In the heart of Napa Valley’s historic Rutherford appellation lies Whitehall Lane Winery, with a rich history dating back to the mid-1800s. Established in 1979 by Art Finklestein and Alan Stein, the winery has evolved through the hands of different owners, each contributing to its legacy. Today, under the stewardship of the Leonardini Family, Whitehall Lane continues to produce world-class wines, garnering accolades and awards for its dedication to excellence.
Napa Valley settlers were drawn to the gravelly loam soils and ideal climate over 150 years ago, planting high-quality grapevines at what is now the Whitehall Lane Winery site. The estate vineyards, located in the Rutherford Appellation, stand testament to the enduring allure of the region’s quality soils.
Control of the property has been transferred numerous times. Guiseppe and Rosalie Baranzini owned it in the 1940s and ’50s. Davis Bynum held the land in the 1970s, but failed to secure a winery permit (although not long after he would become the first vintner to produce single-vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir), and sold to Howard Allen. He also was unsuccessful at establishing a winery, and sold to Art and Bunnie Finklestein and Art’s business partner and brother, plastic surgeon Alan Steen, and his wife Charlene in 1979. It was they who finally successfully founded Whitehall Lane on the 25-acre vineyard, setting the stage for the winery’s future. (Allen went on to be a long-time grower for Williams Selyem, starting in 1980.)
Their first vintage was in 1981. Seven years later, the Finklesteins sold the winery to Japanese-based real estate investor Hideaki Ando. (The Finklesteins remain a well-known winemaking family in Napa, currently operating Judds Hill Winery. Continue reading “Whitehall Lane Leonardini Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2018”