Stewart Cellars

About

At Stewart Cellars, it's the quest that drives us. The quest for the ideal site, for consistently lush fruit, for the like-minded grower who labors toward the perfect expression of a given vintage. We build lasting relationships with vineyard owners and together we test the limits of what an exceptional patch of soil can yield. Our requirement for the resulting wine is simple: it must deliver beyond expectation every time.

 Our quest takes us to some of the most respected vineyards drawing our focus to the taste profile of every block and a blend that fulfills its promise a thousand times over. Only the best of the best bears the Stewart family name.

 Stewart Cellars begins and ends with family. We are dedicated to making something tangible and enduring, something expressive of each person's gifts. Michael Stewart is very much the entrepreneur. Anne is the food and wine connoisseur who loves to introduce people to our wines. James thrives on the complexity of running all aspects of the business, from managing grower relationships to shaping the Stewart Cellars brand. Caroline is honing her skills as she follows the world's harvest seasons preparing herself to take the Stewart family into the future as winemaker.

 For these two generations and for the Stewart clan of tomorrow, the ambition remains the same: respect the dirt, start with the best fruit, drive hard for perfection, embrace the elegance of the human touch.

Location Description

Located in the heart of Rutherford, California.

Features

  • Family owned winery.

Additional Information

  • Meeting / Conference Facilities:
  • Caves:
  • Wedding Facilities:
  • Picnic Facilities:
  • Dog Friendly:
  • Winery Tours:
  • Wine Tasting:
  • Art or Architecture:
  • Organic / Biodynamic:
  • Awards:
  • Wine Club:
  • Lodging / Bed & Breakfast:

Winemaker

Paul Hobbs was one of the first contemporary California winemakers to focus on wines made from single-vineyard sources. An early experimenter in crafting unfiltered and unfined wines fermented with native yeasts, he uses classic techniques to create wines of distinctly Californian character.

Upon receiving his Master's degree in Enology from UC-Davis, Paul went to work for Robert Mondavi, where he rose to the position of Head Enologist and was appointed to the Opus One team. Several years at Simi Winery followed, where he developed a new, signature Cabernet Sauvignon style. A burgeoning interest in emerging wine regions led to an offer to make Argentina's first world-class Chardonnay for Nicolas Catena.

He founded the Paul Hobbs Winery in 1991 while continuing to consult for several premium California wineries. Today he is a consultant to wineries in the U.S., Chile, Argentina and Hungary.

The Team

MICHAEL STEWART - FOUNDER

When Michael Stewart sold the technology company he founded and ran for 25 years in Texas, he knew that his next venture would in some way allow him to capitalize on a longtime interest in wine. He and his wife Anne had made several trips to the Napa Valley over the years and were charmed by the idea of settling here and building a family business.

Opportunity soon came knocking. In 2000, the Stewarts purchased a majority interest in Juliana Vineyards in the Pope Valley. That same year, Michael launched Stewart Cellars with small inaugural releases of hand-crafted Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir sourced from some of the finest vineyards in Napa Valley and the Russian River Valley.

With both son James and daughter Caroline now on board at Stewart Cellars in different capacities, Michael hopes to build a family partnership he can ultimately leave in their hands. His goal is for the Stewart clan to set down permanent roots in Napa Valley soil, with Stewart Cellars growing its own fruit in estate vineyards.

JAMES STEWART - GENERAL MANAGER

James Stewart is one in a group of Napa Valley next-generation winemakers assuming central roles in legacy wine businesses. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, he came to the Valley in 2006 to partner with his father, Michael, in running Stewart Cellars. Following a product from the dirt to the shelf greatly appeals to him; moving his family's wines through the marketplace without having to compromise their standards or beliefs is what he finds most rewarding about his work.

Like many of his peers, James is focused on issues surrounding sustainability, preservation, labor practices and maintaining family-owned businesses in Napa Valley. He enjoys charity work and fundraising, but is most intent on spreading the message that Napa Valley is for everyone—that Stewart Cellars and the other family-owned businesses here make wines first and foremost for people's enjoyment.

Estate Vineyards / AVA

LAS PIEDRAS VINEYARD
NAPA VALLEY - CABERNET SAUVIGNON

Formerly known as Beck IV, Las Piedras Vineyard sits at the base of Sulfur Creek on the outskirts of the Napa Valley town of St. Helena. Mostly level, the site belongs to the fan-shaped flood plain created by run-off from the creek. Gravelly alluvium washed down from terrace deposits of resistant metamorphic and sedimentary rock on the hillsides above. 

The Las Piedras soils are classified in the Cortina series of sandy loam. Riddled with rocks and cobbles, the soil is fast-draining, porous and excellent support for vine roots. A unique confluence of vine density and optimal growth creates the right balance for producing ultra-premium Cabernet Sauvignon: smaller berries with concentrated tannins exhibiting intense Cabernet characteristics. 

Nomad originates in blocks B and C of this vineyard, one of Andy Beckstoffer's finest. Vines in both blocks are grafted to 110R rootstock; block B is planted to Clone 4 and block C to Clone 337.

STAGECOACH VINEYARD
NAPA VALLEY - CABERNET SAUVIGNON

The J2 block of Stagecoach Vineyard is a gentle southward-facing slope in the middle of Jan Krupp's 1,200-acre Napa property. Planted to Clone 4 on 110R rootstock, the block features red clay soil mixed with fractured rock and yellow clay. These factors combine to produce a concentrated, structured wine: the stressed Clone 4 vines for concentration, the volcanic soil for big tannins and the southern exposure for rich, juicy fruit. 

On an eastern-facing slope closer to the western edge of the vineyard, block C2 is planted to Clone 337 on 3309 rootstock. Here the soils are much deeper and are comprised mostly of red and yellow clay with a thin top layer of loam. As a result of less stressful soil conditions and a cooler aspect, wine from this block tends to have a bit more finesse, with smooth tannins and bright, floral fruit aromas.

ROSS STATION VINEYARD
RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY - PINOT NOIR

Terry Gibson's Ross Road vineyard straddles the Green Valley and Russian River AVAs on a gentle ridge between Forestville and Graton in Sonoma County. It produces Pinot Noir characterized by minerality, bright fruit, silky tannins and well-balanced acidity. 

All root stock is 101-14, spaced 5 feet by 8 feet with just under 1,100 vines per acre. Soils belong to the famed Gold Ridge series of sandy clay loam that produces highly prized Pinot Noir. Irrigation is supplied from an on-site pond that fills every year from seasonal rainfall. double saddle topology ensures proper root drainage and moderate vigor. 

All trellises are vertical-shoot positioned with one fruit wire and three pairs of movable cane wires. Canes are thinned to two per mature healthy spur and are managed by movable wires to insure good sun exposure. Partial leaf thinning is done on the morning side of the vines.

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Hours

By appointment.

Address

6752 Washington Street
Rutherford, California 94599
United States

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