St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery

Sense of place is palpable in Chanel property’s Napa Valley wines.

Lush camphor trees line a driveway bisecting Cabernet and Merlot vines at St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery, established in the 1980s and since 2015 owned by the French luxury brand Chanel. The Rutherford winery hosts tastings and events at a modern ivy-covered structure and occasionally an adjacent oak-shaded 1882 Queen Anne Victorian. When the weather’s fine, guests sip wine on an outdoor patio facing courts for playing pétanque, a French game similar to bocce. Robust culinary and espalier gardens producing ingredients for experiences with food complete the bucolic yet sophisticated tableau.

Patio tables overlook pétanque courts.

Estate-Grown Wines

St. Supéry is known for estate-grown Sauvignon Blanc and Bordeaux reds, many of the latter Cabernet Sauvignons. The wines come from grapes grown on the 56-acre Rutherford property or 20 miles away at the 1,500-acre Dollarhide Ranch on Howell Mountain, where Chardonnay and Moscato also thrive. The Winemaker’s Selection tasting surveys the portfolio; a food pairing a few days a week highlights sustainability initiatives in the vineyards and winery.

Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux reds are St. Supéry’s specialty.

Comparing Cabernets

Robert Skalli, St. Supéry’s founder, chose to locate his winery in the Napa Valley because he believed this appellation was the best in North America for growing Cabernet Sauvignon. One pleasure of the Cabernet Collector’s Tasting is comparing the wines made from the two very different properties he purchased. The Cabernets from the alluvial soils of the valley-floor Rutherford vineyard tend to be soft and supple, with the volcanic soils of Dollarhide showing more structure and tannins. Five Bordeaux Varietals tasting focuses on the distinguishing characteristics of the five principal Bordeaux grapes: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. 

A verdant lawn fronts St. Supéry’s 1882 Queen Anne.

Aromatherapy and Ampelography

Aromatherapy with a Corkscrew, one of the winery’s most popular experiences, is worth seeking out. Participants blind taste several wines and blind sniff scents that range from fruits and fungi to herbs and spices. The point here is to identify aromas and understand how the sense of smell affects the enjoyment of wine. Much of the Ampelography Master Class takes place in the vineyard. Determining a vine’s grape type by the shape of its leaves is the goal in that seasonally offered session.

Some wines and the AJD craft brandy from Muscat Canelli grapes are only available for purchase at the winery.

Sense of Place

The sense of place is palpable in all the St. Supéry wines, overseen by vice president of winemaking and vineyards Michael Scholz, a master of French oak aging. In the 1990s, Scholz created the Élu red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux varietals. He and winemaker Brooke Shenk also craft separate single-vineyard wines of each varietal, with the Cab Franc and Petit Verdot often outstanding.

Why go: valley-floor and mountain Cabernets; focus on wine education; commitment to sustainability.

A vintage’s best red Bordeaux grapes go into the flagship Élu blend.


St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery appears in 10 Foolproof Napa Valley Cabernet Tasting Experiences.


8440 St. Helena Hwy., Rutherford 94573

Napa Valley Itineraries

Downtown Napa in a Day
48 Perfect Hours in Calistoga
3 Historic Napa Valley Wineries Day Trip
3 St. Helena Wineries with a Personal Touch
2 Splendid Days in Walkable Yountville

This story originally appeared online in 2017; it was most recently updated in 2023.

2 thoughts on “St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery”

  1. Pingback: STORY INDEX BY REGION – Daniel Mangin

  2. Pingback: 10 Foolproof Napa Valley Cabernet Tasting Experiences – Daniel Mangin

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top