If there’s a word that describes why the Trefethen family is on its third thriving generation in the Napa Valley wine world, it’s passion: From the winery’s pioneering founders, Eugene and Catherine; to their son, John, whose winemaking prowess brought reputation-making accolades, and his wife, Janet; to their children, Lorenzo and Hailey, now eagerly entering the family business. That passion doesn’t stop at the vineyard; it’s long been how wine, art, and food all intertwine here. And as to the latter, that’s Janet’s specialty—and a special part of this Patron Dinner.
In 1973, Janet, her mother-in-law, Catherine, and a group of female vintners pioneered the promotion of wine with food by creating the groundbreaking Napa Valley Cooking Class. They designed a special space at Trefethen to host the courses: The Villetta. Situated poolside at The Villetta—which, over the years has presented luminaries such as Jeremiah Tower and Wolfgang Puck—today’s dinner is by Trefethen Winery Chef Chris Kennedy Aken. His menu pairs perfectly with a selection of treasures pulled from the Trefethen family’s special stash of library wines and features vegetables grown in their estate gardens specifically for this dinner. The evening promises to wow.
Celebrating 50 years! Just north of the town of Napa, where the valley’s earliest vineyards were planted in the 1800s, is Trefethen Family Vineyards. Their historic wooden winery, built in 1886, stands sentinel over vast plantings of perfectly trellised grapevines. Gene and Katie Trefethen purchased this old winery and the surrounding vineyards in 1968. The winery was in a state of disrepair and their son John and his bride, Janet, took the challenge of restoring the old winery to become one of Napa’s foremost wine producers. In 1973, Trefethen released their first commercial wine. True to the family’s vision of creating an acclaimed wine estate, they have grown every grape for every bottle of Trefethen. Today, the Trefethen family’s third generation, Lorenzo 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.