Over the weekend our head honcho, his family and a few friends journeyed to Napa Valley to taste some of the best wines in the country.
Experience our trip highlights with pictures, shout outs, and a few favorites below!
11am: Lunch at Gott’s Roadside
A old-timey Napa staple. Pair the best burgers with a magnum of Charles & Charles rosé!
12pm: Peju Province Winery
Our first tasting of the trip landed us at an old family favorite where we enjoyed not only their signature list but a few wine club exclusives. Only a select few of their wines are distributed, and we proudly stock Peju’s Cab and SB.
- Sauvignon Blanc: the perfect balance of tropical fruit and fresh green florals, try this wine with salads, seafood and hot sunny days.
- Cabernet Sauvignon: Award-winning, rich, complex, velvety and flavorful – all the buzzwords are here! Trust us, just try it.
A big shout out to Herta and Lisa Peju for the grand tour: opening up their home to us and introducing us to Diablito, the rooster!
2pm: Cakebread Cellars
Did you know Cakebread is the founder’s actual last name? Here we were able to taste their wines in the midst of the barrels themselves – an unique and educational experience!
Favorite: Chardonnay, also known as the chard for people who say they don’t like chard
Walking into this winery is like a trip to the Middle East – the Persian architectural style, decadent interior, silky wines, and the best pink pistachios.
The tastings here are extremely informal – unlike some other who seem scripted and rehearsed. The wine appears as if from nowhere, your guide jumping in for a short introduction and then retreating to let us enjoy each other and even moreso, the wine.
Favorite: Caravan Cabernet Sauvignon, the perfect Napa Cab with the added complexity and deliciousness of Merlot, Cab Franc and Malbec
7pm: Dinner at Morimoto
Home of the Iron Chef, we switched to Ketel One for this meal and enjoyed duck fried rice, uni, and the best chicken noodle soup ever!
10am: Markham Vineyards
By far the most interesting and informative of tastings, we spent over two hours at this vineyard, being educated and entertained by the fabulous Kip. In total, we were able to try over ten wines and even received a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the back.
But the coolest piece of the experience was being able to try two Cabs – The Altruist and The Philanthropist. The grapes are exactly the same, they were made the same way… The only difference was the soil in which they were grown. And get this? The two tasted completely different. Who knew dirt could be so important?
- Sauvignon Blanc: described as the vineyard’s version of water. We agree!
- Cabernet Sauvignon: drinkable today or worthy of cellaring for special
- Merlot: Layering vanilla and dark chocolate aromas. Simple and fancy at the same time!
1pm: Frog’s Leap
If Markham was the most informative, Frog’s Leap was the most beautiful. With the most expansive fruit, vegetable and flower garden, this vineyard provided us with the perfect pre-tasting activity: wandering. We picked raspberries off the vine and were even allowed to steal a few peaches!
Marie told us the charming story of how the vineyard got its name, and Josh walked us through several different and delicious wines while we lounged on the wraparound porch. Thanks to Kip’s recommendation, we were also able to sneak a taste of their delicious rosé!
- Sauvignon Blanc: Crisp, minerally with aromas of peach blossom and white flower… “A transparent view into the soils of Rutherford.”
2:30pm: Lunch at Auberge de Soleil
French fries, sautéed spinach, ribs, and the best view in Napa.
4pm: Pool time, bocce ball, pizza and game night at the Markham Guest House
Armed with a few bottles of Markham Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc, we took advantage of our free afternoon to enjoy all this beautiful property had to offer.
10am: Mumm Napa
Does anything say brunch better than sparkling wine? And if you’re in Napa, Mumm is the place to go. In fact, Mumm is the only wine with “Napa” on every bottle! We started with four of their more widely distributed wines, and then progressed onto their harder to find varietals.
Unfortunately, we had to come home this day, but we had such a lovely time, we almost missed our flights. I don’t think any of us would’ve been sad if we had stayed all day!
- Napa Rosé: A pop of pink for the sparkling fan, Pinot Noir provides its soft fruity character and a little bit of Chardonnay gives the wine its power and structure!
- Napa Brut: The quintessential Napa Sparkling had won more medals than any other in its class! Drinkable anytime, anywhere.
After a wine-filled adventure, our livers may still be recovering, but we are ready to go back!
Thank you to all our hosts, and to our customers: keep an eye out for new arrivals in the store. ‘Til next time Napa!