La Cantina of Nathan Fay Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve Bottle

This green glass bottle held Cabernet Sauvignon made at home by winegrower Nathan Fay. The paper label reads “1974 Cabernet Sauvignon / Private Reserve / from La Cantina of / Nathan Fay / Silverado Trail Napa, California.” The bottle held 2/5 gallon or about 1.5 liters.
Nathan Fay (1914-2001) is credited with planting the first Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in the Stag’s Leap district of the Napa Valley. In the late 1950s, many thought the area too cool for the prized Bordeaux varietal, but Fay followed the advice of viticulturists at the University of California, Davis, and planted about 15 acres of Cabernet vines in 1961. His efforts laid the foundation for the Stag’s Leap district to become one of the most successful Cabernet growing areas in California.
Fay considered himself a rancher (grower) and he made a living by selling his grapes to a number of California vintners. While he never wanted to make wine commercially himself, he enjoyed crushing his own grapes and making small batches of wine with his family at home. In 1969, after tasting Fay’s homemade Cabernet, novice Napa vintner Warren Winiarski was inspired to purchase property adjacent to Fay’s ranch. Winiarski’s 1973 Cabernet placed first in the 1976 Paris Tasting, an event that focused attention on the new California winemakers and particular districts like Stag’s Leap. In 1985 Fay sold 72 acres of his vineyard to Winiarski, who named the parcel for Fay and produced a “Fay” Cabernet for many years.
Object Name
bottle, wine
Physical Description
glass (bottle material)
paper (label material)
overall: 35.5 cm; 13 31/32 in
place made
United States: California, Napa
ID Number
nonaccession number
catalog number
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
See more items in
Work and Industry: Food Technology
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Food: Transforming the American Table, 1950-2000
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Nathan and Mary Jane Fay

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