III.

Vineyards

Rooted in History
Wines
Prospectors
We grow the fruit and make the wine that Napa Valley is known for, and we are so glad to be here! Now and for generations to come."
Diane Miller, Co-Founder

Warm, sunny days and cool evenings make this vineyard location a climate sweet spot. The resulting Sauvignon Blanc has refreshing aromas of grapefruit, lime and tangerine. 



South of Yountville, a quiet lane runs East towards the Napa river, crossing Hopper Creek on its way. It skirts land of subtle contours with rich alluvial soils. It was here that David and Sarah Dunlap settled in the mid-1870s to plant plums, pears and wine grapes. Almost exactly one century later, Ron and Diane Miller made this their Napa Valley home.

The plantings flank the banks of the Hopper creek where we have done considerable work to ensure that native plants dominate and the water runs clean as it makes its way between the town of Yountville and the Salmon spawning grounds in the Napa River. We are very proud that both the California State Assembly and the United States House of Representatives have cited our efforts for Land Stewardship here on Miller Ranch.

  • AVA Yountville
  • Heritage First Planted: 1890s, by David and Sarah Strong Dunlap
    Current Plantings: 1994–1995, by Ron and Diane Miller
  • Soils Cole Silt Loam
    Yolo Loam
    Clear Lake Clay
  • grape varieties Sauvignon Blanc Clone: UCD 1; 79 acres
    Sémillon Clone: Juliana; 2 acres

One of the first four vineyards planted to Cabernet in the appellation in the 1960s, Silverado’s Stags Leap vineyard helped establish the reputation of the Stags Leap District.

The vineyard is blessed with western exposures to the late afternoon sun. It is also home to our winery, located on the northeastern top of the knoll, surrounded by slopes of gravelly soils which form our best individual blocks.

The vineyard produces Cabernet with flavors of plum and black cherry, excellent acid structure and fine-grained tannin, all classic characteristics of wines from Stags Leap District. It was on this site that Harry See, a prior owner of the vineyard, planted Cabernet Sauvignon in 1968 that evolved into a unique field selection of Cabernet which UC Davis later designated as a "Heritage" Clone, one of only three Cabernets in California to be given this distinction. This vineyard is the heart and soul of all our Cabernets, and the source of SOLO.

  • AVA Stags Leap District
  • Heritage First Planted: 1884, by Abel McFarland
    Current Plantings: 1992–1996, by Ron and Diane Miller
  • Soils Perkins Gravelly Loam
    Yolo Loam
    Kidd Loam
    Clear Lake Clay
  • Grape Varieties Cabernet Clones: Silverado Heritage UCD 30, UCD 4, 6 & 7, 337; 83 acres

This vineyard is the heart and soul of our Merlot and the ‘spice box’ of our Estate Cabernet blend.

Napa Pioneer Henry Hagen’s weathered stone gate still guards the southwest entrance of our Mt George Vineyard, which is the site of one of the first grape plantings in the Napa Valley in the 19th century. The classic red varieties thrive here on the deep, gravelly down-slopes of an ancient volcano named Mt George.

High sunlight at low temperatures and well-drained hillside soil make this vineyard particularly suited to Merlot. Mt George produces wines with intense fruit flavors, dark color, palate density, and classic structure which are the great characteristics of cooler climate wine growing.

  • AVA Coombsville
  • Heritage First Planted: 1868, by William Woodward
    Current Plantings: 1989–1990, by Ron and Diane Miller
  • Soils Coombs Gravelly Loam
    Forward Gravelly Loam
  • Grape Varieties Cabernet Clones: Silverado Heritage (UCD 30), UCD 4, 6 & 7, 337, 191; 73.26 acres
    Merlot Clone: UCD 3, 181; 23.8 acres
    Petit Verdot Clones: 400, Sterling; 4.5 acres
    Cabernet Franc Clone: UCD 1; 5.7 acres
    Malbec Clone: 595; 1.3 acres

Tucked away in the rugged hills east of the winery, our Soda Creek Ranch vineyard has cobbly soils that make it perfect for cultivating Sangiovese, Zinfandel, and the olives that go into our estate olive oil.

