The Stags Leap name originated in the late 1880s with the founding Chase family and is attributed to a native Wappo legend of a stag leaping to escape hunters. The mountains behind the property on the eastern side came to be known as the Stags Leap Palisades.
Stags' Leap Wine production has been interrupted periodically since the first Chase vintage due to financial reversals, Prohibition, and war; however, wine grapes have been grown continuously on the estate since its founding.
The topographical, geological, and climatic features of Stags Leap District make up the region's reputation for Cabernet Sauvignon. Winemaker Christophe Paubert practices a meticulous, hands-on style of winemaking that emphasizes balance. The Stags' Leap estate is about intense wines, yet soft tannins; balanced winemaking brings these qualities to the bottle.