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  Napa Valley     [all categories]
  Napa Valley - Wineries to Visit
  damombo's trip report, part 1

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Author Topic:   damombo's trip report, part 1
posted 10-26-2013 04:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Well thanks, D'. Its awfully slow over there- nearly stopped, I'd say.


posted 10-26-2013 12:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
We only had a day and a half this time, but I have just now posted it - just for you!!


posted 10-24-2013 08:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
No Sonoma Days, D'?


posted 10-18-2013 10:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
Hey Hawkeye,

I had heard of Amizetta because a local restaurant here has been hosting winemakers for dinners - but we weren't able to go to that particular one. I checked out their website and figured we should stop in. Then i just looked at the map to try to find someplace nearby that might be fun. I was trying to do my best "Hawkeye" impression by scouting out some new places

Mike Drash was complete serendipity - a group of us were having a breakfast taco at the Soda Canyon Cafe and I had finished eating, and saw a cute dog outside, so I went outside to pet the dog. The dog's owner and I chatted, and he asked if we were out wine tasting. I said we were, and he said well come see us sometime and handed me his card. This was several years ago, and I had put the card away with various wine-related papers. I came across the card this summer and decided to give him a call. And I'm so glad I did because it was absolutely charming to walk through their beautiful old home into their shady, comfy backyard and taste his wines and talk about the wine community there in Napa. Their home is in the center of Napa and is from the mid to late 1800s. Pretty darn cool!

And Kandice! What a lovely lady. And Mark is a bundle of energy - they are such fun together! I'd love to enjoy a wine dinner at their home!!


posted 10-17-2013 12:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Damombo,

First, if it had been me and hubby was not available in the morning, I would have said, "The heck with you buster, catch up when you can". I would have hit a couple wineries each day by myself.

You did get off the beaten track going up Howell Mountain Road. How did you hear about the wineries up there?

You have also found another that I had never heard of. Mike Drash. Where is he located?

I am glad you enjoyed your visit with Kandice and Mark Jessup, owners of J. Gregory wines. I have known Kandice since her hosting days at Biale and Mark since his winemaking days at Jessup Cellars which was owned at one time by his family. Our group of 8 next March will have a winemaker dinner in their house. There 2006 Cab is just about the best thing to go across my palate.

Great report, Damombo. We all learn from each other.


[This message has been edited by Hawkeye (edited 10-17-2013).]


posted 10-16-2013 06:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
We had a great trip and are happily awaiting shipments to arrive any day now.
Our first two days were half days - the hubby had to attend a conference in the morning so our fun didn’t begin until after lunch. But, even though we only got to go to two places each of those two afternoons, I think those were our best days.

Day One took us up old Howell Mountain Road onto Conn Valley Road and then onto Greenfield Road. Very glad that we hadn’t had any wine yet as we navigated our way along these roads!

First stop was Buehler. They were founded in the 70s and have been a family affair since the beginning. We met the eldest son, Page, and he took us on a nice tour before we sat down and tasted two Chardonnays, a Zin, and two Cabs. So lovely! We liked each wine - I preferred one of the Chards and my husband the other, so the mixed case that is coming has one of each The rest of the case is made up of the Zin and the two Cabs. Their flagship Cab, Papa’s Knoll, is only $45 - how is that for a nice price?! By the way, there is a “ghost” winery building at the entrance to their property.

Next was Amizetta. They were a short drive up the hill from Buehler - the road dead ends at their gate. Another gorgeous setting with magnificent views! And another family affair - Mom (Amizetta) and Dad founded the winery in 1979 and now two sons run the operation. We met with Spencer, the dad, and had a nice tour of the property. They have a great cave and a beautiful tasting room. We tasted their Sauv Blanc, a Merlot, a Bordeaux blend called “Complexity”, and two Cabs. Again, enjoyed each and every one A mixed case should be arriving soon.

This wonderful afternoon filled with delicious wines, gorgeous views, and interesting family wineries ended with a stop in Calistoga for dinner at Solbar. Which was as amazing as ever - we have never had a disappointing meal there.

Day Two found us tasting wine in the homes of two winemakers - how cool is that!? First we stopped by the home of Mike Drash (who is originally from Tennessee), the winemaker for Aratas and Tallulah. We sat in the back yard of their home (built in the mid to late 1800s) and had a very relaxed and informative tasting of Mike’s wines - the chardonnay was excellent, as were the syrah and the two cabs. Those were from his Tallulah label. We also tried the Aratas Petite Sirah. Loved each and everything we tried and again, a mixed case is on its way. Are you sensing a trend?

We tore ourselves away from the charming Drash family and their outstanding wines and headed for our next stop: the home of Mark & Kandice Jessup. The view from their dining room table was remarkable - clear across the valley toward Mr. Veeder. So we sat at their table and chatted with the wine maker and (as he put it) the heart of the wine (which is Kandice) and had another amazing experience. Delicious wines and great conversation with Napa Valley natives - doesn’t get any better than this!


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