A visit to Elizabeth Spencer

If I have a “house palate” for any winery, it is Elizabeth Spencer in Rutherford.  Seriously, from the Cabernets, to the Grenache and Pinot Noir, I found myself wowed by every sip among their range of 30 remarkably different wines. The winery produces two labels: E x S (a hearts and swords logo) and Elizabeth […]

A visit to Beaulieu Vineyards

You may well recognize Beaulieu Vineyards, or BV.  With a wide distribution, well-known brand name, and prominent position on Napa Valley’s Highway 29, this is a popular stop for many people. However, be prepared for possibly a chaotic experience.  The tasting room is naturally very busy and not as big as many other tasting rooms […]

A visit to Robert Mondavi Winery

Many people stop by Robert Mondavi Winery and never really experience the winery the way Mr. Mondavi intended.  It is an impressive place, especially on a first visit to the Napa Valley, but to get a better experience, try pre-booking one of their tastings, or one of their food and wine experiences as I did […]

A visit to Franciscan Estate

Most people have never tasted 100% of the same varietal.  It might sound strange but despite the label, MOST wines are really blends.  Take a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon for instance, unless it says it is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, it is not. When you see Cabernet Sauvignon on the label it means it has to […]

A visit to Opus One Winery

A winery I’ve long wanted to visit is Opus One.  Elegant and iconic, the low-lying, pyramid-like structure on Napa’s Highway 29 is a beacon for those that know the wines, and those that don’t. American and French flags proudly wave side by side over the entrance, symbolizing the Mondavi and Rothschild partnership.  I couldn’t wait to […]

A visit to Round Pond Estate

As I drove down the long driveway studded with palm trees I knew I was in for something special.  It started the moment I arrived, as the friendly concierge met me and escorted me upstairs.  Round Pond is appointment only, which means your experience is generally personalized, they know who you are, it’s relaxed and […]

A visit to Peju Winery

Peju has always been one of my favorite wineries to visit when in Napa.  With its iconic 50-foot tower and prime position on Highway 29, Peju is impossible to miss. On this particular sunny Napa morning I was greeted by about 1,000 sunflowers framing the vineyard. Sunflowers remind me of France, and it all made sense […]