To recap, Napa three days and five wineries. We rolled into Napa on Saturday around 3pm settled in and ventured out to experience Ashes and Diamonds. Sunday we went for the castle in Calistoga, which is about 45 mins from Hampton Inn Suites where we stayed, Castello di Amorosa which offered a Tuscan style castle experience with beautiful views of the valley and some nice wines too. Yesterday we decided to go big and maximize the day we hit three wineries, I’ll call them the classics, Robert Mondavi, V. Sattui, and Beringer. Robert Mondavi offered nice classic America French style wine. I call it a classic because the layout of the winery promotes a beautiful lifestyle and they were one of the first wineries to offer wine tastings and guided tours. From there off to V. Sattui which is just a few wineries up the valley. The grounds offer a completely different vibe, the main buildings are shaded under a grand canopy of ancient trees. They had great wines, although one really stood out to me. Bacci, was the name of wine and it seemed to be just the right balance of different types of grapes, soil, and timing. V. Sattui also has a deli so we dined under the canopy of trees and enjoyed the valley breeze of the day. From there we headed to Beringer. The Beringer Winery did not disappoint.
Beringer…..when you think about Beringer you might have mixed feelings or maybe I do. I have decided its a must visit. Its history goes back 1868, they even suffered through prohibition and stay open because they sold wine to the Catholic Church. Now they make amazing wines available in Napa. Wait available in Napa? OK you can be on their mailing list and have the wines shipped to you. So back to the mixed feelings about Beringer, I normally think of Beringer as “cougar juice” or “porch pounder,” whatever you want to call it. You know the white zin you see so many people getting all sugared up on. See that’s where the brilliance comes in. They sell the “porch pounder” to fund their special wines which are only available in Napa at the winery. We enjoyed three 95 point reds and one 99 pointer. Can I just say wow. Because of the tasting and tour I say this is a must see. BTW we took the cave tour which was a nice break from the heat. (photo is from the Beringer Caves.).
So for my personal critique, the best winery and wines…….Ashes and Diamonds take first place and Beringer takes second. Both had amazing wines, but from start to finish Ashes and Diamonds blew my mind with the flavors and complexity and balance. Beringer came in a close second with their two top Reserve Cabernet Sauvignons. Just my opinion. :)Read More