St. Helena

With over 150 years of history, with the first commercial winery, Charles Krug, established here in 1861, St. Helena is known for its powerful, age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignon.

St. Helena wines to seek out

Known for Cabernet Sauvignon with minerality, power, and elegance but they also grow Malbec, Merlot, Zinfandel. St Helena wines are marked but soft and silky tannins.

There are some remarkable Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon blends here too.

Canary Island date palms line the organic vineyards at Spottswoode Winery.

A few St. Helena wineries to know
  • Corison Winery - Cathy Corison is known for her earlier picked styles, more restrained than many other producers.

  • Trinchero Family Estates - A family-owned winery, originally started in Napa in 1947. Now one of the largest wineries in Napa Valley.

  • Spottswoode Winery - Established before prohibition in 1882 they were one of the first to adopt organic viticulture in the valley.

  • Raymond Vineyards - Biodynamic producers with a focus on sustainability.

  • Alpha Omega - Relative newcomer to scene in St. Helena in 2006, they also create a late-harvest, oak-aged, sweet Sauvignon Blanc.

  • Charles Krug - The first commercial winery in Napa Valley – a historical icon.

St. Helena AVA Terroir

In this hour-glass shaped AVA the Mayacamas and Vaca mountains almost join together, creating the narrowest part of the valley. This means that heat gets reflected off the mountain sides and there is minimal influence from the bay, so it gets quite warm - peaking at high 90s (30-35° C)

In addition to this, the run-off from the Mayacamas and the Vaca mountains combine to create many different soil types, creating a huge tapestry of growing opportunities giving real minerality to many of the wines.

St. Helena AVA Facts

  • St. Helena AVA was established in 1995.
  • St. Helena is 12,000 acres with 6,800 acres planted.
  • There are 21 different soils in St. Helena. Created from centuries of erosion runoff from mountain hillsides and a formerly more powerful Napa River and its ancient tributaries.
  • More than 400 different vineyards are located within the appellation.