Stagecoach rests on the southern face of Pritchard Hill adjoining Eastern Oakville from an elevation of 900' climbing to over 1700'. More than 500,000 vines are planted on Stagecoach's 1200 acres, among rock and chaparral. Chappellet, Bryant Family, Colgin, David Arthur, and Cloudview are some of the estates that grace the same appellation.
Supporting a myriad of different exposures, terroir, and over a dozen and a half varietals, Stagecoach is one of the most intriguing sites in the Napa Valley. Not only does it boast a collection of the best selections and clones of cabernet sauvignon in California, but its south and west face facing slopes contain some of the best syrah and malbec in the valley.
One of the factors that make Stagecoach Vineyard unique is the cool fog that rolls off the hills each summer morning around 7:00 a.m. Sun shines on the vines for a large amount of hours each day, even though the average temperature during ripening is a full 1-2 degree Celsius below the Oakville mean. This combination of cool nights and lengthy warm days promotes great complexity due to optimal hang time. Another major factor is the well-drained soils that make up almost the entire base of the vines. Several large rocks dot the landscape and smaller gravel to tiny pebbles break up the few feet of soil that a vine’s roots find purchase in, until being forced to make their way through broken volcanic rock.
The hunt to find unrivaled vineyard land led Dr. Jan Krupp high into Napa Valley’s eastern hills to a harsh mountain site, strewn with rocks and choked with chaparral, straddling Pritchard Hill and the Atlas Peak appellation. The coolest of the three vineyards Jan culitivates, Krupp Vineyard’s hilly terrain, cool nights, and well-draining soils provide a longer, fuller growing season for early-ripening Merlot, Tempranillo, and Malbec. Later ripening Cabernet Sauvignon dominates the warmer, higher elevations, where it fully develops to provide firm, yet silky tannin structures to its wines.
Located 100 yards uphill from Hein Vineyard near Philo, this vineyard was planted in 1999 to clones 115, 777, and 667. This four-acre vineyard is steeply sloped with an excellent west-southwest slope. The soils here are very thin and nutrient-poor, which creates a large amount of stress for the vines – so much stress that it yielded very little fruit until its soils were reworked in 2005. Even in ‘06 there will be less than two tons per acre. The Dijon clones 115 and 777 are planted to 8X5 spacing, but the 667 have only three feet between the vines. Great neighborhood, great site, great clones, and primarily organic viticulture all combine to create what we feel is soon to be an Anderson Valley superstar. This vineyard is owned and farmed by the Carl Akins family.