Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Hot Smaller Wineries in Napa & Surrounding Areas


SiseFromm
 Share

Recommended Posts

My wife and I are headed soon to Yountville for a week. While we're there we're hoping to discover some smaller wineries, or hot spots that are gaining buzz. What's happening up there right now? It's been two years since our last trip and I feel a little out of it. Is there anybody we should know about to call for an appointment while we're there?

R. Jason Coulston

jason@popcling.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sorry I am no longer at Ladera or I would give you a personal cave tour with barrel samples -- however, you can still go and see them and taste some pretty good juice (they always barrel sample).

My other favorites right now include Arger-Martucci, Havens, Dutch Henry, Lamborn, and Outpost. Also consider visiting Vintners Collective in downtown on Main Street. It is a great place to taste upwards of twelve different small producers who don't have tasting rooms.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I might recommend Staglin in Rutherford for wine quality and and Vine Cliff for excellent wines with a gourgeous estate. Artesa for wonderful views of Carneros. Try for appointments at Spottswoode, Neal (Howell Mountain), Marston, Neyers, Paloma.

I don't know a lot about wine but maybe that could get some wheels turning.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Artesa for wonderful views of Carneros.  Try for appointments at Spottswoode, Neal (Howell Mountain), Marston, Neyers, Paloma.

I adore Artesa for the architecture and artwork, but it is best to go during a week day. Neal is a good suggestion and if you want to spend an entire day doing great mountain wineries, you could literally line up appointments (from east to west) at;

Lamborn (great Zins crafted by Heidi Peterson)

Outpost (Zins and Rhones - under construction, unsure if they are actually taking any appointments)

O'Shaughnessy (Cabs)

White Cottage (Cabs)

Neal (Cabs)

Ladera (Cabs)

Although I doubt you could hit them all in one day as they are all appointment-only, even though they are only a mile or so from one another.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sorry I am no longer at Ladera or I would give you a personal cave tour with barrel samples -- however, you can still go and see them and taste some pretty good juice (they always barrel sample).

My other favorites right now include Arger-Martucci, Havens, Dutch Henry, Lamborn, and Outpost. Also consider visiting Vintners Collective in downtown on Main Street. It is a great place to taste upwards of twelve different small producers who don't have tasting rooms.

Great recommendations. Holly is particulary interested in a cave tour so I will give Ladera a call to set something up for mid-week.

I adore Artesa for the architecture and artwork, but it is best to go during a week day. Neal is a good suggestion and if you want to spend an entire day doing great mountain wineries, you could literally line up appointments (from east to west) at;

Lamborn (great Zins crafted by Heidi Peterson)

Outpost (Zins and Rhones - under construction, unsure if they are actually taking any appointments)

O'Shaughnessy (Cabs)

White Cottage (Cabs)

Neal (Cabs)

Ladera (Cabs)

Although I doubt you could hit them all in one day as they are all appointment-only, even though they are only a mile or so from one another.

We've got a week to burn up there so even if we can't hit them all in a day, we can hit one or two over the course of our trip and I'll be happy. I'll google these to see which if any have sites I can peruse.

R. Jason Coulston

jason@popcling.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I scheduled an appointment to meet with Lamborn on Thursday, December 8th at 4:00pm. I'm excited to talk with them about their wines and to try their Zinfandel. When we spoke by phone, Mike Lamborn was extremely professional and gracious so I'm hoping for a good visit. I'm particularly interested in talking with him about vine management. He mentioned the vineyard is tough to find and tucked back into the woods, which intrigues me all the more. I'm betting we'll take a small supper with us to enjoy either before or after our tasting. Thanks for the recommendation!

R. Jason Coulston

jason@popcling.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Frank family winery is a favorite of mine, also Wellington if you get to Sonoma.

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Provenance Vineyards in Rutherford has excellent Cabernets and crsip, non-oaked Sauvignon Blanc. You don't need an appointment here so it may be helpful in padding out your schedule.

Have a great time, and report back if you have a chance. It would be interesting to hear your impressions as I have not yet to been to some of the suggestions above.

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I might add that Blankiet in Yountville is arguably the "hottest" winery in Yountville, but I don't think they offer tastings.

Correct, they do not. But another one I thought of is Biale -- known for amazing Zins, their tasting room is only a few months old and well worth the visit!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to work at Mayacamas Vineyards, up near the top of Mt. Veeder. Mayacamas isn't exactly "gaining buzz," but that's exactly how Bob Travers (owner and winemaker) wants it. This is one of the most beautiful spots in Napa, and Bob makes truly balanced and complex mountain wines. Highly recommend a visit (call for appt, weekdays only).

