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Our Story

Since 1969, Cuvaison has helped define the modern era of Napa Valley winemaking and has played a key role in introducing luxury Napa Valley Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to the world. An early pioneer of the Los Carneros region, Cuvaison has long championed vibrant and vineyard-driven expressions of exceptional cool-climate wines.

los carneros estate wines from cuvaison

After 50 years...

The story of Napa Valley was shaped by farmers, foodies and dreamers pursuing their passion amidst the vine rows of wine country. In 1969, inspired by this wellspring of creativity and craftsmanship, we made our inaugural vintage of Cuvaison Napa Valley Chardonnay. In 1979, we acquired 400 acres of highly prized land north of San Pablo Bay in the Los Carneros district of Napa Valley. Named to honor our founder, Alexander Tai Schmidheiny, Tai Vineyard benefits from fog and wind off the bay, which makes Los Carneros the coolest region in Napa Valley, and the ideal place to grow multiple varieties, in particular Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

View looking from the vineyard to the Cuvaison tasting salon patio with guests

View looking to the Cuvaison Tasting Salon Patio

Our History

Cuvaison has been profoundly influenced by our owners, the Schmidheiny family of Switzerland—fourth-generation vintners who purchased our winery in 1979. After acquiring Cuvaison, the Schmidheiny family immediately cemented our focus on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir by acquiring 400 acres of highly prized land in the Los Carneros region of Napa Valley. In 1991, they began an ambitious program of replanting, while adopting an intimate block-by-block approach to farming to achieve the highest expression of our vineyard. Named to honor the passion and commitment of our founder, Alexander Tai Schmidheiny, Tai Vineyard is widely recognized as one of the grand cru-caliber sites in Los Carneros.

Since 2002, Vice President of Winemaking, Steve Rogstad has overseen the winemaking at Cuvaison. In addition to being recognized for making many of the finest wines in our storied history, Steve oversaw the construction of our modern smart-shed winery, designed to facilitate the small-lot approach that defines our acclaimed estate-grown wines.

“Great wines don’t come from a single vintage—they are the culmination of years of knowledge and experience” says Steve. “I have had the incredible fortune to work with our Tai Estate Vineyard for over two decades to create wines that honor Cuvaison’s historic roots, while also helping to lay the foundation for our next fifty years.”

In 2012, Cuvaison was honored by Wine & Spirits as one of the “Top 100 Wineries on the World.”