In the spring of 1987, Ron and Diane Miller accepted the gracious invitation of Franco Biondi-Santi to stay at Il Greppo, his family’s villa, and to see his part of Tuscany in the heart of Montalcino. Inspired by the visit and the wines, Ron and Diane began looking for a little Tuscany in their own back yard. 

In 1990 they found Felix Borreo’s old estate half way up Soda Canyon to Atlas Peak. A century earlier Borreo was a major purveyor of nearly everything for the town of Napa and beyond. Most of what he sold, he grew himself on the estate, which produced hay, firewood, oranges, peaches, plums, blackberries, chestnuts, figs, olive oil and wine. His original plantings of olive trees still thrive among our Sangiovese and Zinfandel vines. His original stone and redwood winery, built in 1888, still stands as a noble reminder of our obligation to protect the legacy of all of Napa’s winemaking pioneers for future generations. 

The vineyard itself is steep and rocky with perfect western exposures to the late afternoon sun. Colder temperatures, due to the altitude and the canyon shading, make for longer growing seasons which produce bright cranberry and cherry flavors in our Sangiovese and blackberry and black pepper flavors in our Zinfandel.

  • AVA Napa Valley
  • Heritage First Planted: 1881, by Nathaniel G. B. Ellis
    Current Plantings: 1993, by Ron and Diane Miller
  • Soils Boomer–Forward–Felta Complex
    Cortina Very Gravelly Loam
  • Grape Varieties Sangiovese Clones: UCD 2 & 3, Atlas Peak, Rodeno; 11 acres
    Kerner Clone:1; 1 acre
    Zinfandel Clones: Hayne, Mendocino, Peterson; 3 acres

With expansive views of San Pablo Bay and San Francisco, our Firetree Vineyard benefits from cooling fog and light sandstone and shale soils that are ideal for cultivating Chardonnay.

Our Firetree Vineyard is tucked away in the northeastern corner of Carneros, off a narrow two-lane road that winds its way through the hills between Browns Valley and Old Sonoma Road.

Steep 30- to 50-degree slopes of sandstone and shale with the San Pablo Bay's cooling influence, make this a classic site for Chardonnay.

The wines from this vineyard display delicate floral aromas, pure Chardonnay flavors with mineral grace notes and a tasty citrus and green apple finish. Two magnificent oaks, hundreds of years old, crown the hill of our Firetree Vineyard. One appears to be scarred by a fire, which is as close an explanation as we can find for the unusual historical name of this singular vineyard.

  • AVA Los Carneros
  • Heritage First Planted: 1883, by Giuseppe A. Sciligo
    Current Plantings: 1989–1990, by Ron and Diane Miller
  • Soils Bressa–Dibble Complex
    Cole Silt Loam
  • Grape Varieties Chardonnay Clones: Dijon 76, 95 & 96, UCD 4, Wente, 28 acres

We planted this Chardonnay in the sandy gravel of an old creek bed, once the site of an apple orchard.

Out in the Carneros flats, south of the town of Sonoma, an apple growing community thrived in the early 1900s. Business was so good the Western Pacific Railway was obliged to put in a designated spur to pick up all the fruit. A stone’s throw away from that old train depot is land that became our Vineburg Vineyard. 

We planted the vineyard on both sides of a wetland which we preserved. We spaced the vines closely, 1,210 vines per acre, to achieve the low yield per vine which delivers intense flavors.The Chardonnay here is planted in deep gravelly loam. For complexity, we selected five clones to plant on two types of rootstock. The resulting wine has aromas of lemony citrus and honeysuckle with flinty, mineral notes, a silky texture and a refreshing finish.

  • AVA Los Carneros
  • Heritage First Planted: 2000, by Ron and Diane Miller
  • Soils Huichica Loam
    Wright Loam
    Riverwash
  • Grape Varieties Chardonnay: Dijon 76 & 95, UCD 15, 352, R. Young, 29 acres