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Our History

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, notably known for being the winery that won the Cabernet Sauvignon competition in the famous 1976 Judgment of Paris, was founded in 1970, and is considered a Napa Valley first-growth estate.


The founder of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars first tastes with Nathan Fay, whose scenic vineyard below the rocky promontory of the Stags Leap Palisades, so named because of the legend of the stag who successfully eluded hunters by leaping to freedom across the district's landmark peaks, was the first planting of Cabernet Sauvignon in what later became the Stags Leap District.


The founder purchases the 44 acre property, which was primarily a prune orchard, next to Nathan Fay's vineyard, named the property Stag's Leap Vineyards, and replanted it to Cabernet Sauvignon and a little bit of Merlot. Stag's Leap Wine Cellars was born.


The first vintage of S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon is produced.


The first winery building is completed, and the now historic 1973 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon becomes the first wine made in the new red wine facility.


The first vintage of CASK 23 is produced after consulting winemaker Andre Tchelistcheff, while tasting through the lots of wine from this vintage, decided that one lot, which was in the large wooden cask numbered 23, was so beautiful and deliciously distinct that it should be bottled separately.


Stag's Leap Wine Cellars wins the Cabernet Sauvignon category in a blind tasting staged by Steven Spurrier, an English wine merchant in Paris, among French wine experts between American and French wines. This later became known as the famous Judgment of Paris. Learn More


Stag's Leap Wine Cellars purchases FAY vineyard from Nathan Fay.


The Stags Leap District in Napa Valley is established as an American Viticultural Area.


The first bottling of FAY Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is produced from Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars.


A bottle of the history-making 1973 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon is placed in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian’s national Museum of American History. Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars begins excavation of its wine caves.


The Napa wine caves are completed with an entrance called The Arcade, designed by Barcelona-based architect Javier Barba. There are over 34,000 square feet of tunnels, and one of only about 50 Foucault pendulums in the world, which suspended from the ceiling, marks the passing of time and the aging of wine.


The first vintage of ARTEMIS Cabernet Sauvignon, named for the Greek Goddess of the Hunt, is produced.


A partnership between Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Marchesi Antinori proudly accepts the stewardship of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars and its legacy.


The iconic 1973 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon is named one of the Smithsonian's "Objects that Made America".


Designed by Barcelona-based architect Javier Barba, the must-see FAY Outlook & Visitors Center opens, allowing visiting guests to take in beautiful panoramic views of FAY Vineyard while experiencing the top-notch Stag's Leap Wine Cellars hospitality.