Piña Napa Valley

Longtime local clan specializes in tannic hillside Cabernets.

The family behind Piña Napa Valley goes back a rare eight generations in these parts – Bluford Stice, the first relative to settle here, arrived via wagon train in 1856. Bluford’s son made wine for Inglenook a century-plus ago, and other relatives on the family’s maternal side grew grapes on Howell Mountain and in Rutherford. The first Piñas settled in Rutherford in the 1920s, having come from Spain via Hawaii.

Hillside Preference

Well known locally for its vineyard-management company, the Piña family makes a half dozen 100% Cabernets under its own label. The Piñas, who farm organically, adapt their approach to suit the microclimates and terrain—valley floor, hilltop, or in between—of their clients’ properties. For land the Piñas acquire themselves or lease long-term, they prefer foothill and mountain locations with good drainage. From Yountville in the southern Napa Valley to Howell Mountain in the north, many of their vineyards face west. This orientation allows the Cabernet grapes to ripen more fully in the afternoon summer sun.

The family behind Piña Napa Valley goes back eight generations in the Wine Country.

Light Touch

Because winemaker Anna Monticelli displays a light touch with the Cabernets, a tasting here allows guests to experience how specific soil types—the Firehouse Vineyard’s volcanic ones in Rutherford, say, or Wolff Vineyard’s sandier ones in Yountville—affect flavor, tannins, and mouthfeel.

No-Frills Tastings

Since reopening in mid-2020 following Napa County’s Covid-19 lockdown, the winery conducts laid-back no-frills tastings on a lawn outside the barrel-aging room. At $20 very reasonably priced for the Napa Valley, they usually begin with a Chardonnay made from grapes grown in the Oak Knoll District, between downtown Napa and Yountville, followed by three Cabernets.

One of the Piña Cabs comes from Wolff Vineyard in Yountville.

Info

8060 Silverado Trail, Rutherford 94573

Why go:  family-owned winery; laid-back no-frills tastings; winemaker’s light touch allows full expression of vineyard characteristics.


Napa Valley Itineraries

3 Historic Napa Valley Wineries Day Trip
3 St. Helena Wineries with a Personal Touch
48 Perfect Hours in Calistoga

More Family-owned Wineries

Charles Krug Winery
Fontanella Family Winery
Larkmead Vineyards
Schweiger Vineyards
Tres Sabores Winery

See Also
10 Foolproof Napa Valley Cabernet Tasting Experiences
Napa Valley Basics

This story originally appeared online in 2017; it was fact-checked and updated in 2020.

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