S.F. Bay Area — No. California
Napa Valley Attractions
Napa Valley Wineries
— "Bottle Shock" Tour
Google Map of Chateau Montelena
Chateau Montelena Winery
Reminiscent of a French chateau or stone castle, Chateau Montelena sits on a hillside overlooking a Chinese garden and serene Jade Lake, with vineyards as far as the eye can see — it's one of the most picturesque wineries in Napa Valley.
We were drawn to Chateau Montelena after seeing the movie "Bottle Shock." For those of you who haven't seen it yet, the movie tells the story of the famed "1976 Paris Tasting" that put Napa Valley, and Chateau Montelena, on the world wine-making map — their 1973 Chardonnay won top prize at the "blind" tasting, much to the amazement of everyone, especially the French!
Chateau Montelena goes back a long way — founder Alfred L. Tubbs established the Napa Valley winery back in 1882. Today, it is more popular than ever. Stop by for a tasting and tour next time you're visiting Napa Valley Wine Country — you won't be disappointed... especially if you get a chance to sample their Cabernet Sauvignon, Montelena Estate 2006 — it's magnificent!
The winery features three tasting areas — the main Tasting Room on the Chateau's top floor, The Estate Room (for groups) and a small Library Room (for more intimate tastings and special VIP events).
The Chateau's Estate Room, located at the end of the main hallway, houses the winery's historical artifacts and pictures — including an historic autographed oak wine barrel.
of the Montelena Estate
Take a Self-Guided Tour of the Montelena Estate — just pick up a brochure at the winery after your wine-tasting/tour.
There are so many great vantage points for picture-taking — one of the best views of the Chateau is is on the far side of the courtyard, near the top of the stairs (adjacent to the office building).
Follow the path to Jade Lake and walk the footbridges connecting the mainland to the two islands (which are not open to the public, but are available to Chateau Montelena's club members). The footbridges were built crooked to honor Chinese legend, which says that evil spirits can only travel over water in straight lines.
During our last visit to Chateau Montelena, we saw a beautiful white swan and several turtles swimming in the lake — it's such a peaceful setting... and a great way to end a tasting tour! The Estate Vineyard is located just beyond the lake.
1976 Paris Tasting — 1st Place
See Chateau Montelena's award-winning 1973 Chardonnay that took 1st Place in the historic 1976 Paris Tasting —as Jim Barrett (Montelena's general manager and part owner, said: "Not bad for kids from the sticks."
— Tours & Tastings
Current Release Tastings
Sample and purchase Current Release Wines at the winery's Tasting Room, located on the top floor of the Chateau.
Tasting Room Hours
No reservations required. Tasting Fee $20.
*Note: The winery is closed on special holidays, so be sure check Chateau Montelena's web site for closure dates prior to your visit.
Library Wine Tasting
Enjoy a more intimate wine tasting in the winery's cozy Library Room. Sample and purchase wines not commonly available in the marketplace. Library Wine Tasting groups are limited to
just six people.
Daily 11:30am and 1pm
Pre-paid advance reservations required
Tasting Fee: $40
Behind the Scenes Tour
During one of our visits, we took the Bottle Shock tour. It told the story of the famed 1976 Paris Tasting that put Napa Valley and Chateau Montelena on the world wine map.
The tour started in the Chateau's Estate Room and included a visit to the wine cellar. We saw where the "Bottle Shock" movie scenes were filmed, discussed fact vs fiction, learned about the actors, and heard stories from the set — while tasting the award-winning Chardonnay that put Chateau Montelena on the world map.
Christine (pictured below) led our group during our winery tour and tasting — if you see her, tell her "Alana & Barry say Hi!"
NOTE: See the "Bottle Shock" movie prior to your tour — it's a FUN movie!
"Bottle Shock" DVD
Press Club in San Francisco
Chateau Montelena is also affiliated with the Press Club in San Francisco. Visit its "urban tasting room" located on Yerba Buena Lane, adjacent to the Four Seasons Hotel. Visitors can taste, purchase and enjoy wines from an exclusive variety of wineries not collectively available anywhere else in the world. No reservations are necessary.
Fri-Sat 5pm-12 midnight
Chateau Montelena Winery
1429 Tubbs Lane
Chateau Montelena is located just off Hwy 29 (at 1429 Tubbs Lane), north of Calistoga.
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