Croix Estate
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Croix Estate

Russian River Valley

Our Story

Croix Estate tastings are by appointment only and not open to the general public. 

A little over a decade ago, a scrap of paper was left on a desk with the simple inscription that read, “croix”, in lower case with no explanation. It was the beginning of a meandering path of seemingly ridiculous possibilities and the seed of a plan to do something extraordinary.

The initial concept of Croix was a messy collage of random ideas and wines: shock art labels, uncommon grape varieties, uncommon wine regions, no wine made more than one vintage, and on it went from idea to idea, most of which were done, being done, or being re-conceptualized by hundreds of others in search of the unique within the winemaking community.

There is a common saying in the wine business, “There are no new ideas in the wine industry, just different iterations on the same variety.” We happen to believe this is a lazy-marketer’s concept because it overlooks the value of grit and integrity at the foundation of all great works of art. We cannot count the times we have not sat in deep reflection after having tasted yet another average wine. The simple truth is, in our opinion, among the many thousands of wines produced today, profound instances are very rare, and the thread of commonality among the remarkable renditions is always the grit and integrity of effort behind the production.

It is tempting to spin the glorious successes we have experienced from day one with producing our first experimental vintages of Pinot Noir (2009) and Chardonnay (2011) to present day. However, the humble truth is this: our first Pinot Noir was heavy, over-extracted and fat handed; our Chardonnay flabby, one dimensional, and over-oaked. In sum, not even close to worthiness of being bottled as Croix Estate. Hence, the long, deliberate, and frustrating path we have taken from a word on a shag of paper to this day.

At the end of the day, we are sharing our winemaking dreams with you in the place we love.


Meet the Winemaker

Born in 1976 and raised in Rutherford, Napa Valley, Kirk Venge earned his degree in Viticulture and Enology at the prestigious University of California, Davis, graduating in 1998, and quickly set his sights on buying the Venge brand and winery from his family. From this foothold he would seek to cross the Mayacamas divide and set roots in Sonoma County, where his mother was born. He kept a name in his back pocket, Croix, while he established himself as an astute and acclaimed winemaker. “I loved the name and its history established in Burgundy. It perfectly represented my desire to establish my winemaking expertise beyond Napa Valley. To embrace a path that has led me to many intersections in my trade.” Kirk also owns his namesake vineyard and winery, Venge Vineyards, and is consulting winemaker for several, prominent micro-producers in Napa Valley.

Amenities

  • Private Tours*
  • Gardens
  • Scenic Views
  • Outdoor Seating
  • Indoor Seating
  • Unique Architecture
  • Wheelchair Accessible

Reviews

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Headed to the vineyards?

Tour wine country like a pro

Download the Wine Routes app to bring your routes, wineries, and interactive tastings wherever your journey takes you!

Headed to the vineyards?

Tour wine country like a pro

Download the Wine Routes app to bring your routes, wineries, and interactive tastings wherever your journey takes you!