Franciscan Estate is an aesthetically pleasing winery located on the east side of St. Helena Highway just north of the Rutherford Cross Road. Pull into the short tree lined driveway and pass by the central fountain for parking. This winery is owned by Constellation Brands; their Napa office is just up the road in St. Helena. This is truly an International wine company with holdings in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the states.
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For over 35 years there has been a select group of winemakers in the Napa Valley who have been pioneering the craft of fine winemaking. One of the founding members of this lineage established pristine vineyards in Oakville, and focused on the meticulous principles of small-lot winemaking and his unwavering pursuit to capture the supreme expression of the land. Franciscan Estate was established in 1973 and began producing wines of true character from our Oakville estate in 1975. At Franciscan Estate, we only use grapes of the highest quality worthy to bear the Franciscan Estate crest. We strive to create wines of the highest character and excellence in every vintage. This is what devotion to wines of true character is all about. It is in every bottle and embodied in our crest that has been a sign of excellence on our wines for over 20 years.
Franciscan is known for their red wines especially their Cabernet Sauvignon. Several tours and tastings are offered including a vineyard tour, a sensory seminar, and also a tasting of blended only wines – call for reservations. The general tasting bar is open to the public and you can walk right in without an appointment. The metal topped counter surrounds the main tasting area and like many large Napa Valley wineries, can be quite crowded at certain times of the year. The tasting room staff is quite friendly and as with any large tasting room in the valley, the less people tasting, the more positive the experience.