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Groth Winery and Vineyard exterior.

Groth Winery in Napa

By Published On: August 19th, 2023

Oakville’s Family-Run Gem.

Groth Vineyards and Winery was established in the heart of the Oakville appellation on Oakville Cross Road in 1981. Devoted to Cabernet Sauvignon, it also makes an impressive lineup of white wines, including a much-beloved Sauvignon Blanc.

Founded by Dennis and Judy Groth, the winery gained near-instantaneous worldwide recognition, receiving a perfect 100-point rating from wine critic Robert Parker of The Wine Advocate for its 1985 Groth Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, California’s first 100-point wine.

Judy and Dennis Groth.
Judy and Dennis Groth. Photo Courtesy: Groth Winery.

It continues to be among the most respected wineries in the Napa Valley, run by second-generation President and CEO Suzanne Groth.

With Director of Winegrowing Ted Henry, Groth oversees two sustainably farmed estates that include 165 acres planted predominantly to Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Groth also farms Semillon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot in smaller amounts.

Groth Director of Winegrowing Ted Henry.
Groth Director of Winegrowing Ted Henry. Photo Courtesy: Adahlia Cole.

In 2018 the winery initiated an extensive replanting and regenerative farming effort to ensure its vines will continue to thrive for generations to come. 

From its beautiful pink palace along Oakville Cross Road, it offers a well-appointed selection of tastings and vineyard tours, including ATV tours as well as special food and wine pairings as part of the Oakville Summer School series.

Aerial View of Groth winery and vineyard.
Aerial View of the winery and vineyard. Photo Courtesy: Groth Winery.

Tasting the Wines at Groth Vineyards & Winery

The tasting room is open daily by appointment with most appointments offered Thursday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Guests wine tasting on Groth patio.
Wine tasting on patio. Photo Courtesy: Groth Winery.

A Taste of Groth (45 minutes, $50) is the perfect introduction to the estate with a focus on winery-exclusive and limited-production wines.

Oakville Roots: The Many Expressions of Oakville Cabernet (60 minutes, $75) is an in-depth tasting of three distinctive small-lot Cabernets followed by a tasting of the classic Groth Oakville Cabernet, with a deep dive into what makes Oakville distinct, including discussion of the soils, topographies and microclimates of Groth’s vineyards.

Groth winery cabernet tasting.
Wine tasting. Photo Courtesy: Groth Winery.

Cabernet for the Ages (90 minutes, $100) is a library tasting that includes a visit to the Reserve Vineyard and tasting from rare magnums; it is offered Fridays and Saturdays at 10:30 a.m.

Among the Vines: Oakville Estate ATV Tour (90 minutes, $125) is, as stated, an ATV tour through the estate vineyards and chance to sip wines in the vines. It is offered Saturdays and Sundays at 10 a.m.

Groth Winery ATV tour in the vineyard.
ATV tour in the vineyard. Photo Courtesy: Groth Winery.

In the summer months, Groth’s Oakville Summer School (select Saturdays July 15-September 9, 10:30 a.m.-noon, $125-$150) takes guests behind the scenes, in the cellar and among the vines to explore topics like sustainable farming, pairing food and wine and the magic of harvest.

Summer School. Photo Courtesy: Groth Winery.

The Wines of Groth Vineyards & Winery

Groth Vineyards and Winery produces several red wines from its estate: the Oakville Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($175) and Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon ($75).

It also makes an Oakville Oakcross Proprietary Red ($99), first introduced with the 2018 vintage, which sources more widely throughout the appellation, blending Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot.

Groth Reserve Vineyard.
Reserve Vineyard. Photo Courtesy: Groth Winery.

The whites include a Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($30), Oakville Estate Sauvignon Blanc ($65) and Napa Valley Hillview Vineyard Estate Chardonnay ($65).

The 2019 Oakville Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon “is the pinnacle of our growing and winemaking efforts… this wine has an abundance of enticing aromas beginning with boysenberry and blueberry pie, and leading to pastry cream, a bit of toast and a hint of menthol.”

The 2019 Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon “on the palate, flavors are beautifully held in balance by the fine, chalky tannin, its initial grip slowly melting to a long, silky finish.” 

The 2019 Oakville Oakcross Proprietary Red “opens with scents of red plum, perfume and aromatic floral notes of violet, along with hints of pomegranate, persimmon and vanilla cream. The mouthfeel is plush, soft and balanced.”

Groth Vineyard and Winery wine portfolio.
Wine Portfolio. Photo Courtesy: Groth Winery.

The 2022 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc is marked by “flavors of ripe citrus, guava and honeydew lifted and lengthened by vibrant acidity, the juicy finish leaving you craving another sip.”

The 2022 Napa Valley Hillview Vineyard Estate Chardonnay “captures the quintessential characteristics of its varietal and provenance… rich and luxurious with an opulent surge of grilled peach and yellow plum kept in focus by a lift or orange zest acidity, finishing long with a toasted brioche echo.”

The 2022 Oakville Estate Sauvignon Blanc “beams with symphonic aromatics… the palate reveals a beautiful balance of acidity and viscosity, plush and layered with an enticing interplay of Key lime and ripe stone fruit.

Groth Winery Oakville estate.
Oakville Estate. Photo Courtesy: Groth Winery.

The History of Groth Vineyards & Winery

Founded in 1981 by early tech executive Dennis and Judy Groth before Oakville was even an appellation, the Groths bought 121 acres specifically to grow Cabernet Sauvignon, a wine they loved from drinking Bordeaux. In 1982 they bought another 44 acres south of Yountville to grow Merlot and, eventually, Chardonnay.

Working with winemaker Nils Venge, Groth made its first Cabernet Sauvignon in 1982. By the 1985 vintage, it was awarded 100 points by Robert Parker for its Oakville Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.

The family moved to the vineyard property by the time daughter Suzanne Groth was starting high school. She returned to the family business in 1998 and in 2017 became president and CEO of the winery. 

Suzanne and Dennis Groth
Suzanne and Dennis Groth. Photo Courtesy: Groth Winery.

Director of Winegrowing Ted Henry is Groth’s fourth winemaker in more than four decades, coming on board in 2021.

Final Thoughts

Groth Vineyards and Winery is both well-known and an under-the-radar gem, one of the key properties of the Oakville appellation and long-respected names in both Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc.

Devoted to sustainable farming practices and looking ahead to its next 40 years, it stands for all that is good and worthwhile in a family-owned and operated wine estate.

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