Chimney Rock Winery

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Located in Napa Valley, California is a famous winery I am sure you may have heard of. Chimney Rock Winery was established in 1980 by Hack and Stella Wilson, who brought their love of wine and South IMG_6261African winery architecture to the Napa Valley. Owned now by Terlato Wine Group, the team works hand-in-hand to elevate Chimney Rock to its potential. The winery prides itself by focusing on intelligent and sustainable farming and grape growing led by V.P. of Winemaking, Doug Fletcher. Winemaker, Elizabeth Vianna is the incredible, knowledgeable, and strong woman behind these carefully crafted wines. Her passion for winemaking shines through with every sip, and I had the honor of meeting her and tasting some of these wonderful wines with her by my side.

Chimney Rock strives to allow the unique and magnificent Stags Leap District soil and fruit show within the wines. Elizabeth takes pride in her winemaking and her passion and enthusiasm, along with her wonderful stories are what make these wines so special. You truly feel the care, thought, and craft put into these wines, and will fall in love with every sip!

“Our vision and mission is to produce wines of exceptional quality that are capable of standing shoulder to shoulder with the great and important wines of the world. We continue to provide Elizabeth and her winemaking team with the vision, resources, and guidance to craft unique wines of this exceptional quality. Join us as our history continues to unfold.” – John Terlato

Chimney Rock Winery produces: Cabernet Sauvignon, Elevage (blend), Cabernet Franc, Rosé of Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Gris, and an Elevage Blanc (blend), plus many more.

“Being a winemaker is a blend of art and science. It is mainly science, but the artistic dimension is so fun—it’s instinct, using your palate much in the way that you use your imagination.” Winemaker Elizabeth Vianna

I had the pleasure of tasting the following wines with Elizabeth:

IMG_58592013 Cabernet Sauvignon- This signature Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon displays all that is Stags Leap and it’s wonderful beauty. A bold and brilliant red with supple tannins, bright cherry and plum notes with plenty of spice and pepper. On the palate it’s smooth and full bodied and consistently sought by collectors due to it’s ability to age for many years.

2013 Elevage- Crafted from grapes grown across the wineries 37 distinctive vineyard blocks. The first vintage was released in 1990, and Chimney Rock remains deeply committed to, and passionately fond of, this blend comprised of Bordeaux varietals. Elevage, is a mélange (blend) of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. This wine serves as an artistic portrait of the vintage at the Chimney Rock estate.

2013 Elevage Blanc- Balanced by acidity and richness, this white blend is absolutely beautiful. A pretty blend of Sauvignon Gris and Sauvignon Blanc with a striking nose of citrus and minerals, along with hints of pear and white pepper. Tropical notes linger on the back end and finish through to the palate, which is lush and will enhance any meal! I suggest pairing this wine poolside with Beet “Bruschetta” topped Polenta Cakes.

2008 Elevage Blanc- One of a kind, and such an honor to taste! This wine you won’t be able to find anymore as it’s special and sold out. Maybe you can find it at an auction somewhere, and if you do… buy it! This 2008 is outstanding with white pepper, pear, and apricot notes. On the palate it’s smooth and balanced still with plenty of acidity and beauty. This wine can go much longer if you wanted to age it a few more years, however it’s drinking beautifully now!

Want to taste and see Chimney Rock for yourself? How about touring the Stags Leap District? You can visit Chimney Rock Winery and take a tour of this magnificent estate. This is one of my ultimate goals this year, and I hope it will be one of yours too! 

*Chimney Rock is open 7 days a week from 10:00am to 5:00pm, with the exception of major holidays. For more information or to make a reservation, call 707-257-2641 to reserve a tasting in our Stags Leap District Tasting Room. A variety of experiences are available by appointment starting at $40, featuring our acclaimed estate-grown wines.

About Sara Lehman

Sommelier, Private Chef, & Food and Wine Pairing Expert in NYC! Sara is a Wine Writer, Wine Ambassador, and Wine Consultant specializing in pairings, parties, entertaining and education.

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