Dick Steltzner, a third-generation Californian, was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and, as many old California families, had ties to farmland. It is from these experiences that the seeds of farming experience and viticulture impregnated this young mind.

Dick graduated from college with a Masters Degree in Fine Arts and embarked upon an artist's life in a studio located on Lodi Lane in St. Helena. A crossroads was reached in 1964 that required either moving to San Francisco to continue pursuit of his artistic endeavors or changing careers to stay in the Napa Valley. Choosing farming, Dick purchased land in the Stags Leap district of and began growing grapes, drawing on his childhood experiences of his mentor, Ernest Wente. With some degree of success, knowledge, and expertise Dick soon found himself planting and caring for the vineyards of others.

Dick established Al Brounstien's Diamond Creek Vineyard, Mike Robbins' Spring Mountain Vineyards, Bernard Portet's Clos du Val Wine Company Ltd., along with many new vineyards of the Doctors, Lawyers and Indian Chiefs who were finding the beauty and romance of the Napa Valley in the early 1970's. By 1975 Dick's vineyard management business was farming 450 acres in 22 separate locations. 1976 and 1977 were dramatic years due to an unusual drought that changed grape purchasing patterns. Dick, having built a reputation of high quality grapes from his Stags leap vineyard, found himself unable to supply his traditional customers and was confronted with some unsold grapes in 1977. Dick's vineyard management at this time included Markham Vineyard. Bruce Markham was establishing his new winery and graciously assisted Dick in allowing him to make wine in a corner of his facility. This continued for a period of five years when both Dick and bruce's crush volumes led to the necessity of Dick establishing his own facility in the Stags Leap district. Starting in a converted prune dehydrating shed at the 3000 case level, the winery has slowly expanded to a 15,000 case crush in 1991. Today, you will find their new underground wine storage caves, Mediterranean style winery building and observation tower.

The years of vineyard management taught Dick to understand the diverse mesoclimate and soil capabilities and allowed him to acquire some choice properties that now amount to 100 acres. Currently, Steltzner Vineyards is producing the following Estate wines: Sauvignon Blanc Chardonnay, Claret, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon along with limited quantities of Sangiovese, Pinotage, and Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc.

Steltzner Vineyards / 5998 Silverado Trail / Napa, California 94558 / (707) 252-7272

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