Wine Tasting in Napa

My love for good wine is no secret and I feel very blessed to live near some of the best wine producing regions in the world. Drinking fabulous wine is such a privilege ...few things compete with it. Over the years, I've had the opportunity to visit many wineries in Napa but my most recent visit (past weekend) was probably my favorite because we really planned it out in advance. We love big Napa reds so we picked the following wineries to visit. Each winery was unique in its own way and a pleasure to visit.
Quick tips for a successful Wine tasting day in Napa:
1. Rent a limo to avoid the hassle of driving and parking.
2. Pick 3-4 wineries and make appointments
3. Go with friends or an intimate group
4. Make dinner reservations 
CALDWELL All I can say is "WOW"! What a phenomenal two hour tasting experience personally given by the owner, John Caldwell, in his amazing Winery Cave. This is how a tasting should be conducted and anyone who has the opportunity to visit Napa, MUST add Caldwell to their agenda. Appointments are limited and get sold out in advance so plan ahead. We tasted seven wines with cheese and charcuterie pairing while enjoying John's stories. The setting was beautiful, the company was fantastic, and the wines were a joy to taste. Tasting Fee: $45/person Favorite: 2008 Brion Cabernet Sauvignon
Tasting Room in the Winery Cave
 QUINTESSA This beautifully designed winery made of natural stone blends beautifully in to the hillside and is a stunning sight. The vineyard produces the five classic Bordeaux varietals and one singular red blend each vintage. We really enjoyed our tasting experience at Quintessa as it was intimate and relaxing. Each tasting table has a host/hostess who sits at the table and explains about the wines being poured. They also have an artisanal cheese pairing which is fantastic. Our hostess was very knowledgeable and personable and was more than happy to let us taste additional wines.                                                       Tasting Fee: $65/person                                                       Favorite: Quintessa 2008. Beautifully balanced big bold red.
The Quintessa Winery
SPRING MOUNTAIN After visiting a wine cave and a contemporary-style winery made of natural stone, Spring Mountain was a completely different experience. From the greenhouse garden surrounded by fragrant roses to the canopy of antique olive trees, one is transported to another place in timeless beauty. The main house is gorgeous, the gardens lush and inviting, I felt like I was walking through an estate in Europe. While we were booked for an Estate tasting, which takes place in a private dining room of the main house and is around 1.5 - 2 hours, we arrived slightly late so we ended up doing a Classic tasting, which was 45 minutes long at the cheerful Spring House (pictured below) under the Olive trees and was really quite delightful.                                          Estate Tasting Fee: $50/person                                          Classic Tasting Fee: $25/person                                          Favorite: 2008 Elivette. Abundant fruit, robust, yummy
Spring House Tasting Room

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