Most wine drinkers know that Napa Valley’s Chateau Montelena is the winery best known for stealing the Chardonnay-show at The Judgement of Paris back in 1976. Then, the 2008 movie Bottle Shock which recounted the underdog winery story Hollywood-style boosted the winery’s Chardonnay fame. And while Chateau Montelena is also respected as a top producer of collectible Cabernet Sauvignon, fewer in the world of wine know that Chateau Montelena produces one of the very finest versions of Zinfandel in Napa Valley – where Zinfandel accounts for only 4% of the valley’s overall production. An Estate Grown Zinfandel no less, and a rare treat.
Such is the commitment by Bo Barrett and family with winemaker Matt Crafton to preserving the Zinfandel tradition in Napa Valley and producing authentic wines of highest level quality that speak clearly from its vineyards – including the old California stalwart.
Since 1972 the Barrett family has owned and operated this historic vineyard and winery estate at the foot of Mt. St. Helena that was founded in 1882 by a Gold Rush era California senator and rope magnate, Alfred Tubbs. A fortress-like stone edifice sequestered in the hills of northernmost Napa Valley and surrounded by peaceful gardens and lakes, Chateau Montelena is a must-visit experience for those with an appreciation of wine history, viticulture, and winemaking excellence.
Visits and tastings are by reservation only, and lakeside picnics are reserved for Chateau Montelena’s membership.