Charming local vineyard in tranquil surrounds offering winery tours, tastings & events.
"Trefethen Family Vineyards is one of Napa’s pioneering wineries. Founded in 1968, John and Janet Trefethen helped define what Napa is today. Five decades later, this legend is still family owned and now includes the third generation, who remain committed to the craft of 100% estate-grown wines." Visit Trefethen.
Surrounding our historic winery, in the heart of the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley, is our Main Ranch. Its 400 acres of vines are planted in 49 distinct blocks, a mosaic that echoes the complexity of our soils. Sitting on the largest alluvial fan in Napa Valley, where Dry Creek spills onto the valley floor spreading gravel eroded from the Mayacamas over clay and loam left by an ancient ocean, our soils change dramatically across the estate. We have identified over twenty different soil types across the Main Ranch, allowing us to grow 9 different varieties, all planted in their preferred soil.
Our Bordeaux varieties cluster on deposits of alluvial gravel, where water drains deep into the soil, stressing the vines just enough to encourage the ripening of the fruit and the development of flavor. Chardonnay, meanwhile, thrives in the richer loam with a higher capacity for water retention. Our 49 vineyard blocks are broken down further into 120 separate irrigation subblocks, which allow us to tailor the delivery of water to the differing needs of each variety and the unique water holding capacities of the soils in which they are planted.
We are fortunate to be in the Oak Knoll District, where both early-ripening varieties, like Riesling and Chardonnay, and late-ripening varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon, can prosper. For each variety to reach its true potential, however, we have to both match the grape to its proper soil, and our farming practices to the climate.
For Riesling, Chardonnay, and other early-ripening varieties, we farm for freshness, taking advantage of the built-in air-conditioning of the Oak Knoll District. Cool evenings and foggy mornings preserve a bright acidity and liveliness on the palate, and we manage the foliage to provide shelter from the afternoon sun. For our Bordeaux varieties, on the other hand, our climate is considered relatively cool and we farm for flavor development over our long growing season. We encourage early budbreak by pruning early, aggressively thin the fruit to ensure balanced vines and we open up the canopy to allow just enough of the warm California sun to fully ripen the berries.