If you’re visiting the Napa Valley and would like to ‘literally’ taste history, then a visit to the Charles Krug estate is a must. They are recognized for being the oldest winery in Napa, founded in 1861—the year the Civil War broke out! In 1943 this already iconic property was acquired by the Cesare and Rosa Mondavi. This marked the beginning of one of the world’s great family winemaking dynasties. They built on the winery’s reputation for innovation and quality with their two sons, Peter and Robert (who would later leave to found his own eponymous winery in Oakville).
With Peter’s passing 2016 at the age of 101, the torch has passed to his two sons Marc and Peter Jr. Both invested heavily in remodeling the Charles Krug estate into the incredible property it is today. They expanded what used to be a modest facility into a gorgeous tasting and barrel room. We encourage you to tour this unbelievable establishment, taking the time to absorb the rich history. You’ll appreciate the amazing effort that has gone into it over the years. If you love photography the grounds are a dream— you couldn’t take a bad photo if you tried.
Charles Krug Wines
The only thing that tops the history of the Charles Krug estate are their wines. They create elegantly balanced expressions of classic Bordeaux varietals. These wines are sure to delight almost any palate. They also make small single-vineyard offerings made from their historic estate vineyards. These arrive in very limited quantities, and only available direct from the winery.
Adding to this is the service of the staff. They bring 5 Star service and exceptional knowledge of the wines, history, and the Valley. If the staff isn’t swamped and you ask nicely, oftentimes you’ll be able to sneak in a special tasting or even try a barrel sample if you’re lucky. That’s why we like to recommend visiting on a weekday.
With history comes benefits
As the oldest winery in Napa Valley, Charles Krug enjoys a bit more wiggle room compared to other wineries in the area. Many don’t realize that Napa Valley has rigid permitting regulations and strict wine laws. When wineries state no food or limit reservations to a specific number of guests, it is not because they want to turn you away. It is most likely, that they are legally unable to accommodate.
The historic Charles Krug on the other hand predates a lot of these regulations. As a result, they can host weddings which are a fabulous setting for photos. They can also host entertaining events like comedy nights, movies under the stars (think wine, pizza and film fun) and more. Overall Charles Krug is a fantastic venue for groups, events, and functions. But let’s not forget wine enthusiasts looking to fill their cellars with something special. Their Vintage Selection Cabernet Sauvignon for example dates back to 1943!
Their Salumeria should be on the top of you list. You can order delicious cheese and charcuterie platters to pair with the wines you are sure to be enjoying. In addition to this, visitors to Charles Krug can enjoy incredible wood fired oven pizza during the warmer months.