Silver Oak

Iconic winery’s Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ages slowly in American oak.

Celebrated Silver Oak releases only two wines a year, both Cabernet-heavy Bordeaux blends. The grapes for the Napa Valley one, produced at the Oakville location, come from estate and other sources within the appellation. The other wine hails from Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley. At tastings, you can ponder the idiosyncrasies of Silver Oak’s approach. The winery uses only American oak for its barrels, not French, as so many of its counterparts do, and after a wine’s time in barrel, usually at least two years, it spends well more than a year aging in bottle. The 2019 Napa Valley Cabernet, for instance, wasn’t released until February 2024.

The stone for Silver Oak’s main hospitality building came from a 19th-century flour mill.


Silver Oak’s main hospitality space, constructed of stone from a 19th-century Kansas flour mill and completed in 2008, contains a refrigerated glass-enclosed “library” of older vintages. The winery offers several tastings. At the Silver Oak Tasting, you can sample the two current releases plus a library wine (for a few dollars more you can also tour the winery). A deeper dive, the Napa and Alexander Valley Comparative Tasting, showcases two vintages each of the Napa Valley and Alexander Valley Cabernets, and there’s a more comprehensive “vertical” tasting of a few older releases and the current one. Another tasting incorporates whites and reds from sister winery Twomey Cellars; the culinary staff prepares seasonal dishes served with Twomey and Silver Oak wines for the Wine and Food Pairing.

Guests at the Napa and Alexander Valley Comparative Tasting sip older wines as well as the current release. (Photo courtesy of Silver Oak.)

Silver Oak Trivia

Silver Oak’s name comes from its location near the Silverado Trail in Oakville.

How impressions (and prices) have changed since Silver Oak’s first review: “Unfortunately, Sliver Oak’s first vintage was 1972, one of the poorest Red wine vintages in the Napa Valley in the past decade. Even so, the ’72 Cabernet from Silver Oak is a very fine Claret, even if it is a bit overpriced at $6 per bottle.” The Napa Valley Cabernet’s current edition sells for nearly 35 times that price.

Silver Oak’s website has more information about the winery’s history and evolution.

Why go: celebrated winery; vertical tasting experience.


Silver Oak appears in 10 Foolproof Napa Valley Cabernet Tasting Experiences.


915 Oakville Cross Rd., Oakville 94562

Signature water tower and flowers at Silver Oak.

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This story originally appeared online in 2017; it was most recently updated in 2024.

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