Chateau Montelena Winery, Napa Valley

Handsome and I took a few days after my blogging conference to travel up to Napa Valley and go visit a few wineries.  For the next few weeks I will be highlighting a winery every wednesday.

 Winery Wednesday.

So here is the first winery…

Chateau M. castle

Our first stop in Napa Valley, Chateau Montelena Winery, a stone castle overlooking a Chinese garden located at the base of Mount Saint Helena.

Chateau M. bridge & water reflection

We pulled into the parking lot that had a view of Jade Lake, such incredible grounds.  It doesn’t get more picturesque than this.

Chateau M red bridgeThis is a perfect spot for a picnic.

Chateau M. 1 barrel

On the way up to the wine tasting room we passed the Chateau Montelena Barrels which were located in front of the castle.Chateau Montelena Winery. 3 barrels

I would love to turn one of those barrels right side up, add a glass top and make a adorable wine tasting table for my backyard.

Chateau Montelena. wine tastingI could not wait to get starting tasting Chateau Montelena wines.  After all, this was the winery that put Napa Valley on the map!  Oh, they were good, I knew we were in trouble from that first sip, we would be going home with many bottles of wine from here!

Chateau Montelena. private tasting roomAfter our tasting, we took a tour of the facility.  I love the stone walls through out this castle.

Chateau Montelena. bottle sizesIt sure makes a average bottle seem small when it is compared to the Imperial size!

Chateau Montelena Winery. !st place wineI loved seeing this bottle of Chateau Montelena Chardonnay 1973 in person!  The 1976 grand tasting was held at the Inter-Continental Hotel in Paris, France.  4 white burgundies where tasted against six California Chardonnays.  This bottle of Chateau Montelena rated above all other wines.

Have you ever seen the movie Bottle Shock?  If you haven’t, you should.

It is a film {comedy-drama} from 2008 based on the 1976 “Judgement of Paris” blind taste test wine competition held in Paris, France.  And you guessed it…Chateau Montelena Winery won that competition with their 1973 Chardonnay.  You need to see the movie to see what happens in between. The 1976 win forever changed the way California wineries are thought of, especially those in Napa Valley.  The win also changed the global wine industry.

There is a bottle of Chateau Montelena’s Chardonnay 1973 on display at the Smithsonian Institution.

The movie was filmed at Chateau Montelena and other wineries around California’s Napa Valley/Sonoma wine country.

Chateau Montelena Winery

1429 Tubbs Lane, Calistoga, CA 94515

707 942-5105


  1. Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs says:

    This is a fabulous post, with SO much inside! The winery tour looks incredible (I’ve never toured a winery… though my neighbor across the street is creating a winery and his grapevines are incredible!). I love your idea for the barrel patio table, and I’m now off to add “Bottleshock” to my Netflix queue. Cheers!

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