What’s The Difference between Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars And Stags’ Leap?

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Is it Stag’s Leap Cellars or Stags’ Leap? This is the number one question asked by visitors and the answer is, it depends on which you’re referring to. Clear as mud, right?

stag's leap wine cellars

Stag’s Leap Cellars Vineyard Information

Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.

In 1970 Warren Winiarski purchased the property, a 44-acre block of land, for under $200,000. It was situated next to the vineyard owned by Napa Cab wine growing pioneer Nathan Fay.

Winiarski made his decision to purchase land in the region after tasting wine from Nathan Fay’s vineyard.

The first vintage that was produced was in 1972. The second vintage was in 1973. It was this ’73 vintage that was entered into and won the Judgment of Paris in 1976.

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Stag’s Leap (apostrophe before the S) is the famous Napa winery known for producing the Cabernet that beat out the top Bordeaux at the 1976 Judgment of Paris. This event put Napa Valley on the map and the winery became famous internationally. Here’s where the confusion comes into play. Another winery exists in Napa named Stags’ Leap (apostrophe after the S). 

Stag’s Leap and Stags’ Leap both make great wine. Not only are the names nearly identical but the labels even look similar, so it’s quite easy to see how a person could get lost in the sauce. So why the need for the confusion? Can’t one sue for the name?

Both wineries were founded around the same time in the 1970s in the Stags Leap district of Napa. They each took the name of the district as the name of their winery (Ahem, hello Burgundy, Gamay, Chinon, and I see you too Champagne).

Everything was cool for a little while, until one winery won that little competition. Maybe you’ve heard of it. (Pssst- Chateau Montelena also took the prize for its Chardonnay).

The win catapulted it into international fame, and the other rode the coattails of that fame as well – since most people have no clue that the two wineries are different.

Which Stags Leap Sued Which Stags Leap?

So Stag’s Leap sued Stags’ Leap for the right to be the sole bearer of the name. As both wineries were founded at the same time, and named for the area, both had a right to use the name. Only Stag’s Leap would use the apostrophe before the S, and Stags’ Leap would use the apostrophe after the S. 

All is well now though. After the lawsuit was settled both owners became friends, releasing a 1985 vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon with grapes from each estate. And so it was named “Accord.” Cute. And, they both lived happily ever after.

So which one is better? Both make excellent high-end wines, but there is one varietal in particular that each winery is known for. If it’s Stag’s Leap go for the Cabernet, particularly their S.L.V. Cab, as it’s the Cabernet from the Stag’s Leap Vineyard (S.L.V.) that won the 1976 Judgement of Paris. If you instead come across Stags’ Leap, grab a bottle of their Petite Sirah.

The “S.L.V” (Stag’s Leap Vineyard) was the initial vineyard owned by the estate. It consists of 35 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and 1 acre of Merlot. This vineyard was the source of the grapes that produced the wine that won the 1976 Judgment of Paris.

The winery purchased the “Fay” Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard in 1986 and also purchased a Chardonnay vineyard named “Arcadia” from Mike Grgich in 1996. Grgich was the winemaker at Chateau Montelena and he produced the winning Californian Chardonnay at the 1976 Judgment of Paris.

In August 2007, Winiarski sold the winery to Chateau Ste. Michelle and Marchesi Antinori Srl. Winiarski agreed to continue as a part-time advisor for three years following the sale.

Where To Stay Near Stag’s Leap Cellars

There are at least a dozen really outstanding hotels, Inns and B&Bs in Yountville. But our favorite, and one that comes highly recommended in our Napa Travel Planning fb group is Bardessono. Bardessono is super swanky and has amazing reviews.

If you want to see the lot of them, check out all accommodations in Yountville.

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Tasting Information

Stag’s Leap offers six tasting experiences at The FAY Outlook & Visitor Center. Each one is truly that. An experience. Enjoy indoor or outdoor wine tastings with stunning panoramic views of FAY Vineyard and the Stags Leap Palisades. Reservations are required for all experiences and can be made by self booking.

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Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Tours And Seated Tastings

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Estate Collection Tasting Flight

The Estate Collection flight showcases four of the winery’s finest Napa wines from the FAY and S.L.V. estate vineyards, including the highly collected Stag’s Leap CASK 23 Cabernet Sauvignon. 

