Stag's Leap Wine Cellars
Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars stunned the world in 1976 when its 1973 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon bested some of Bordeaux’s first-growth wines in a tasting in Paris. It was the winery’s first commercial vintage, a wine produced from young, three-year-old vines. While the “victory” over the French in “The Judgment of Paris” continues to be hailed throughout the world – and the winery is still humbled by the achievement – Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars enters its golden anniversary year with a commitment to producing more complex and age-worthy wines. No resting on laurels, no autopilot, no complacency, but rather a drive to ensure the next 50 years are even more glorious than the first 50.
A step back in time puts Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars’ current and future plans in perspective. The estate was founded in 1970 with the purchase of orchard land in what is now the Stags Leap District AVA in southeastern Napa Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes replaced the prunes and walnuts, and the winery was built in 1972. A wine was made there in that year, but it was the 1973 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon that impressed – and shocked – a panel of experts on French wine. In the 1976 Paris Tasting, a blind tasting, they chose S.L.V as the finest red wine in the group, without knowing its provenance. The outcome brought international recognition to the infant Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, the nascent Napa Valley wine region, and the entire American wine industry and put all on a path to worldwide renown.
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