Multiple visits, most recently, September 2019
Haven’t made a trip back to Napa Valley since just before COVID, but, here are some quick notes on a few of the more memorable places visited in my travels there.
The most unforgettable experience my wife and I had in Napa. Built on Spring Hill, totally off the
beaten path, this property and grounds look like something from an old Hollywood movie. The
tasting was an intimate affair, just a handful of people and our charming host, who walked us
through a delicious tasting of mostly white wine, their specialty. Delicious Chardonnay,
Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and a fantastic dry Riesling. A spot like no other. Advance
reservations required for sure.
The well-known winery who’s acclaimed Merlot put them on the map is a beautiful spot with a
porch overlooking their grounds. The tasting included some nice charcuterie as we walked
through their signature Duckhorn reds and delicious Chardonnay, as well as a taste of Paradux, their proprietary red blend.
Another famous Napa spot. The Cakebread experience is more of a tour-tasting. The host walked our small group of about 8-10 winos around the vineyard allowing us to pick some grapes to see the difference between the berries. Next a stroll through the production facility where the wines were being produced, with some fun facts and education about the process along the way. Wrapped-up with a flight of wines to taste. Fun time!
Known best for their classic Napa Chardonnay – big, round, buttery and oaky. The tasting room
is set above their vineyards, with tasting taking place inside followed-up by the chance to sit on
the porch overlooking the property and take it all in. If you are familiar with their wines, the
theme is BIG! – powerful cabernet sauvignon, full-bodied merlot, fruity zinfandel, tangy-tropical
Sauvignon Blanc and of course the huge Chardonnay. A great take sure to please anyone in the crowd!
Actually went there many years ago on my first trip to Napa. Domaine Carneros straddles the
spot where Napa meets Sonoma and surely can’t be missed. It looks like a French chateau,
bordering on a castle, sitting proudly amongst their vineyard grounds. And at Domaine Carneros it’s bubbles, bubbles, bubbles – they specialize in sparkling wines. Delicious ones at that! You’ll be taking a lot of pictures!
A very cool spot in Saint Helena – Hall mixes art, architecture and a focus on Bordeaux-style
wines. The tasting room is cross between an art museum and chic wine bar. With huge windows
to take in the sites before you stroll outside to sit amongst the modern art, sculptures and their
vineyards. A really nice take for a sunny Napa day! And very good wines too – we brought back
some delicious red blends!
Another visit a while back – the experience there was like a party where wine was being tasted. Maybe because it was a sunny Saturday afternoon – the tavern-like set up with porch overlooking the Stag’s Leap district was a pretty rocking affair – in a good way! They offer a variety of wines, but Cabernet Sauvignon is king at Silverado. Was a great way to wrap up a day of tasting and get the evening’s festivities started.
NOTE: Highly recommend advance reservations for any of the spots mentioned above. Have fun!