Benchmark Wineries


The name Amici in Italian means friends, and is a tribute to the friends that started this winery. Amici began as a small project amongst friends.


Young wunderkid rockstar winemaker Jesse Katz. Old world structure, new world fruit. Katz traveled the world with his photographer father, getting an education in wine before he was legally allowed to drink it. Aperture's focus is on Sonoma County cool climate Bordeaux varietal vineyard sites

Beaulieu Vineyard

A historic winery in Rutherford Napa Valley was started in 1900 by Georges de Latour. His knowledge of phylloxera and his decision to import rootstock resistant to the pest established BV as one of the early pioneers of Napa Valley. BV was able to not just survive, but grow as a winery during prohibition making sacramental wine for the Catholic Church. Following the repeal of prohibition Andre Tchelistcheff was hired and the quality of wines improved. Tschelistcheff became a mentor for other important winemakers; Robert Mondavi, Joe Heitz, Mike Grgich


Beringer is Napa's oldest continuously operating winery, founded in 1876. One of the first gravity flow wineries, the first to have hand dug caves, and following the repeal of prohibition became the first in Napa to start offering tours starting the tradition of Napa Valley hospitality. With 140+ years of history, Beringer has only had 8 winemakers during it's tenure. Currently run by Mark Beringer he follows on the legacy of Laurie Hook, Ed Sbragia, and Myron Nightingale.


Caymus Vineyards is synonymous with opulent, richly flavored Napa Cabernet. The Wagner family began farming in Rutherford in 1906, planting vineyards in the late 1940s. The winery is named after the Caymus Indians, a tribe that once lived in Napa Valley. Randy Dunn was winemaker through 1984 and said that the strength of Caymus's wines lie in the vineyard and quality of its grapes.


Pritchard Hill is named after the first settler in this region Charles Pritchard. He first planted grapes in 1882. The Chappellet property is where he used to live. Since 1967, the Chappellet family has been farming this high elevation hillside. First vintage was 1967 Chenin Blanc, but 1969 Caberenet Sauvignon brought them recognition. Certified organic vineyard overlooks Lake Hennessy. Chappellet owns the trademark rights to Pritchard Hill, otherwise this region might be one of Napa Valley's most stand out AVAs.

Chateau St. Jean

Richard Arrowood went to extremes in his winemaking. At one point had nine different chardonnays from one vintage on the market. The winery was almost like an experimental research lab for Sonoma County vineyards.


Long-time Napa Valley winemaker Cathy Corison worked at Freemark Abbey, Chappellet, and Yverdon before starting her eponymous label with the 1987 vintage.


Founded in 2007 by brothers Daniel and George Daou on a 2200 foot mountaintop in the Adelaida District of Paso Robles. The estate is one of the highest in Paso Robles and the high temperatures are moderated by a near constant breeze blowing through the Templeton Gap.Daou helped form the Paso Robles Cab Collective to promote "classic" and age worthy wines from Bordeaux varieties with a focus on quality over yield.

Diamond Creek

Diamond Creek is the first California winery estate to focus on a single variety - Cabernet Sauvignon. Purchased in 1968 by Boots and Al Brounstein, the goal of the winery was to showcase the terroir and microclimates from the property atop Diamond Mountain. The different teroirs and eponymous wines produced are Volcanic Hill, Red Rock Terrace, Gravelly Meadow, and the smallest at 3/4 acre is Lake. Lake is only produced in very exceptional vintages and not made every year.

Dunn Vineyards

Dunn released its first cabernet in 1979 and was a pioneer of Howell Mountain making dense age worthy mountain wine.

Freemark Abbey

A group of seven partners founded the winery in 1967, before the start of the 1970s California wine boom. Early on, Freemark Abby had a big advantage over its competition because its partners knew the best areas in the valley for grapes - recognition of Bosché Vineyard in Rutherford, for years those grapes went to BV Private Reserve. Later joined by Sycamore Vineyard


Kathryn and Craig Hall acquired the historic Bergfield Winery in 2003 and re-opened as Hall Saint Helena later that year. This was once the site of the Napa Valley co-op, producing 40% of Napa Valley's wines. in 2009 HALL Saint Helena became the first LEED gold certified winery in California. In addition to Hall Saint Helena they own Hall Rutherford, a state of the art winery making single vineyard and limited production wines. low yield, highly concentrated fruit. No expense was spared. 10 estate vineyards, with Kathryn Hall Cabernet Sauvignon being released as the pinnacle of blending efforts each year. Lifelong art collectors, Craig and Kathryn Hall have showcased some of their collection at both wineries and visitors to Napa Valley may see the large chrome sculpture Bunny Foo Foo greeting guests along Highway 29


Family owned since its founding in 1961. Pioneering vintner Joe Heitz ushered in the modern era of globally celabrated wines including Napa Valley's first vineyard designate wine, Martha's Vineyard.


In 1879, Gustav Niebaum, a Finnish Fur Trader, founded the grand Inglenook chateau in Rutherford. In 1975 filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola bought Niebaum's old home and in 1995 bought the Chateau, reuniting most of Gustave Niebaum's old estate. The goal remains to create long-lived wines in the mold of the Inglenook Cask Cabernets of the Niebaum and John Daniel eras.

J. Lohr

Jerry Lohr had a successful career in contruction and development before turning to grape growing and winemaking in Monterey. Then purchased an old brewary in San Jose which was converted for winemaking purposes


Modeled after first growth Bordeaux this is one of Sonoma's premier Cabernet producers. Family owned since 1972. Andre Tscheltscheff consulted early on and was instrumental in helping to craft a Bordeaux influenced wine that was aproachable while young, but still aged gracefully. Rob Davis guided winemaking from the 1976 inaugural vintage until his retirement in 2019

Joseph Phelps

Family owned and operated winery founded in 1973. Pioneering efforts with Rhone varietals set the stage for what came to be known as Rhone Rangers, but known for Insignia. Insignia is California's first proprietary red Bordeaux blend and a classic of Napa Valley.

