History and Heritage in the Stags Leap District

Nestled in the hills on the North West side of the Stags Leap District, Silverado Vineyards is a favorite wine country destination known for its “Instagrammable” terrace. With sweeping vineyard views, the winery provides an unforgettable guest experience and some of Napa Valley’s best Cabernets. Ron and Diane Miller, along with Diane’s  mother Lillian Disney, established Silverado in 1981. After years of selling their fruit to neighboring wineries, they decided it was time to make wine from the historical sites on their family estate. The winery’s name honors the Silverado Vineyard, one of the first four vineyards in the Stags Leap District to plant Cabernet vines in the 1960s. The Valley’s abandoned mining town, Silverado, inspired the name of the vineyard and the famed Silverado Trail – where Silverado and other storied wineries of the Stags Leap District are situated. With western exposures to the late afternoon sun, Silverado Vineyard produces Cabernet with flavors of plum and black cherry, excellent acid structure and fine-grained tannins — all classic characteristics of wines from the district. In 1968, the prior vineyard owner, Harold See (of See’s Candies’ fame), planted Cabernet Sauvignon that UC Davis later designated a “Heritage” Clone. This clone is the only one from Stags Leap District, one of only three Cabernets in California to earn this distinction. This unique clone is the source of Silverado’s acclaimed single-vineyard 100 percent Cabernet, SOLO.

In addition to the heralded Stags Leap District site, Silverado owns five other unique vineyards across the Napa Valley: Miller Ranch, Mt George, Soda Creek Ranch, Firetree, and Vineburg. In addition to producing four Cabernet Sauvignon wines, Silverado produces a variety of other wines such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese, and Rosato. All of Silverado’s wines  are estate-grown, produced, and bottled. Winemaker Jon Emmerich is only  the  second lead winemaker in the history of Silverado and will celebrate his 30th anniversary with the winery next year. Jon has grown Silverado’s reputation for quality and consistency along with his colleague Elena Franceschi, who has been his associate winemaker for nearly 25  years. Jon hasn’t strayed far from the Silverado Trail his entire career. After graduating from The University of California, Davis in 1987 with a BS in Fermentation Science, he worked a harvest at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. He then spent a year at Conn Creek Winery with a brief season in Sonoma before returning to Stags Leap District and joining Silverado in 1990.

The iconic winery is open to guests daily from 10:00 am – 4:30 pm, offering a variety of wine experiences from tastings on the terrace with table-side service to private tours and tastings in the Silverado Vineyard that started it all.

Silverado Vineyards


Visitors can explore all Stags Leap District first-hand at

Silverado Vineyard

6121 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA 94558