OKD Today

The New Oak Knoll District Rises…

 

Aerial ViewThe train that once stopped at the Oak Knoll station was no more, but a once-vibrant now-sleeping fine wine industry was waking up. With fewer than 25 active wineries in the entire valley in 1968 the Trefethen family rehabilitated a ghost winery and began replanting the vineyards. That year residents established the Napa Valley Agricultural Preserve to permanently protect more than 38,000 acres of prime valley floor farmland. The Corley family followed the next year building a winery and planting vineyards near the Napa River in Oak Knoll. Nearby the Jaeger family planted its vineyards and the district, along with the entire valley, was embracing a bright new wine culture.

OKD_Photo_flat-withmapSuccess came early in this renaissance when grapes from the district’s vineyards were in the top-placing Chardonnay wines of the 1976 Judgment of Paris and Gault Millau Magazine’s World Wine Olympics. Moet et Chandon took up residence when starting their California venture, Domain Chandon, before moving to permanent headquarters nearby—but still source much of their fruit here. In the 1980s red varieties took top honors with Oak Knoll District Cabernet Sauvignon ranked best in the state at the California State Fair Wine Competition.

Hillside VineyardThe federal government formally recognized the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley as the 14th American Viticultural Area of Napa Valley in 2004.

Today, the district’s 8,300 acres find nearly 4,200 acres under vine. It has the most grapevines of any wholly-contained sub appellation of the Napa Valley. It is located north of the City of Napa and south of Yountville. Mt. Veeder is the western border and the Silverado Trail defines its eastern boundary. Some of Napa Valley’s most prestigious wineries make their home here and the best own or source fruit from these vineyards.