Laurel Glen

In 1981 Patrick Campbell began bottling his own wine from his vineyard on Sonoma Mountain. All of Laurel Glens 40 acres are planted to Cabernet Sauvignon. Very distinctive wines are produced from this high elevation, east facing site with rocky soils and diurnal shifts.

Louis Martini

Louis Martini was established in 1922, during prohibition, focusing on the production of sacramental wine and grape juice concentrate. Anticipating the repeal of prohibition, the winery was built north of Saint Helena in 1933 and in 1938 purchased what was known as the Goldstein Ranch - renaming it Monte Rosso Vineyard. This historic vineyard at the top of Sonoma Mountain has some vines over 100 years old and is under the care of vineyard manager Brenae Royal. In 2013 Michael Eddy became winemaker, the first non-Martini family member to hold the title

Pride Mountain

Once known as Summit Winery, this incredible property sits 2000 feet above the valley floor sitting on the Napa-Sonoma county line. Vines mainly face south and are above the fogline so they are bathed in sunshine all day. Purchased in 1989 by Jim and Carolyn Pride the first vintage was 1991. In 1994 they released their first reserve Cabernet produced from the best lots in the cellar. Wine made by Sally Johnson.


Monte Bello could well be considered a first growth for California Cabernet. The estate vineyard is located at 2300 feet in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Ridge Vineyards was started in the 1960s however grapes were grown and wine produced on the Monte Bello property since 1895. The 1971 vintage received prominence for placing at the Judgement of Paris and was also the first vintage under the winemaking direction of Paul Draper. In 2016 Paul Draper retired after crafting 47 vintages for Ridge. Utilizing "Pre-Industrial" winemaking techniques in addition to listing certified organic and sustainably grown grapes there is transparancy in labeling listing every additive used in the winemaking process to show how little intervention is required to produce terroir focused wine.

Robert Mondavi

Robert Mondavi established his namesake winery in 1966 with a vision to create Napa Valley wines that would stand in the company of the world’s finest. He chose To Kalon Vineyard in the heart of the Napa Valley as the home for Robert Mondavi Winery. This first-growth vineyard, located in Oakville, California, is renowned for producing some of the finest Cabernet Sauvignon wines in the world.


Benchmark Cabernet from the most prestigeous vineyards in Napa Valley, including the famed Beckstoffer To-Kalon vineyard. Wines made by Thomas Rivers Brown. The incredible vineyard sourcing and gifted winemaking have garnered Schrader over 25+ 100 point scoring wines from various publications.

Screaming Eagle

A success story of the 1990s. 1 acre in Oakville. Heidi Peterson Barrett.First vintage 1992, released in 1995 Current production is between 500-850 cases per year. The mail order list is capped at 3 bottles a person and has a lengthy waiting list.


John Shafer purchased property in 1972 in what would become Stags Leap District and for the last 40 years along with son Doug, and winemaker Elias Fernandez crafted some of the most sought after Cabernet produced in California. Their highest quality fruit comes from the hillsides above the winery and it is these grapes that are the basis of the Hillside Select bottling.


Simi Bros. were making wine in Healdsburg by 1881. 140 years later and the list of a long line of women and influential winemakers who spent time in the Simi cellars reads like a who's who of California winemaking. Isabelle Simi, Andre Tchelistcheff, Mary Ann Graf, Zelma Long, Rick Sayre, Dave Ramey, Greg LaFollette, Paul Hobbs, Nick Goldschmidt.


This 40 acre family owned estate sits on the western edge of Saint Helena. The land was the first in Napa Valley to be farmed organically, since 1985 (certified organic in 1992) Legacy of great winemakers including Tony Soter, Pam Starr, Rosemary Cakebread. Wine currently made by Aron Weinkauf


In 1985 the Staglin family purchased the property on the Rutherford Bench. 130 year historical property with grapes planted by Andre Tchelistcheff. A philanthropic winery producing great wines fr great causes has raised more than a billion dollars to support charities


Family owned, sustainably farmed, three generations of the Trefethen family worked to sell not just their own wines, but Napa Valley. They helped establish the Napa Valley Agricultural Preserve, co-founded Napa Valley Grapegrowers, worked with Napa Valley Vintners, and California Wine Institute, and established the Oak Knoll District AVA where their estate vineyards and historic winery are located.

Silver Oak

Silver Oak was founded in 1972 by Ray Twomey Duncan and Justin Meyer with a focus on one varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon, aged exclusively in American Oak and worthy of cellaring. Now farming more than 400 acres in Napa and Alexander Valley with two LEED Platinum certified wineries.

Hundred Acre

Owner/ Winemaker Jayson Woodbridge, 1998 first vintage 100% estate fruit made in an opulent style, Many 100 point scores, mailing list


Matthiasson is run by two farmers, Steve and Jill Matthiasson. Both are specialists in sustainable farming and viticulture, and their vineyard is located in the Oak Knoll District of Southern Napa Valley. They consult on vineyard management while also running their winery, which produces Bordeaux blend red wines, chardonnay, and several Italian varieties as well.

Opus One

1979 was the first vintage of a collaboration between Robert Mondavi and Baron Phillippe de Rothschild Oakville, To Kalon vineyard Michael Silacci since 2001


Agustin Huneeus, Rutherford, commitment to caring for the land, organic, small vineyard blocks variety of soils and microclimates