The Black Stallion Winery is the newest winery in the Napa Valley as of August 1, 2007. After seeing the full-page ad announcing the opening in the wine section of the San Francisco Chronicle, we decided to take a drive and visit the Black Stallion Winery. The winery is located at the south end of the Silverado Trail just a short distance past the Soda Canyon Store. The winery is a very visible stone structure that is difficult to miss. The name of the winery and the beautiful sculpture of the black stallion at the front of the winery commemorate where the historic equestrian center, the Silverado Horseman’s Center, once stood.
The visitor center is impressive, with a very stylish tasting island the main attraction. The tasting fee is $10 for a taste of four wines. The winery sources grapes from growers in the Valley but has plans to develop estate vineyards. We visited on a Monday and the tasting room was very busy. The tasting bar is vast and can easily accommodate a good crowd. Our host was very friendly but still learning the ropes of this newly-opened winery. A few of our questions stumped her, but she enthusiastically sought out answers from her coworkers. As far as the wines, we thought they were all good, but nothing distinctive enough to excite us at this point. This is a new winery so we anticipate the best is yet to come. We heard through the grapevine that the winery plans to concentrate on ultra premium wines.
We were quite surprised when our host told us that the winery’s production is 3200 cases of wine per year. From the sheer size of the winery facility, some 24,000 square feet, we would have guessed the winery case production to be many times that amount. The facility is quite impressive and elegant.
There are a couple of interesting rooms to take a look at. One is the wine clubroom, where members can sit, sip, and relax. The room looks a little more like a hotel lobby and not very exciting. The other interesting room is a very inviting dining room that has views of the tasting room and the barrel room. Visitors for special events can reserve this room. The winery has a catering service that will prepare a meal.
The Good: The spectacular sculpture of the black stallion in the front of the winery, elegant visitor center.
The Bad: A $10 tasting fee, not applied to the purchase of wine.