The iconic Sterling Vineyards in Napa Valley reopens its doors

ByJanel Andronico Localish logo
Friday, November 17, 2023
Sterling Vineyards reopens its doors
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The iconic gondola ride at Sterling Vineyards is back better than ever after its temporary closure in 2020.

NAPA VALLEY, Calif. -- For decades, Sterling Vineyards has stood as an icon in the Napa Valley. The Mykonos-inspired spot was an early pioneer of Bordeaux-inspired red wines in California. Plus, it is the only winery in the world with an aerial tram.

Today, Sterling Vineyards reopens 3 years after the Glass Fire forced its temporary closure.

"It's an incredibly exciting time at Sterling Vineyards, we're fortunate to live in a valley where grand openings happen somewhat regularly, but to reopen a place that already has 60 years of history is truly special," said Luke Magnini, the Director of Hospitality at Sterling Vineyards.

In 2020, the Napa Valley Glass Fire caused significant damage to the Sterling Vineyard property.

"The first immediate reaction was to pause and reflect and mourn, it was a tragic moment for us," described Magnini. "We've been fortunate to be one of the busier wineries and most frequented wineries in the Napa Valley, but we were never presented with three years to fully refine and rethink every piece of the guest experience."

Magnini shared that sustainability has always been a top priority for the winery. Sterling Vineyards is in the process of becoming 100% solar powered; this includes the winery, the hospitality spaces, and of course, the iconic gondolas.

In 1973, the winery became the only one in the world to offer a gondola experience where guests can see breathtaking aerial views of Napa Valley.

"Thankfully, the gondolas themselves were not damaged as part of the fire; however, they were original to the 1973 opening," explained Magnini. "As we thought about rebuilding and having no way to safely maintain the existing gondola, repairing it and rebuilding it was really the only option."

The gondolas are fully ADA-accessible cabins that allow for 360 degree views of Napa Valley. The gondola was actually part of Peter Newton and Michael Stone's vision when they first opened in 1964.

"When Sterling vineyards was was one of only 27 wineries in the valley, so certainly a pioneer," said Magnini. "We present a unique opportunity for the guest to get out of it as much as they want to get. For some, it's a beautiful escape to a beautiful property with some great wines. For others, it's an educational experience."

He added, "And for others, it's just that complete package to put all those pieces together that when our guests leave us, whether it's a once a year trip, once a week trip, or once in a lifetime trip, they remember it for a very long time."

For more information, visit here.