Quintessential Couple Honors the Last Great Unplanted Land in Napa Valeria and Agustin Huneeus have cultivated an exceptional piece of land in Napa, which is entirely farmed using Biodynamic principles and no chemicals. BY TOURING & TASTING
Explore the property on a scheduled tour and see the wine caves.
“ Guests are greeted in the Visitor’s Center by their personal host and escorted either by vehicle or foot to a private pavilion overlooking the estate.”
On the west side of the Silverado Trail in the northeastern corner of the Napa Valley's famed Rutherford appellation, the riveting, crescent-shaped building that houses Quintessa calls out to wine lovers seeking a truly exceptional tasting experience. The way the stunning building blends seamlessly into its eastern-facing hillside is a first signal to arriving guests that they have discovered a winery dedicated to its natural environment.
When Valeria and Agustin Huneeus first discovered this 280-acre parcel of virgin land in 1990, they were delighted with their good fortune. Unlike much of the land in the flat Napa Valley floor, this land possessed five hills, a valley, a lake, and a river. With extensive and varied backgrounds in the wine industry, the couple recognized the land’s grape growing potential and began to develop a vineyard in the last great unplanted property in the Napa Valley. Today, the 280-acre Quintessa estate is planted to 180 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Carmenère.
Quintessa’s sweeping facade catches the eye of many wine tourists driving along the Silverado Trail. All tastings require an appointment, so visitors should contact the winery in advance to arrange an Estate Tasting or Quintessential Quintessa experience.
Quintessential Quintessa provides guests a memorable experience in a space that allows them to become more connected to the environment. Guests are greeted in the Visitor’s Center by their personal host and escorted either by vehicle or foot to a private pavilion overlooking the estate. Here, they can get a real feel for the terroir as they gaze across the estate’s diverse terrain to neighboring Rutherford vineyards and the town of Yountville in the distance. They are treated to a glass of 2013 Illumination (a vibrant blend of Sauvignon Blanc Musqué, Sauvignon Blanc, and Semillon) as they learn about the history of the unique vineyard and its owners. It is duly noted that, due to a great respect for the purity of the land, organic farming practices have always been implemented. The land, which is now entirely farmed using Biodynamic principles, has never seen a drop of chemical.
Guests then sit down to taste four more exquisite wines. The first two samples are drawn from two select barrels to demonstrate the estate’s remarkable range of soil types—from white volcanic to deep gravel to rich alluvial river bed. These wines also give guests an idea of the compelling aromas and flavors Winemaker Charles Thomas has to choose from as he carefully crafts the winery’s prized Quintessa blend. They learn that because each vineyard block is managed like a separate vineyard from planting to harvest, Charles has 60 to 70 separate wines to choose from.
Next, guests savor the tasting of two Quintessa vintages. Quintessa is crafted to reflect the finesse and elegance of this exceptional place from a blend of the best vineyard lots of estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Carmenère.
Quintessential Quintessa is an unforgettable experience and well worth contacting the winery in advance for an appointment.
What to Buy '13 Illumination - $40
Citrus, fresh herbs, star fruit, lychee, honeysuckle
'11 Quintessa - $145
Fresh cherries, currants, red plum, wet rock, sandalwood, clove
Private estate tours and vertical tastings by appointment, Biodynamic farming practices, organic farming practices, scenic views, barrel tasting.
1601 Silverado Trail South St. Helena, CA 94574