Napa: Boisset opens museum and tasting room at historic Oakville Grocery

The new owner of long-standing Oakville Grocery, Jean-Charles Boisset, has revamped the venue by opening a wine history museum and tasting room, 1881 Napa, next-door.  

Jean-Charles Boisset’s new ‘1881 Napa’ venture at Oakville Grocery is designed as an alternative to the all-day voyage that would ordinarily be required to taste Cabernet Sauvignon from 12 of the Napa Valley’s sub-appellations.

Boisset bought Oakville Grocery late last year and has set about upgrading the beloved emporium of local food and wines, founded in 1881.

His 1881 Napa museum and tasting room, located in a Victorian-era farmhouse behind the grocery on Route 29, the valley’s main artery, has bottles of Cabernet from 12 sub-appellations all in one place.

Boisset, a Burgundian entrepreneur with wine ventures around the world, has created an 1881 Napa label to feature house-made Cabs from fruit grown in the American Viticultural Areas of Coombsville, Atlas Peak, Oak Knoll, Stags Leap, Yountville, Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena, Diamond Mountain, Howell Mountain, Spring Mountain and Calistoga.

Visitors can also wend their way upstairs to a museum of the valley’s history, featuring the 19th Century founders of the valley’s first wineries, and a display of yesteryear’s vineyard tools.

Boisset told Decanter.com, ‘An extraordinary amount has been accomplished in this enclave in a short amount of time and we want to create a destination that celebrates Napa’s long history and its pioneering founders while exploring Napa’s incredibly diverse terroir.’

The 1881 tasting room also offers three flights of four wines each.

One flight compares warm and cool AVAs, while a second compares mountain-grown wines with valley floor wines. The third is based around Cabs from cooler regions.

Editing by Chris Mercer.