Monday, November 1, 2010

Winery Hopping in Napa, CA

Some people plan a trip to Napa around wine tasting. We plan a Napa trip around lunch at The French Laundry. Wine tasting was secondary on the agenda. Even so, we managed to do some damage during our short overnight trip.

1) Domaine Chandon
Located less than a mile from The French Laundry in Yountville, Domaine Chandon was the perfect stop to get a bit of bubbly in before our lunch.

I did the Classic Tasting ($18) which included four tastes, my favorite being the Brut Classic.

It's never too late in the season for Rose.

2) Ma(i)sonry
This is an art gallery that is a great spot to hang out and wine taste on a beautiful day as they have a gorgeous, lush garden. Unfortunately it was pouring rain when we were there so we were confined to the indoors.

Since the art is exorbitant, their primary source of income is likely from wine tastings. As such, they really push you on the wine. In fact, our waiter recommended one of the priciest selection for my friend.

I was happy with my dessert wine- 2009 Uvaggio Moscato Dolce. And after dropping serious dough at TFL, I was even happier with the price. $4.

3) Etude Winery

This came recommended by our friend who is a member of the winery. The tasting room is situated in a quaint farmhouse looking building, which looks remarkably modern inside. Etude is known for their Pinot Noirs. Tastings are available by appointment only.

4) Bouchaine
We had planned on visiting Acacia which unfortunately wasn't open until noon on Sundays. Acacia pointed us to their neighboring winery, Bouchaine. The winery adheres to sustainable practices.

They have a lovely patio that overlooks the vineyard. You'll have to pay extra for the tasting if you opt for the patio seating.

2007 Bouchaine Mariafeld Pinot Noir was paired with chocolate. The wine had a rich fruitiness.

2008 Gee Vineyard Pinot Noir was paired with apricot stilton cheese. I absolutely ABHOR stinky blue cheese but when I was promised that I would taste mostly apricot and barely any blue cheese, I gave it a shot. Very tasty. I'm mainly proud of myself for trying it and somewhat conquering my fear of blue cheese. The pinot noir was smooth and went well with the stilton. In fact, I thought this was a better pairing than the previous wine and chocolate combo.

My favorite was the Bouche D'Or Chardonnay which was fragrant and sweet, perfect as a dessert wine.

5) Grgich Hills

Our last winery stop was Grgich Hills, a family owned winery founded by Croatian immigrant Miljenko "Mike" Grgich. Grgich's 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay won the famed Taste Test in Paris in 1976. Don't be impressed, I'm not that knowledgeable in history, I just watched the movie Bottle Shock. Chris Pine is in it.

Domaine Chandon
1 California Dr.,
Yountville, CA 94599
(707) 944-2280

6711 Washington St.,
Yountville, CA 94599
(707) 944-0889

Etude Winery
1250 Cuttings Wharf Rd.
Napa, CA 94559
(707) 257-5300

Bouchaine Winery
1075 Buchli Station Rd.,
Napa, CA 94559

Grgich Hills
1829 St. Helena Hwy.,
Rutherford, CA 94573
(800) 532-3057


bagnatic said...

man you are drunk.... :)
i love wine tastings.....

Diana said...

Bravo bravo! Can you take me back for the encore? ;)

I think we actually went to Grgich Hills too... though having trouble remembering now!

stuffycheaks said...

bagnatic - haha yeah, total drunk, and pig too

Diana - I am def down for another Napa trip :)