In 1976, at the historical Judgment of Paris tasting, one humble Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley left the discriminating panel of French palettes gobsmacked. Awarded first place, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars’s 1973 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon effectively catapulted California’s name onto the international vinicultural map.
Maintaining its reputation for elegant wines of velvet intensity, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars has become one of the most essential stops on the Napa Valley wine trail for oenophiles. Now, thanks to the winery’s brand-new Stag’s Leap FAY Outlook & Visitor Center, it’s even more of an attraction for design enthusiasts, too.
The 6000-square-foot space was built in collaboration by Barcelona-based architect Javier Barba and local architect Dan MacDonald and will host myriad tastings, events and private club activities. Designed with the surrounding landscape in mind, over 300 tons of stone boulders were sourced from the winery’s land; a wall of glass windows offers a panoramic perspective on the winery’s estate vineyards below and the appellation’s namesake palisades beyond.
“I took inspiration from the angles of the Stag’s Leap rock formation and elements of the stories Native Americans told of an enormous Stag that eluded hunters as it leapt to safety from rock to rock,” says Barba. “The Visitor Center is exposed, growing from the site, embracing the sky and the surrounding countryside. Its emotional appeal is rooted in the integration of the wine-tasting experience held within the estate vineyards, right where the wines are produced, with views of extraordinary beauty.” 5766 Silverado Trl.; 707-944-2020; cask23.com.