The June 2013 issue of Wine & Spirits Magazines has a mention on Chateau Montelena’s recent historic recognition and the recent parting of founder James Barrett. See below for the clip and excerpt.
“Chateau Montelena continues to make wine 125 years later in Tubb’s stately stone building, and both the founding period and the later rebirth of the winery recently earned Montelena a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. While the latest recognition arrived, another chapter in Chateau Montelena’s story came to a close – founder James Barrett passed away on March 14, 2013. Barrett served in the Navy during World War II and spent over 20 years practicing law before purchasing and refurbishing Chateau Montelena in 1972. Barrett remained involved with the winery until his death, and his son Bo continues to manage Chateau Montelena and make the wine.”
It is with deep sadness that we share the news that Jim Barrett, founder/owner of Chateau Montelena, passed away last week after a brief and sudden illness. NPR published a great tribute to his life and legacy. Jim Barrett made history with Chateau Montelena with the 1973 Napa Valley Chardonnay, which put California wines on the map by winning the Paris Tasting in 1976. ”The guy went from being an attorney to being on a submarine in the Korean War to owning one of the best American wineries,” says Scott Wilson, one of the 3 Wine Guys, a podcasting trio of wine experts. “I mean it’s a pretty amazing life. When Barrett showed up in Napa Valley in the 1970s, he says, the place was hardly the lush green countryside we see today.” The photo below is Jim Barrett holding a bottle of the famous Napa Valley 1973 Chardonnay back in 1996. Click here to read the full tribute.
Market Watch just published an article featuring Chateau Montelena and its recent recognition: the U.S. National Park Service has named the Calistoga Chateau Montelena to the National Register of Historic Places. The historic stone winery was finished in 1888 by Alfred L. Tubbs and was bought by Jim Barrett in 1972. “It goes back a lot farther than people give us credit for,” says Jim’s son Bo Barrett, current master winemaker and partner in the family-owned winery. “We were pretty stoked to see that our family’s and the Montelena Team’s contributions were deemed by others to be so historic in Napa Valley, California and U.S. history. I have to say it is a huge compliment and we all are extremely honored.” Click here to read the full article and more about the history of Chateau Montelena.
Chateau Montelena has made sustainability a philosophy that is woven into everything they do. For over 40 years Montelena has been a pioneer in sustainability and continues to make their wines “with an ongoing love for the environment of the planet and her passengers”. To check out all the ways that Chateau Montelena is staying green click the image below.
Courtesy of Chateau Montelena, visitors to the winery who drive electric-powered cars can now charger their car batteries while they step inside the Montelena estate and enjoy! They installed a Pedestal Charger along with the first Level 3 DC Fast Charger in the Napa Valley. To read more about the DC Fast Charger at Chateau Montelena click the image below!
Chateau Montelena has just launched a new online virtual tour of the winery on its Web-site. The virtual tour allows visitors to wander through the long hallway that connects the tasting room to the estate room, stroll through the crooked walkways over the placid waters of Jade Lake, and so much more. A 1-minute video will greet you and the “Help” tab will allow you to find out how to navigate through the many things there are to explore. To find the tour look for the “Kicker” at the bottom of their homepage by clicking the image below.
An influx of new money and bold ideas in the early 1970′s saw the birth of the modern Californian wine industry. In their just-released California issue, Decanter Magazine tracks the several estates that were founded or had their first vintage in 1972. Within the class of ’72 is Chateau Montelena. According to Bo Barrett, back then, planting the right grapes in the right place was often a matter of luck. These days, he finds that wine-making is more about the place and less about the age of the barrels. To read the full article, click the image below.
We receive an increasing number of questions about the farming practices of our producers, and are thrilled to see the interest and concern for how our producers grow their grapes, operate their wineries, and perceive their relationship with the environment. Chateau Montelena has for decades farmed sustainably, and they lay out why they have done so, and what other steps they have taken to work with Mother Nature to produce the best possible wines from their site. Of note is that since 2007, Montelena has been 100% solar powered.