Opus One was founded by renowned Napa Valley vintner Robert Mondavi and Baron Philippe de Rothschild of Château Mouton Rothschild, which is in Pauillac, France. By combining the great winemaking traditions and innovations of both families, the founders' singular goal was to create an exceptional wine in the heart of Napa Valley, in which they have succeeded. The winery creates an exceptional Bordeaux blend, their one and only specialty wine.
Looking out across Opus One’s vineyards, one immediately senses Opus One is different. Their four vineyards are meticulously hedged and cultivated with passion and perfection, the vintners being well aware that great winemaking begins first and foremost in the vineyards. The winery consists of 169 acres; the first estate vineyard acquired in 1981, when Robert Mondavi sold 35 acres that was apart of his famous To-Kalon Vineyard. So Opus One began.
In 1984, Baron Philippe, his daughter Philippine and Robert Mondavi selected Scott Johnson, an architect of Johnson, Fain & Pereira, to design the Opus One winery. In July of 1989, groundbreaking for the new winery took place; and the construction of the facility was completed in 1991. The building now literally rises out of the earth, and through a mix of classical European and contemporary Californian elements, gradually discloses its distinctive beauty. The quiet profile of Opus One blends with the natural surroundings – the vineyards and rolling hills of the Napa Valley.
In the Salon, the winery’s most formal space, eighteenth-century Italian opera chairs face contemporary chenille sofas and suede seating. Brightly glazed, modern ceramics line a fifteenth-century limestone mantel. A room furnished with seeming contradictions, the Salon is a deft merging of Old and New World sensibilities. The architecture ushers guests toward the heart of the winery – the Opus One Tasting Room. Beyond its glass walls an entire vintage of Opus One rests in the Grand Chai, a cool, semi-circular cellar. One thousand barrels are arranged side by side in the Grand Chai, where the wine is nurtured and aged in new French oak during the first year of its life. Seen from its center, the Grand Chai appears to curve into infinity. The Opus One Tasting Room is open daily by appointment from 10 am to 4 pm. Tours of the vineyard and winery are also available as well as a gorgeous view of the Oakville Appellation from the winery’s rooftop Terrace.