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Capturing the essence of the vineyard in a bottle


Our Story


Crocker & Starr Chronology


James Dowdell buys 25 acres north of Dowdell Lane from the family of deceased Dr. Crane, one of the pioneer winegrowers in the area.


Dowdell buys another 36 acres of land extending east to the river where he plants Zinfandel, Riesling, and hops. Dowdell becomes known as the pioneer hop grower of Napa Valley.


George Skoog constructs the Dowdell homestead, which still stands today, a house that visitors dub “as strong as the Rock of Gibraltar.”


The Dowdell brandy house and winery open, producing 50,000 gallons of wine in its first vintage.


Dowdell establishes the Dowdell & Son winery in partnership with his son Arthur and inaugural vintage is released.


Dowdell & Son operates General E.D. Keyes’ Greystone Cellars. Price of grapes drops to $8-10/ton, Dowdell buys grapes from local producers at $15 and crushes over 4,000 tons of grapes, making up a difference of $20,000-$30,000 to Napa & Sonoma growers and helping to keep the wine industry afloat. The Italian Swiss Colony at Asti in Sonoma leases cooperage from the Dowdell Estate at 9 cents/gallon.


James Dowdell’s wines win acclaim at the California Midwinter World’s Fair hosted in San Francisco.


Dowdell & Son winery closes due to litigation but the vines remain.


James Dowdell & his wife Elizabeth continue growing hops, producing what the St. Helena Star deems the “highest quality (and yield) of hops in the State to date.”


James Dowdell dies at 62 and bequeaths his land to his wife and children.


Bruce Dohrmann, a San Francisco entrepreneur in the hospitality industry, buys the former Dowdell Estate from the Dowdell family, where he farms grapes, walnuts, oranges and hydroponic tomatoes.


Noted San Franciscan Charlie Crocker purchases the 1870s stone Dowdell & Sons Winery and vineyard from Bruce Dohrmann, renaming it the Crocker Estate.

1978 - 1980

Charlie Crocker plants Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon on the property.


Charlie Crocker and Pam Starr establish Crocker & Starr, resurrecting the historic winemaking estate. Pam becomes Charlie’s partner as well as manager and winemaker and begins transitioning from conventional to organic farming.


Pam plants first Sauvignon Blanc vines at the Crocker Estate works with Larry Hyde to plant the remainder of what will become the “Bridesmaid” blend in the cooler, down-valley Hyde Las Trancas Vineyard to cultivate the best attributes of the Sauvignon Blanc grape.


Crocker & Starr releases its first Cabernet Franc (1997 vintage).


Crocker & Starr releases its 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon, an estate Bordeaux-style blend.


Crocker & Starr releases its first Sauvignon Blanc (2001 vintage).


Crocker & Starr releases its first Bridesmaid Wine (2003 vintage), a Cabernet Sauvignon blend.


Crocker & Starr’s 2004 Sauvignon Blanc is named as the 12th best wine in the world in Wine Spectator’s “Top 100 List.”


The first vintage of Casali Malbec is produced.


Crocker & Starr opens its tasting room, a restored 1918 farmhouse, by appointment. The farmhouse formerly belonged to Martin Smith Hudson & his wife Josephine Mills (the family after which Mills Lane is named), both of whom were contemporary winemakers and neighbors of James Dowdell.


Crocker & Starr’s 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon “Stone Place” is rated 94 points by Robert Parker and 95 points by Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library TV.


Crocker & Starr establishes a vineyard wine experience for visitor to “Touch the Vines, Taste the Wines.”


The first Official Annual Carnivus Party is held on Labor Day weekend in honor of Casali Members and Loyalists.


Crocker & Starr receives the permit to build the new winery and plans are drafted for a new production facility on the historic Crocker Estate.


Crocker & Starr opens its new winery just in time for its 20th anniversary. The building was designed by San Francisco architect Taylor Lombardo to harmonize the property’s history with Pam Starr’s innovative approach to winemaking.


Crocker & Starr releases the inaugural vintage of 1 Post Cabernet Sauvignon to commemorate the partnership between Pam Starr and Charlie Crocker. Crocker & Starr Sauvignon Blanc becomes entirely estate-sourced. 


Crocker & Starr releases third estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Rock, Loam, Clay or ‘RLC.’ Launch of the new appellation series ‘A.V.A.’ Napa Valley wines, featuring a floral bouquet logo found in a 1950’s Sears & Roebuck catalogue, tying the estate organic farming to the history of the estate’s victorian home, an original Sears & Roebuck kit home.