The short path from the parking lot to the charming Victorian house that houses St. Clement Vineyards’ tasting room is steep, but worth every step. The landmark Napa Valley estate, established in 1878 by the San Francisco stained glass merchant Fritz Rosenbaum, was one of the first bonded wineries in the Napa Valley. But St. Clement’s history began in 1976, when William Casey, a local ophthalmologist, bought the house and built a 10,000-case stone winery in the backyard.
Although St. Clement Vineyards owns very little of its own vineyard acreage, the winery has built its modern-day legacy from long-term relationships with some of the best winegrowers in the Napa Valley. These relationships represent half of the Napa Valley’s 33 different soil series, and 100 different soil variations, which translate into an amazing palate of flavors and tannin structures.
Oroppas is a great example of how St. Clement’s close relationships with top winegrowers lead to the creation of exemplary wines. Growers in six unique Napa Valley sub-appellations including Diamond Mountain, Howell Mountain, Mount Veeder, Rutherford, and Spring Mountain, contribute to this wine each year. As a result, Oroppas is a rich, opulent Bordeaux-style blend that emphasizes concentration, depth, and velvety tannins. When the first vintage of Oroppas was released in 1991, it quickly became a style icon for the winery, noted for its consistent flavor profile and tannic structure. Today, St. Clement continues to build on its legacy of highly respected wines produced in small quantities.
Architecture buffs and lovers of great wines who visit St. Clement’s main tasting room appreciate the building, meticulously restored to the finest detail, and the offerings of single-vineyard Cabernets and Oroppas. Eight of the thirteen wines in St. Clement’s current portfolio are available at the winery and poured in the Reserve Room behind the main house. Despite its long history in the Napa Valley, St. Clement always holds many pleasant, new discoveries.