Joseph Phelps Vineyards

Napa Phelps

When you arrived at Phelps you could tell you were pulling up to a large, commercial vineyard.  It was a serious driveway entering the property (some of them you could have just as easily pulled into someone’s personal driveway instead of up to the winery, which we may or may not have done on this trip…) but you knew you were approaching a big production.  The grounds were truly impressive, and the view was spectacular, but don’t expect that up close and personal tour that we received at other vineyards.  We chose the terrace tasting option and were ushered to the outside terrace area for the actual tasting itself.  Everyone was pleasant, and you could easily go through this one without talking to anyone or learning about any of the wines.  We tasted a couple chardonnays, a sauvignon blanc, a couple very nice cabs, and a delightful take on eiswein (Eisrébe).  Instead of the grapes naturally freezing they artificially freeze them after harvest to create the sweet, concentrated flavor.  We split the tasting (I love that they give you that option – not unique to Phelps) and found it to be a good value for the variety of wines we tasted.  The staff was knowledgeable and helpful if you could carve out a few minutes to speak with them.  Walked away from this one seriously contemplating an expensive bottle of cab, but settled on a bottle of Eisrébe.  Appointment only, self-paced, not super relaxing but still a nice overall experience.

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