The domain was founded according to the pioneering intuition of Alfred Tubbs, a Californian senator from San Francisco, when, in 1882, he planted a vineyard at the foot of Mount Saint Elena, situated a stone’s throw away from Calistoga in Napa Valley. The first harvest, led by French vigneron Jérôme Bardot, produced 50,000 cases. After difficult years during Prohibition, the domain began working again in 1933, with Chapin Tubbs (the founder’s grandson) in charge. The domain was later sold to lawyer Jim Barrett who, with his son, replanted the entire vineyard and restored it to its former splendor. A key step in this domain’s worldwide renown was the Paris Judgement of 1973, where along with 4 Burgundy Chardonnays (inc. Leflaive and Roulot) and 6 Californian Chardonnays, Chateau Montelena was recognized as the best. Today, Bo Barrett manages this organic domain, favouring low yields; according to him, “The most important thing in viticulture is balance”.