Our Story

the story ofNapa Cellars

The same year that Napa was granted the status of agricultural preserve, self-made man Charlie R. Woods founded our winery on five and a half acres of prime Oakville soil. In the 1970s, he built a geodesic dome there to store barreled wine, and he concentrated on making reds, in particular Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon.

The winery changed hands a number of times before being purchased in 1996 by Koerner Rombauer and Rich Frank. That’s when we earned our reputation for rich, buttery Chardonnay—a style that was becoming popular in the United States at the time.

A decade later, the Trinchero family was looking for a winery property that would capture the essence of Napa. Napa Cellars, with its ideal Oakville location and fame for luscious Chardonnay and authentic Napa reds, was the obvious choice. Winemaker Joe Shirley came on board a year later, in 2007. He has since introduced French oak to our Chardonnay for a more balanced and contemporary style of wine.

Though Napa Valley is small—30 miles long and only a few miles across as its widest point—its varied microclimates and soils make it possible to successfully grow a variety of wine grapes. That gives us the luxury to choose the best fruit for each wine we make without ever having to look beyond the Napa Valley.