by Sergio Sismondo

As owner Richard Steltzner himself states, there is a passion for digging tunnels at this winery. Just beyond the doorway of the principal tunnel is the tasting room where Tiffani Tenorio and Cindy Lumley are always ready to answer questions from visitors, and conduct really fun and educational tastings. It is part of their job, they say, "to take the mystery out of wine", but the most important element, in their own words, is to "create an enjoyable experience" for their visitors -- and that they do very well.

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Steltzner Vineyards is a gem, a surprise, and those who find it will be greatly rewarded. It is located in the heart of The Stags Leap District, on the east side of the Silverado Trail, just north of the Oak Knoll Avenue crossroad. We tried a good range of new releases, including whites and reds: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet-Sauvignon, Pinotage, and a Claret blend. All the wines were very fine, and we rated them in the upper 80's and 90's.

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  • Our preference for a white wine goes to the Chardonnay 2001. It is priced at $16 per bottle, and received our rating of 87.
  • Our choice of the best red wine tasted in 2003 was the Pinotage 2000, 100% Stags Leap District, which is priced at $26 and we rated 92, a bargain, in our opinion. This is one of the very few Pinotage wines made in the United States.
  • A second choice of red wine was the Sangiovese 1999, 100% Stags Leap District. It is priced at $22 with our rating of 90. Another great bargain, in our opinion.
  • Our "Best value for money" choice goes to the Sauvignon Blanc of 2001, which is priced at $12 and which received our rating of 87.

      There is a 12% case discount.