The room was operated by Belcher between its opening and her death in Francis Bacon was a founding member, walking in the day after it opened.
Who really comes up with these lists, and much do they know about anything? Lots of travel writers have come to the Napa Valley and covered the wine scene, and there are plenty of opinions about all kinds of wineries.
My own perspective is uniquely local. Over the years, I have taken breaks from restaurant life to work as a wine educator. While working in the wine business, I did earn one wine certification — Certified Specialist of Wine CSW — but honestly, Sherwin t wine essay was just a multiple choice test the CSW title represents book learning more than anything.
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How did I win? I used a wine map as a checklist in the very beginning, and I made sure to go everywhere. In compiling this list, the quality of the wine was my primary consideration, although the overall winery experience also factored into the rankings. Each of these properties produces wine that is eminently approachable and drinkable.
Life is too short for lousy wine. Nobody knows that more than someone who lives in wine country. Chappellet Choosing the first winery in this list is essentially answering the question: The winery scores well in all of the important areas, and when I was working as a wine educator, it was the winery that I would recommend the most.
Chappellet boasts a formidable history that easily rivals that of any pre-Prohibition winery, including Schramsberg. Founded inChappellet was just the second post-Prohibition winery built in Napa, with the Robert Mondavi Winery being constructed just one year earlier. But unlike Mondavi, Chappellet is still family-owned, and it boasts a killer portfolio at attractively low prices.
The winery itself is incredibly scenic, located atop Pritchard Hill in the Vaca Mountains. Read more about Chappellet … 2.
Schramsberg There has to be at least one sparkling wine producer on this list, and Schramsberg is by far the natural choice. Hundreds of wineries were in operation in Napa in the s, and only a handful of them exist today. The Chinese railroad workers excavated the first half-mile of caves over a century ago, while machinery added another half-mile to the labyrinth in Read more about Schramsberg … 3.
Pride offers exquisite Cabernets alongside one of the most breath-taking picnic grounds in the Napa Valley. My routine is to visit Sunshine Market in St.
Helena, which offers a terrific deli sandwich. There are no stores nor restaurants — not even Starbucks — at the top of Spring Mountain, so picnicking means planning.
Read more about Pride Vineyards … 4. In truth, each of their wines are rich with great character, and the Ehlers tasting room, a refurbished pre-Prohibition winery fromseethes with charm.
At face value, Ehlers already earns a high ranking on my list — the winery earns its place strictly on this criteria. However, there is another aspect to Ehlers that is worth noting: Ehlers is a non-profit winery, with all proceeds going to benefit heart research via the Leducq Foundation thus, the subtle heart motif in the Ehlers logo.
Read more about Ehlers Estate … 5.
The winery is a relatively undiscovered gem with great wines and, naturally, a killer view from Spring Mountain. Read more about Behrens Family … 6. Heitz Cellar Over the past 10 years or so, single-vineyard wines have become all the rage here in California, and why not?
The great wines of Europe have focused upon small, specific plots for centuries. Over all, what impresses me the most about Heitz Cellar is its combination of terrific consistency and its great prices. People often say that established wineries will offer lower prices because they remember the lean years.
Read more about Heitz Cellars … 7. Terra Valentine Obviously, with three Spring Mountain wineries in my top 10, I have a penchant for that particular appellation. Anyhow, Terra Valentine produces fantastic wine, so it fits well within the neighborhood. Read more about Terra Valentine … 8.
Austere, steep and rugged, Kuleto Estate operates at significant elevation, and offers terrific views from the Vaca Mountains.
For me, the view at Kuleto trumps the view at Chappellet, which is no mean feat. Read more about Kuleto Estate … 9.Rekdal, the daughter of a Chinese American mother and a Norwegian father, has lived in many countries, including France, South Korea, Ireland, and Vietnam, and .
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