Duckhorn Vineyards Facts


  • Appellation:
    Napa Valley AVA
  • Grape Varieties:
    Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon
  • Important People:
    Dan Duckhorn, Bill Nancarrow
  • Location:
    St. Helena, California, US
  • Inaugural Vintage:
    1978
  • Annual Case Production:
    100,000+

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Duckhorn Vineyards
Duckhorn Vineyards Image
Duckhorn Vineyards Image
Founded in 1976 by Santa Rosa native Dan Duckhorn, Duckhorn Vineyards was one of California's standard-setters for Merlot in the early 1980s. Over the years, Duckhorn has expanded both its output and its vineyard holdings, with seven estate vineyards on Howell Mountain and the Napa Valley floor and four vineyards in Anderson Valley, Mendocino County. Though production is high in volume (100,000-plus cases/year) it remains high in quality.

Today, under the guidance of head winemaker Bill Nancarrow, Duckhorn is still known for its single-vineyard Merlots and Cabernet Sauvignons. Bottlings of both varietals marry a ripeness representative of California with an old-world elegance. These are often earthy, gamey, soil-inflected wines which generally need some cellaring to unwind and show their potential. Duckhorn also makes a highly regarded but less expensive Sauvignon Blanc.

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In 2007, the private equity firm GI partners purchased a controlling interest in Duckhorn Wine Company, which operates Duckhorn Vineyards, Goldeneye - an Anderson Valley Pinot Noir producer, and Paraduxx which bottles a Napa Cabernet/Zinfandel blend.

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About Napa Valley

Napa Valley is the most famous wine-growing area in the U.S. It begins at the base of Mount St. Helena in the north and tapers off some 30 miles to the south into the floodplain where the Napa River enters San Francisco Bay. From Mount St. Helena to the city of Napa, the valley is defined by two north-south ridgelines of the Coast Range Mountains.
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Duckhorn Vineyards Image: © Joe Shlabotnik. Image licensed under Creative Commons License Attribution 2.0.