Chateau Montelena's history is one of the deepest and most storied in the Napa Valley and California. Founded just north of Calistoga in 1882, it was one of the largest wineries in the state. Prohibition put an end to Montelena's winemaking, and the next major era began in 1968, when Jim Barrett purchased the estate. Jim fell in love with this exceptional property, blessed with a complex mix of soils, slopes and biodiversity of wildlife and fauna. He had a dream of creating wine at the level of the great First Growths of Bordeaux, and set about replanting the vineyard, outfitting the winery with modern equipment, and studying the processes necessary for farming and winemaking at the highest quality level.
Montelena has never changed in its philosophy of bringing the sunshine of California in a style that is structured, balanced and age worthy. In 1976, in what is now memorialized as "The Judgment of Paris," Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay was the top-ranking wine against four white Burgundies and five other California Chardonnays in a blind tasting with a who's-who of the French food and wine industry judging. The rest, as they say, is history.
Sourced from vineyards located in the south-central Napa Valley appellation, near the base of Mt. Veeder and Dry Creek Valley Road. The vineyard site, developed from old ocean terraces and alluvial fans, contains a lot of sedimentary material that gives moderate drainage and slight acidity. Chateau Montelena remains committed to sustainable farming and produces wine in their solar powered winery