Wine Caves


Written by:

Joe Becerra

Last updated:

wine cave
wine cave
The wine cave at Stags’ Leap Winery

About Wine Caves

This cave was built long ago at the Stags’ Leap Winery in the Napa Valley. Most likely the cave was built by Chinese laborers and they were paid very little for their hard work. The purpose of the wine cave is to store the wine under ideal aging conditions. The wine juice stored in the barrels will always be at the proper temperature and humidity. In the old days, it was difficult to provide this type of environment without a wine cave. Modern day wineries have a barrel room that is controlled by air conditioning and humidifiers. Several new wineries have determined that it is more economical in the long run to build a wine cave into a hillside or mountain. These caves are built with special boring machines that bore the correct-sized tunnel . Once the tunnel boring is complete, the rock and soil area is sprayed with gunite (concrete). This is an expensive proposition. Many wineries believe the wine cave is a showcase  for visitors, so they have tours, tastings and food events in the wine cave. I shot this photo of the  Stags’ Leap Winery cave several years ago at a photography class that was held at the winery. The Stags’ Leap Winery is not to be confused with Stags’ Leap Wine Cellars. The former is owned by Treasury Estate Wines and the latter is the winery that produced the 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon that won the famous Paris Taste-Off of 1976.

A few wineries with old caves
  • Beringer Bros
  • Schramsberg
  • Del Dotto
  • Buena Vista
A few wineries with modern caves
  • Inglenook Winery
  • Jarvis Winery
  • Bella Winery
  • Anderson Conn Valley
  • Dutch Henry Winery
  • Joe Becerra

    Joe Becerra has been traveling to wine country and enjoying wine since 1965. He is a retired educator, and now have the time the opportunity to share his wine travel experiences through this Website.