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Chateau Montelena is a Calistoga-based Napa Valley winery founded by Alfred Tubbs in 1882. It was originally called A.L. Tubbs Winery after its owner. Vineyards were planted and the chateau was constructed in 1888, intended as a barrel-aging facility.
By 1896, the winery was the seventh largest in the Napa Valley but winemaking came to an end with Prohibition. After Prohibition was repealed in 1933, winemaking was resumed by Tubbs' grandson, Chapin Tubbs. In 1940, he rechristened the winery as Chateau Montelena Winery, a contraction of Mount St. Helena. Two years after his death, winemaking was discontinued and the winery would not function again for nearly two decades.
Chateau Montelena’s renaissance began in the early 1970’s under the leadership of Jim Barrett. The vineyard was cleared and replanted, and the chateau outfitted with modern winemaking equipment. He assembled a team to oversee the vineyard and winemaking, then grew and contracted for the highest-quality grapes in the Napa Valley. In 1972, wines were made for the first time. Decades later, this celebrated family-owned winery continues to thrive with Jim's son Bo Barrett at the helm.
Chateau Montelena helped put California at the forefront of the wine world in 1976 when its 1973 Chardonnay was rated the top-ranking white wine against four white Burgundies and other California Chardonnays at the Judgment of Paris wine competition.
"The most important thing in winemaking is balance; from the technical aspect it is the strength of the triangle: balance of art, farming and science to make consistently great wines.” Bo Barrett, CEO & Master Winemaker