Plenty of others, too. Call to see if you can get into Peter Michael. There's also Storybook Mountain and Vincent Arroyo up in Calistoga, Duckhorn (not a small winery but they have a great tasting room and great wine) near Howell Mtn, and then closer to you in Yountville there is Cosentino (again, not too small, but the wine is good and moderately priced) and Paradigm, which is one of the most underrated wineries in all of California, IMO.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With so much to choose from now (thanks everybody), I think our dance card is going to be full all week. I'll check out Biale tonight when I get home. My experience is that one smaller winery leads to another. Once you start talking and they realize you're not a total nut job, I usually get good referrals so I'll be knee deep in wine by the end of the week. I can't think of a better vacation! I'll report back when I'm home, but that won't be until mid-December since I'm traveling for business the following week.

R. Jason Coulston

jason@popcling.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With so much to choose from now (thanks everybody), I think our dance card is going to be full all week.  I'll check out Biale tonight when I get home.  My experience is that one smaller winery leads to another.  Once you start talking and they realize you're not a total nut job, I usually get good referrals so I'll be knee deep in wine by the end of the week.  I can't think of a better vacation!  I'll report back when I'm home, but that won't be until mid-December since I'm traveling for business the following week.

So, next question is where are you going to eat?

:laugh::laugh:

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you're going to be up on Mt. Veeder, I'd recommend Chateau Potelle. If you end up in the Carneros, Ceja Vineyards is not to be missed. Chateau Potelle is open regular hours; Ceja requires an appointment.

"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti."

- Dr. Hannibal Lecter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We just got back from a trip to Sonoma and a stop in Napa. We had a great tour and tasting at Jarvis Winery. Must call and set up in advance. Really good wine and an awesome cave.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, next question is where are you going to eat?

Bouchon of course, twice actually (both reservations are for lunch). We're also going to check out Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen. Other than that, we'll play it by ear. I have no desire this trip to commit myself to multi-coursed, multi-hour meals with white tablecloths and foam and gelees, and torchons and what not. Just bistro food, casual environments, and lots and lots of good wine.

Edited by SiseFromm (log)

R. Jason Coulston

jason@popcling.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you're going to be up on Mt. Veeder, I'd recommend Chateau Potelle.  If you end up in the Carneros, Ceja Vineyards is not to be missed.  Chateau Potelle is open regular hours; Ceja requires an appointment.

I LOVE Chateau Potelle. That spot is one of my favorites and I regularly buy their VGS bottles. Cool people, and a French-style wine production. Great recommendation.

R. Jason Coulston

jason@popcling.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, next question is where are you going to eat?

Bouchon of course, twice actually (both reservations are for lunch). We're also going to check out Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen. Other than that, we'll play it by ear. I have no desire this trip to commit myself to multi-coursed, multi-hour meals with white tablecloths and foam and gelees, and torchons and what not. Just bistro food, casual environments, and lots and lots of good wine.

Don't miss the Martini House - it fits the description of what you are looking for perfectly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I second the recs for Havens (and Franus which shares their facility) and Artesa. Both are excellent suggestions. I also like Goosecross Cellars for their white wines and Robert Sinskey for their Pinot Noirs.

I would also suggest a hot air baloon ride over the valley. Breathtaking way to spend an early morning. I flew with Adventures Aloft and enjoyed it immensely. I am typically afraid of heights, so getting me up in a balloon was no easy feat. However, since you are traveling on the wind currents it seems as though you are standing still and having someone roll the scenery right past you. A very serene form of transport and fine for me as long as I didn't look stright down over the edge of the basket. :blink: Really recommmended for a memorable experience.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll second Martini House, one of my favorites.

I'm a fan of his to be sure. Farallon is always a must-stop-in restaurant for me when I'm in the city. A lunch of head-on shrimp with spicy cocktail sauce and a cold vodka martini at the bar is about as good as life gets. For some reason though, Martini House doesn't do much for me. Holly and I reviewed the site and the menu and it looks awesome of course, but it just didn't click for me. I even watched the documentary of the opening of the restaruant a few years back. Then again I may have to give it a go if two people hastily recommended it. You are right though that it fits the description of what I'm looking for this trip. I just don't have the energy or focus this trip to do the whole French Laundry thing. My work is too stressful right now so I don't want to think that hard about my food. I want it to wash over me, along with good bottles of ripe fruit wines California is so famous for.

R. Jason Coulston

jason@popcling.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll second Martini House, one of my favorites.

I'm a fan of his to be sure. Farallon is always a must-stop-in restaurant for me when I'm in the city. A lunch of head-on shrimp with spicy cocktail sauce and a cold vodka martini at the bar is about as good as life gets. For some reason though, Martini House doesn't do much for me. Holly and I reviewed the site and the menu and it looks awesome of course, but it just didn't click for me. I even watched the documentary of the opening of the restaruant a few years back. Then again I may have to give it a go if two people hastily recommended it. You are right though that it fits the description of what I'm looking for this trip. I just don't have the energy or focus this trip to do the whole French Laundry thing. My work is too stressful right now so I don't want to think that hard about my food. I want it to wash over me, along with good bottles of ripe fruit wines California is so famous for.

Generals Daughter in Sonoma. call Preston tell him your coming and have him cook for you, with matching wine. Pm for phone number.

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...