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Celebrating 40 years in 2021

By Lisa Gmur, CSW

Silverado Vineyards was founded forty years ago, in 1981, by Ron and Diane Miller and her mother, Lillian Disney. Yes, of that fame. She was Walt’s wife and an ink artist at Disney Studios. The Miller’s foray into wine began a few years earlier, in 1976, when they purchased Miller Ranch, the first Napa Valley vineyard of the Silverado Estate. And they didn’t stop there. Shortly after, they purchased the Silverado Vineyard just across the river, and broke ground on their iconic winery.
(L) Diane Miller, Lillian Disney, Ron Miller (Napa Register 1981)
The Silverado Vineyard itself, has its own story to tell. It was one of the first four vineyards in the Stags Leap District to plant Cabernet in the 1960’s. Silverado Vineyard, as well as the famous Silverado Trail, were named after the abandoned mining town at the top of the Napa Valley. Silverado Vineyards, the winery, pays homage to all of them.
Over the years, the Millers; their children and grandchildren, have added a few more storied vineyards from across Napa Valley’s top AVA’s; Mt. George in Coombsville, Soda Creek/Borreo Ranch and both Firetree and Vineburg in Carneros. Today, the Silverado estate is comprised of over 600 acres. Forty percent of the land is preserved and 360 acres are sustainably farmed and certified Napa Green.
2021 marks a very special event; Silverado Vineyards is celebrating a milestone; forty years producing stellar Napa Valley wine. All of it, under the name Miller. The third and fourth generations of the family continue the founders’ legacy, producing estate-grown wines from the heart of the Stags Leap District in Napa Valley. Silverado produces estate and single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Chardonnay, as well as a variety of other small production wines.

Miller Ranch

Silverado Vineyard

Mt George Vineyard

Borreo Ranch

Firetree Vineyard

Vineburg Vineyard

Winemaker Jon Emmerich, who is just the second lead winemaker in the history of Silverado Vineyards, is tasked with evoking a sense of place in the estate wine produced from these contrasting and historic vineyard sites. And he does just that. The wines are recognized worldwide. Emmerich has been with Silverado since 2000 and has worked hard to grow the reputation of the winery.

We toast Jon on more than 30 years of winemaking at Silverado and The Miller’s on 40 years and four generations of Silverado Vineyards. Here here! Salut, Prost, and to many more.