Category Archives: Wineries

Tres Sabores Winery

tres sabores 1tres sabores moose

Simply put: Wow. This is what I want in a wine tasting. It’s well off the beaten path which we liked and when we pulled up the wine maker/owner, Julie, and her husband were having lunch outside which they promptly offered us and it was all delicious. Gorgeous view, they had tables set up and shade with big trees covered a perfect picnic spot. We chatted with Julie, her husband, and our guide for a good while. They have 2 gorgeous golden retrievers that were incredibly friendly, one (Moose, seen above) even has his own business card as a public relations employee which was too funny. We had a few wines, then took some back to the farm area where they had sheep, hens, and baby hens. We fed the sheep some bread, tried some Zin off the vine, checked out their garden full of fruit and veggies, as well as tons of pomegranate trees planted all over the property. We went into their wine cave and watched some workers cleaning barrels. A very intimate setting, personal tour, lots of information and good conversation. The wine was fantastic…we liked all of it. Our friends bought some Zin while we got the Rose and Por Que No….a blend of just about everything. Cab, merlot, zin, petite syrah…weird sounding but very delicious. We had packed a nice lunch and Julie was happy to let us stay and enjoy our picnic. She even brought over some chocolate to enjoy with the petite syrah. Overall this was head and shoulders our best experience in Napa and an absolute must see. We will definitely be going back next time we’re in Napa. Tres Sabores is appointment only so call ahead and bring lunch!

http://www.tressabores.com/

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Vincent Arroyo Winery

bodega

Our innkeeper recommended this for us at breakfast and squeezed us in late afternoon and wow, this place was awesome. We met Vincent himself and one of his workers gave us a great tasting and tour, she was extremely nice and knowledgeable. They’d pour us a glass then we’d wander around learning/chatting, return for another glass, go see other things, etc. Very fun and all 1 on 1. They had two gorgeous and friendly winery dogs as well. Does life get any better than being a winery dog? I doubt it. We bought some petite syrah they had stashed in the back (lucky us), petite syrah port (very cool), and some cabernet sauvignon balsamic vinegar. It was interesting to experience the temperature difference in the valley being that much more north….much hotter. While it was all the way up in Calistoga and about an hour from downtown I think this is a must see place. They accept walk-ins but I would recommend making an appointment before driving all the way up the valley.

http://www.vincentarroyo.com/

Groth Vineyards

Groth building close

From reading the blog you know we drink Groth at home so we were excited about this one. Great architecture, an old Spanish style building. We were joined by friends from San Francisco which was fun. We had a table set up for us in their great room with glasses, info about the wine, and a nice view. We only got to try 4 wines which was different…most places served 6+. Our hostess was pleasant but her delivery seemed very rehearsed. It was more of a lecture than a conversation. She would pour a glass, give her talk, then let us enjoy privately which made the experience better. The wines were all good…sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, cab, and reserve cab. We did the 2 cabs side by side which was good because initially the regular cab was best then after 5 mins of air the reserve was clearly superior. This was more personal than Joseph Phelps but still kind of corporate feeling. I was able to wrangle a bottle of 2004 Cabernet from them at a reasonable price which was perfect because I was missing it for my vertical tasting at home. The reserve cab for $125 was very fairly priced and worth buying. We checked out their insect haven/garden afterwards which was interesting but not as impressive as they made it out to be. Overall a fun/different experience, it was good to see the more business like kind of tasting and something worth doing but I’d try to avoid more than 1 winery like this on a single trip. Between Groth and Phelps I thought Phelps was much prettier but the wine was better at Groth. Appointment only.

http://www.grothwines.com

Elyse Winery

elyse winery

Great little spot when we pulled up. Small bar counter style tasting with room to do 2 tastings at once. The staff was friendly and the wines were good. Standard selection of cab, zin, bordeaux style blend, chardonnay…etc. We really enjoyed one of their limited edition wines called Mon Chou…a semi Bordeaux blend. You may be noticing a theme in our buying by this point. We watched them press some grapes in the back but not much of a tour. We weren’t rushed at all but we were in and out in 30-40 minutes or so which was fast relatively speaking. Considering it’s appointment only if you stop by here plan on a short visit.

http://www.elysewinery.com/

Neyers Vineyards

Napa Neyers

This was a great find, compliments of Ian from Wine Library.  Definitely tucked away off the beaten, dusty, impossibly curvy path, you literally have to drive off the road to get here.  We arrived early and were treated to some water and a seat on the terrace where the views were not quite as expansive as some of the other vineyards (we were in a valley after all) but we were pleasantly entertained by some lizards running around and seeing a group of ladies leaving, arms full of wine and clearly having a great time.  Expect an intimate tasting, it was us, a couple stools, some great conversation and a bunch of great wines.  We heard the owners’ story (always neat to hear when it’s actually an interesting story) and tried some unique wines considering where we were (such as mourvedre).  This was an excellent tasting and we went home with a bottle of chard and mourvedre.  Appointment only, very low key and focused on the wine.

http://www.neyersvineyards.com/