Reservations may be made based on availability daily beginning at 10a.m. The last reservation available is 4p.m. $75 per person.

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Napa Valley Collection Tasting Flight

The Napa Valley Collection flight highlights four distinctive wines from small-production to exclusive wines only found at the winery. This tasting flight includes the Stag’s Leap ARTEMIS Cabernet Sauvignon. 

Reservations may be made based on availability daily beginning at 10a.m. The last reservation available is 4p.m. $50 per person.

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Celestial Tour & Tasting

The Celestial Tour & Tasting begins with a guided tour of the spectacular Napa Valley wine caves and concludes with a seated tasting of the winery’s iconic, estate-grown wines, perfectly paired with delicious bites created by our Chef Travis Westrope. 

Reservations may be made based on availability daily beginning at 10a.m. The last reservation available is 4p.m. $150 per person.

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Estate Wine Tasting & Cave Tour

This extraordinary winery tour offers an opportunity to take in some of the most stunning views and exclusive spaces in all of Napa Valley while learning about our historic legacy, terroir and winemaking philosophy.

Offered daily at 10a.m. and concludes with a tasting of wines from the Estate Collection. All guests on the wine cave tour must be 21 years or older. This experience lasts approximately 75 minutes. Reservations are required, and group sizes are limited to a maximum of 10 guests.

Reservations can be made by emailing tours@stagsleapwinecellars.com or by calling 707-261-6410. The experience is $95 per person.

The Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cellarius Kitchen Experience

Cost $295 per person*

You’ll think you stepped inside a Michelin starred restaurant with this tasting experience.

Chef Travis Westrope sources the freshest, local ingredients while the team pours world-renowned wines.

He knows the Stags Leap District well and understands how to highlight each characteristic of the winery’s collection of wines by presenting plates, sharing the story behind each food pairing, linking the dish to the wine, enhancing the narrative, and creating lasting memories.

This gourmet experience is hosted in the Cellarius Kitchen.

Available Saturday & Sunday by appointment at 12p.m. for up to 12 guests.

Reservations are required at least 48 hours in advance. This experience lasts approximately 2.5 hours. Special pricing for club members.

Reservations can be made by emailing tours@stagsleapwinecellars.com or by calling 707-261-6410.

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Private Events

Book a private experience. Spend a few hours on the estate with your group.

You can book your event in one of three spaces:

  • The FAY Outlook & Visitor Center which has views of the estate vineyards and Stags Leap Palisades.
  • The Arcade & Great Room is just inside the entrance to the wine cave and is perfect for formal events and wine dinners in Napa Valley.
  • The FAY Lake is great for a picnic or family-style gathering, large or small.

Contact the Event Planner


Want to bring your stag’s leap wine home with you?

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We recommend the VinGardeValise 12 bottle wine suitcase. There are a couple ways you can use this suitcase. One is, when you come home you only pack half the suitcase with wine and the other side clothes; or, what we do is bring a duffle bag to carry our clothes home. You can still check a duffle bag home btw, you don’t have to schlep it around for all four connections.

Pro tip: you can also use the duffle bag to drop off your clothes to be laundered if you’re doing an extended trip. Multiple uses for one duffle bag.

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars FAQ

Where can I buy a bottle now?

The original ‘73 vintage that won the Judgment of Paris is in the Smothsonian. But, you can buy Stag’s Leap incredibly smooth and delicious ARTEMIS here.

Who owns the winery today?

Chateau Ste. Michelle and Antinori

Are pets allowed?

Please, no pets. Due to health and safety concerns we no longer allow pets on our patio or in our tasting room.

Is picnicking allowed?

No picnicking. Tours are available and reservations are required in advance.

Are children allowed at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars?

Yes the tasting room is family friendly. They do require all guests to be over 21 for tours and culinary experiences.You can even bring along your iPad and jump on their wi-fi (or read a book!!)

If I find a wine I like, can I ship it home?

Yes! You can even have it shipped in time to enjoy your bottle when you get back home. 

Can Stag’s Leap accommodate large groups?

It is recommended that you call or email for large groups or Private Events 707-261-6410 events@cask23.com

Stags Leap Wine Cellars Factsheet
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