Chateau St. Jean, with its gracious style, elegant architecture and inviting gardens and tasting rooms, is the quintessential Sonoma winery. The winemaking estate is located at the foot of Sugarloaf Ridge in the Sonoma Valley near Kenwood, California. Founded in 1973, Chateau St. Jean has long been recognized as a leader in Vineyard Designated wines. Winemaker Margo Van Staaveren uses her 30 years of vineyard and winemaking expertise with Chateau St. Jean to highlight the best of each vineyard in the wines.
Our founders brought together the finest vineyards, the best equipment and a highly-talented staff, creating wines that received immediate critical acclaim. ”Only the finest” remains the winery’s credo. The winery was designed from the ground up to accommodate numerous lots of grapes and keep them separate throughout the winemaking process. Since fine wines and individual vineyards have been closely associated for centuries in Europe, the Chateau’s founders reasoned vineyard designation was equally valid in Sonoma County. Today, wines from each special vineyard are bottled and marketed separately with the vineyard name on the label. Chateau St. Jean offers vineyard-designated Chardonnays from the acclaimed Robert Young, Belle Terre and Durell Vineyards as well as a Pinot Noir from Durell Vineyard and Fume Blanc from the La Petite etoile (”The Little Star”) Vineyard and Lyon Vineyard.
In 1999, Chateau St. Jean was the first Sonoma winery to be awarded the prestigious ”Wine of the Year” award from the Wine Spectator Magazine for its 1996 Cinq Cepages Cabernet Sauvignon, a Bordeaux-style blend of ”five varieties.” The winery received high acclaim again when it received the ”#2 Wine of the Year” from Wine Spectator for its 1999 Cinq Cepages Cabernet Sauvignon.
In the summer of 2000, Chateau St. Jean winery opened the doors to its new Visitor Center and gardens. In keeping with the Chateau architecture and sense of place, the wine tasting and retail room is housed in an elegant garden structure surrounded on three sides by terraces and outdoor garden spaces. Each of these garden ”rooms” offers intimate and unique areas for wine tasting, picnics and strolls. The statue of Jean, the winery’s namesake, stands in the main courtyard garden by the decorative fountain.
Visitors to Chateau St. Jean now enter a main courtyard surrounded by a lush garden. Inspiration for the garden was based on the classic estate gardens of the Mediterranean, as seen through the use of citrus-planted terracotta pots and the generous use of herbs and flowers. The winery has integrated existing site features and vistas into a landscape that is both relaxed and elegant to exemplify Sonoma wine country.