The Quintessa winery was developed on what has been called Napa Valley's last great undeveloped property. According to the proprietor, Agustin Huneeus, it had all the characteristics of a great wine estate. The 280-acre property had rolling hills, a diversity of soil types, and many microclimates. In 1989, this property in the Rutherford appellation was purchased and developed into Quintessa winery. Quintessa Napa Valley had never been planted with grapes before, making it very different from its neighbors whose vines can often be more than a century old.
Because the land had never been planted with grapes before, Quintessa Napa Valley had the benefit of learning from 25 years of experience from other local vineyards. Environmental practices ensure that the production of Quintessa red wine doesn’t damage the soil. After all the research, planning, and growing, the winery was built. In 2002, this "Quintessential Wine Estate" was built right into a hillside. The crescent-shape design reflects the owner’s desire for ecological sensitivity, while still providing state-of-the-art equipment for making wine.
Valeria and Agustin Huneeus wanted to create a vineyard that produced one singular estate wine. The design takes advantage of the gravity-flow process when producing Quintessa red wine. The winemakers have their choice of stainless steel fermenters or French oak in the Quintessa winery, depending on the desired qualities of the wine they're creating. Directly behind the winery, a cave system has been carved into the hillside. This 17,000-square-foot space allows for the perfect conditions for three years before its release. Quintessa Napa Valley has the ability to store up to 3,000 barrels.
Fulfilling the dream of the proprietors, Quintessa red wine is the only product of the vineyard. The couple set out to create a delicious wine that was complementary to food. During the blending process, a few factors are important at Quintessa. Harmony, balance, and length of flavors, as they say, are all considerations when blending each unique vintage. The first vintage was released in 1994, and the winery has continued to thrive, becoming a popular destination on wine tasting tours in Napa Valley.
Guided private tours are available by appointment only, seven days a week from 10 am to 4 pm. Visits to Quintessa are customized, designed according to your desires and ensuring that you have a uniquely individual wine tasting experience. All tours include a visit to the vineyards, winery, and caves, and they finish with a relaxed tasting at a private table. Small canapés are served with the tasting, and the fee per person is $45. This unique property will display the possibilities of state-of-the art design and technology.
The Quintessa winery also hosts a variety of events throughout the year and across the country, often highlighting specific varieties of wine as paired with high-class cuisine. The events schedule is listed on the winery web site and is well worth keeping an eye on, as you just might find the chance to relive one of the finest wineries from your Napa vacation in your own hometown.
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