Built in 1886, the original building was first known as Eshcol Winery. During Prohibition, Eshcol survived by making sacramental wines, but by 1940 was dormant. When the Trefethen family purchased the property in 1968, the winery had fallen into serious disrepair. In 1968, Eugene and Catherine Trefethen purchased seven farms surrounding a magnificent, but run-down, 19th-century winery in southern Napa Valley and created Trefethen Family Vineyards. The couple’s intention was to sell all their grapes, but their son John had other ideas.
In 1973, aided by his new bride Janet, John produced Trefethen Vineyards’ first commercial wine. Staying true to the family’s vision of creating an acclaimed wine estate, they have never purchased outside grapes and remain the leaders in sustainable winegrowing. They carefully researched the winery’s past and worked for years to restore it. Aside from replacing the dirt floor on the first level with concrete, they made no significant structural changes. The Trefethens’ restoration efforts were recognized in 1988 by the Department of the Interior, which placed the winery on the National Register of Historic Places as the only 19th-century, wooden, gravity-flow winery surviving in Napa County. Today, the Trefethen family’s third generation, Loren and Hailey, assist their parents in continuing the family tradition of passion for the land, its people, and the art of crafting exceptional Napa Valley wines.