1881 Napa, a wine history museum, has opened in Oakville in the historic mansion adjacent to the Oakville Grocery.
The project is the creation of vintner Jean-Charles Boisset, who bought the property earlier this year.
At the official opening, Boisset said, “America is really the reflection of the people of the past that really crafted this valley and created the valley… This is your 101 class on the history of California, the pioneers of Napa Valley, the terroir — you can taste history here.
1881 Napa features an extensive collection of historic wine relics from Europe and the United States, antique decanters, original artifacts from the Early California Wine Trade Archive and background on all of the 16 sub-appellations of Napa Valley and the founders and pioneers of those areas.
The museum is open to visitors free of charge. Visitors to 1881 Napa can also taste wines from throughout Napa Valley via rotating comparative tastings with themes such as “Majestic Mountains Versus Plush Valley” and “Is it Cool to be Hot or Hot to be Cool?” as well as an option to “Embark on a Journey Throughout the Valley” by tasting Cabernet Sauvignons from 12 different sub-appellations.
Guests can also sample wines from a blend of Napa Valley grapes, including a sparkling wine, Sauvignon Blanc, rosé, Chardonnay, red blend, Merlot and a Cabernet Sauvignon, all made for 1881 Napa by Winemaker Thane Knutson.
1881 Napa is at 7856 St. Helena Highway in Oakville and is open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Reservations are recommended.