This weekend, I’m celebrating wines from Stags Leap.

 


This weekend, we celebrate thirty years of the Stags Leap District, Napa’s smallest producing sub-appellation. It achieved status in 1989 on the basis of its distinct soils. While I’m happy to commemorate the milestone, it’s important to remember that the hype began long before appellation status was granted. 

The wine industry in the United States is so young, and we’ve come so far in such a short period. The first American Viticultural Area was designated by the federal government in 1980 for Augusta, Missouri and many have followed. Currently there are 242 AVAs in the United States. One hundred and thirty-nine of them are in California.
 
The Stags Leap District helped bring California wine to the fore. It was the 1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon that took first place over Bordeaux producers at the renowned Tasting of Paris in 1976. You can still find a few 1973s floating around wine auction sites, but expect to pay big bucks.
 
The current vintages from Stags Leap District wineries continue to shout best-in-show. Each year, the Stags Leap District Winegrowers Association puts together a collection of limited release Cabs to highlight the best of the vintage. Collectors, take note. I had the opportunity to taste through a few youngsters in the most recent collection, and the positive 2016 vintage reports ring true. Get down, or up, to the Stags Leap District this weekend and taste for yourself. 
 


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