The Krupp family started developing Stagecoach Vineyard in 1995, with the help of a few longtime friends. With over 500 acres planted, it is the largest contiguous mountain planting in the Napa Valley. Stretching from the westernmost regions of Atlas Peak, all the way to the east overlooking Oakville, this 1200+ acres of rocky, volcanic terroir graces the southern edge of Pritchard Hill.
Dr. Krupp's task was labeled initially by local experts as insurmountable, but soon after planting began many of Napa's most successful wineries and winemakers lined up to buy fruit from Stagecoach. Today, over 40 wineries craft incredible wines from the Doctor's endeavors. These vintners are continually impressed with the character and complexity found in their mountain grapes.
Settlers in the 1800's were the first to learn about the well drained soils and perfect growing conditions found on their hill. Each harvest, they would haul their crop by horse and wagon down into Oakville, fetching the highest prices in the valley. By the early 1900's, the increase in the deer population resulted in extensive crop loss, leading to the abandonment of all viticulture on the hill by the time of Prohibition.
Reclaimed from chaparral and sagebrush, over a half million tons of rock excavated, and water found where no geologist could divine, modern day Stagecoach vineyard is truly a gem in the rough.
Stagecoach rests on the southern face of Pritchard Hill, adjoining Eastern Oakville from an elevation of 900', climbing to over 1700'. More than 500,000 vines are planted on Stagecoach's 1200 acres, among rock and chapparal. Chappellet, Bryant Family, Colgin, David Arthur and Cloudview are some of the estates that grace the same appellation. Dalla Valle and Oakville Ranch are a short walk from Stagecoach's Heights down into the Oakville Hills.
Supporting a myriad of different exposures, terroir, and over a dozen and a half varietals, Stagecoach is truly one of the most intriguing sites in the Napa Valley. Not only does it boast a collection of the best selections and clones of Cabernet Sauvignon in California, small plantings of varietals like Viognier and Marsanne are also found in rocky, thin soiled areas. Two other varietals gaining recognition and building excitement from these south and west facing slopes are Syrah and Malbec.
One of the factors that makes Stagecoach Vineyard unique is the cool fog that rolls off the hills each morning during the summer around 7:00 a.m. Eventhough, during the key period of ripening, temperatures average a full 1-2 degrees Celsius below the Oakville mean, sun shines on their vines for an amazing number of hours each day. This combination of cool nights and lengthy warm days allows for great complexity and optimal hang time. The other factor that can not be ignored is the poor, well-drained soils that make up almost the entire base for their vines on this rocky perch. Land Rover sized rocks dot the landscape and smaller gravel to tiny pebbles break up the few feet of soil that vine roots find purchase in, until being forced to make their way through broken volcanic rock.