OWNER Owned by the Pelissa family who bought the former Inglenook winery (the ninth bonded winery in the state of California) on the corner of Highway 29 and Oakville Crossroad in 1993 and converted it to a custom crush facility. Their first vintage in Napa was 1903. One of the current family members is Managing Partner Andrew Hoxsey. His great-grandfather Giuseppe (Joseph) Pelissa left Italy and arrived in San Francisco in 1902, settling in Calistoga with 13 hectares (32 acres) of land. The farming operation was expanded by Giuseppe’s son and Andrew Hoxsey’s grandfather from 1906. It was Andrew Pelissa who expanded the vineyards across Yountville and Napa.
THE BUILDING The building that now houses Napa Wine Company is actually a culmination of two historic winery properties. In 1877 the first Brun & Chaix Nouveau Médoc Winery was built in Oakville, the 9th bonded winery in California. The oldest building was a tiny cellar; 20 by 34 feet. In 1880 the building was expanded to 160 by 34 feet and another building 40 by 45 feet was built nearby. The property passed through various hands in the 20th century. Eventually the properties were expanded to support large-scale production of generic wines, starting with the Betsy Ross wine brand in the 1940s. In 1977 the two buildings were united, and later in the 1980s, production was expanded further still to support the growing Inglenook brand. In 1993, the winery was purchased by the Pelissa family who converted the former Inglenook facility from a mass production winery into a state-of-the-art custom crush facility. In 1997, three of the top ten Wine Spectator best wines of the year were produced at Napa Wine Company. This spurred the owners to make some wines from their own grapes whilst continuing to sell grapes to other winemakers. The following year, the tasting room on the property was opened to the public.
THE TASTING ROOM The Tasting Room at Napa Wine Company offers a wide range of wines to taste.
VINEYARDS In addition to the winery, the Pelissa family has 257 hectares (635 acres) of vines in the Napa Valley on two sites, one in Oakville (35%) and the other in Yountville (65%), making it the tenth largest vineyard in Napa County.
ORGANIC CERTIFICATION / 1986 First vintage with organic certification. / 2017 Still certified organic.
NAMED VINEYARD BLOCKS
BLOCK HOUSE VINEYARD / Block House is Napa Wine company’s largest vineyard at 182 hectares (450 acres). It is planted to Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir and Syrah. The vineyard is named for pioneer George C. Yount’s block house, the first Kentucky style block house west of the Mississippi. In the design of a block house, the top floor juts out over the ground floor so that inhabitants can protect the structure. Block houses were often constructed for defense in frontier areas.
GHOST BLOCK / This is on a gently sloping knoll on the north edge of Yountville. Ghost Block vineyard is named after the historic Pioneer Cemetery for which it borders. The vineyard is 6.5 hectares (16 acres) planted to Cabernet Sauvignon.
LINCOLN CREEK VINEYARD / Known for its Merlot, the 32.4 hectares (80 acres) of Lincoln Creek is located between Highway 29 on the west and the Napa River on the east in the Oakville appellation. It is named for a small creek that cuts through the middle of the vineyard.
MILL RACE VINEYARD / The Mill Race Vineyard is cradled by a curve in the Napa River’s eastern bank. George C. Yount’s original grist/flour mill was powered by a “race” – a diverted part of the river once on the site of this vineyard. Located in the Yountville appellation, Mill Race Vineyard is sheltered by the Yountville Hills to the west and is situated just below the border of the Oakville appellation to the north. This block of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot comprises 12.95 hectares (32 acres).
MORGAENLEE (SIC) VINEYARD / MorgaenLee comprises 100% Sauvignon Blanc across 12.95 hectares (32 acres). The vineyard was acquired by Napa Wine Company in 1986. The property’s original owner was American Naval Officer Admiral Willey, who called the land his “anchorage.”
PELISSA VINEYARD / The Pelissa Vineyard is 24.3 hectares (60 acres) and is located in Oakville, Napa Valley. The vineyard is named for Andrew and Babe Pelissa, who after their marriage on August 30, 1930 made their home at the site of this vineyard, which at the time was a dairy. Two generations later, the heirs of Andrew and Babe purchased the land and named the vineyard in honor of the heritage that began a family business still thriving today, thus bringing the family full circle. The vineyard is formerly known as “BV 7,” one of the vineyards responsible for some of the great BV “Georges de Latour” Cabernet Sauvignons.
ROCK CAIRN VINEYARD / In Oakville, Napa Valley. The Rock Cairn Vineyard is named for rock cairns left by Native Americans who travelled through the hills of Yountville. The 12.95 hectares (32 acres) are planted to Cabernet Sauvignon.
WINERY / This is also used as a custom crush facility by other wineries.