Trefethen Family Vineyards

There are legacies, and then there is what the Trefethen family has collectively created. Their Napa journey starts with Eugene and Katie Trefethen, who purchased the land that would become Trefethen in 1968. Together, they began the transformation of the land – including consummate entertainer Katie who cultivated acres of gardens in addition to grapes and vines that still shock and awe the senses when visiting – into the modern-day marvel of sustainable growing and mouthwatering varietals that it is today.

Soon after the first generation of Trefethens got to work, so did the second generation in John and Janet. Not only did they usher the brand into the hearts of the world, but they helped blaze a trail for Napa winemakers for decades to come.

John – whose first career was as a pilot – was the founding president of the Napa Valley Grapegrowers and served for many years as the president of Napa Valley Vintners. Janet – a proud past Miss Rodeo California who still competes at cutting horse competitions –  not only led the brand as CEO but helped grow the culinary prowess of the region, going so far as to cook for Julia Child on “Good Morning America.” They also blazed a trail for Napa on the international scene as well, besting all of the French wines in the 1979 World Wine Olympics with their beautiful expression of Chardonnay, taking home first prize and ultimate glory for America’s most famed wine region.

Oh, but that is not all.

Trefethen Lorenzo and Hailey
Hailey and Lorenzo Trefethen

Today, John and Janet’s children – Hailey and Lorenzo – have taken the reins of the brand, and their parents are still brand ambassadors and mentors, of course. Over the past 10 years, Hailey, who actively works hand in hand with the winemaking team from grape to glass, spearheaded the restoration of the 1880’s winery and its tasting spaces, which were severely damaged in the 2016 earthquake. She also leads Trefethen’s sustainability efforts. Extrovert and born entertainer – like his grandmother – Lorenzo infects the entire property and all those who enter with an undeniable sense of joy and excitement, both for the wine and food and the winery’s history. At Trefethen, Lorenzo oversees brand identity and design and is often on the road connecting Trefethen to their fans around the U.S. and the globe. Together, they are a force for good – good-tasting wine, good works and good family stock.

A visit to the property should be on every wine lover’s bucket list. Honestly, it takes two or three visits to truly take it all in but start by booking the Taste the Estate at The Villa ($125 per person). The Villa is, in reality, Eugene and Katie’s long-time home. It is just steps from the primary tasting room, but thanks to Katie’s ever-present gardens, it feels like it is in its own lush world. During the 90-minute experience, guests will have the chance to be welcomed into the home for a pairing of the brand’s expressive, unendingly exceptional wines paired with small bites from Executive Chef Chris Kennedy. The coolest part? He sources as much of the meal as possible from La Huerta, Trefethen’s bountiful vegetable garden, and creates a menu that is equal parts elevated and fun. No stuffy pairings here! (Be sure to check out the barn space as well – there are photos from Janet’s rodeos as well as imagery from when the building nearly fell over during the earthquake that are well worth the extra walk. Oh, and there is a 5-ft. dragon statue, too!)

Trefethen The Villa and Gardens - for hte pairing
The Villa and Gardens

In advance of visiting, or if it will take time to make it out, there are several wines readily available online and at local grocers from which to choose. Some favorites:

Katie’s Acre Chardonnay: Yes, it is named after Katie, but there is a great story behind it that goes well beyond being a homage to a Napa icon. When Eugene and Katie were first getting the vineyard’s going, Katie fell in love with a towering oak tree on the estate. The tree still stands today, and around it is the Chardonnay grapes specially grown for this bright, balanced beauty. $55

Trefethen Halo Cabernet Sauvignon: Could this possibly be named because the Trefethens are like guardian angels to this land? Good guess…but the name comes from the combination of Hailey and Lorenzo’s names and was developed by their parents to honor the new generation of family coming into their own. $225

Trefethen Cowgirl and The Pilot Merlot: Vibrant and powerful with kisses of berries and black pepper, this sensational sipper honors Janet – still a cowgirl at heart – and her pilot, John. $55

Trefethen Katie's Acre
Katie’s Acre Chardonnay

For more information, visit

1160 Oak Knoll Ave.
Napa, CA 94558

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