Stags Leap District, marked by a dramatic outcropping of rock that flanks Napa Valley’s east side, was one of the first areas to be designated an appellation based on the distinctiveness of its soils. Our four vineyards here—Pine Ridge Estate, Locked Horns Vineyard, Cornerstone Vineyard, and Circle Hill Vineyard—feature soils that range from well-draining rock and sand to clay loam. The palisades high above help heat the district during the day; at night, vineyards cool down quickly under the influence of breezes from the nearby San Pablo Bay. Cabernet Sauvignon wines from Stags Leap District share concentrated, deep fruit characters with a distinctive balance of power and elegance.
There are many versions of how the Stags Leap area got its name. The local Napa Wappo legend, the most common, says that a mystical stag (some say it was a Roosevelt elk) leaped between the craggy rock outcroppings, known now as the Stags Leap Palisades, to escape hunters. According to another legend, the indigenous inhabitants relied on deer for food and left the stags alone to preserve the gene pool. When the early settlers arrived, they saw these magnificent animals and called the area Stags Leap. Yet a third account relates to the Staggs family, who lived in the region on a ranch with a small vineyard. Finally, the name may simply refer to the abundance of deer and elk in the area combined with the word leap, commonly used to describe British and North American place names (this last reference is from Richard Mendelson’s Appellation Napa Valley).