Chateau Montelena Winery has been welcoming guests since the late 1800’s, when founder Alfred L. Tubbs built the old-world stone chateau. In the late 1950’s the Frank family purchased the chateau and promptly added to the grounds to reflect the Chinese gardens of their homeland, creating one of the most unique settings in the Napa Valley – a stunning stone chateau carved into a hillside overlooking a Chinese garden and Jade Lake. Jim Barrett bought the property in 1972, and shortly thereafter Chateau Montelena stunned the wine world and helped put Napa Valley on the map with its 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay, which took first-place at the famous Paris Tasting held May 24, 1976.
While the combination of perfect soils and climate are indispensable, it takes the hand of a skilled winemaking team to realize a vineyard’s full potential to produce a world-class wine. At Chateau Montelena, we have a dedicated team of individuals with decades of experience working in our vineyards and handcrafting our wines.
The Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and Montelena Estate Zinfandel are both sourced from the winery’s vineyards and are one of the world’s most unique winegrowing properties. The site’s diversity of soils and slopes translates directly into the layers of complex flavors in the wines.
James L. Barrett, Founder : 1926 – 2013
Jim Barrett came to the Napa Valley in 1972 with one thing in mind, to start a world-class winery. He often said to visitors of the winery, “I wanted to do something to make people happy.”
Bo Barrett, Master Winemaker
Bo’s career in the wine industry began in the summer of 1972, right after he graduated from high school, when his family purchased Chateau Montelena. He spent the first summer pulling star thistle in the old vineyard and picking up rocks in preparation for replanting. Today, he is Master Winemaker and Chief Executive. Refusing to rest on its laurels, Bo continues his father’s forward thinking, constantly seeking out ways to improve and perfect every aspect of the Estate, from winemaking to grape growing to hospitality.
Cameron Parry, Winemaker
Cam has been an integral member of the winemaking team at Chateau Montelena since 2004, and was named winemaker in 2008. He oversees management of all winemaking, cellar activity and laboratory under the direction of Master Winemaker Bo Barrett.
A native Virginian, Matt doesn’t miss the humidity or Capitol Hill. Proper barbecue, the Appalachian Trail, and good whiskey are another story. Matt joined Chateau Montelena in 2008 after graduating from UC-Davis and, armed with an Economics degree from the University of Virginia, brings a splash of finance to farming and fermentation. Having worked in cellars and vineyards up and down the north coast and back east since 2003, Matt brings a diverse skillset and a fresh set of eyes to an iconic winemaking team.
Dave Vella, Vineyard Manager
Dave has been with Chateau Montelena since 1985. He has vineyards in his blood; his ancestors came to California in the late 1800’s as grape growers and winemakers, settling in California’s Central and Napa Valley.
Chateau Montelena Winery has been a pioneer in sustainability for over 40 years. When the Barrett’s restarted Montelena in the early 1970’s it was during the time of the hippies “back to the land” movement and the words used then were “environmentalism”. Over the decades they have extended and refined this stewardship to be reflected in all aspects of the business – from farming to wine production to sales and marketing – all embody the philosophy of sustainability. It guides how they farm, the construction and operation of the winery and how they care for the community. Whether it’s their 220KW solar array or the simple act of composting coffee grounds, Chateau Montelena believes that sustainable business practices are an integral part of all good business practices.