I expressed this view to a friend, a wine aficionado who loves hitting the wineries in Napa. He listened politely, because he’s that kind of guy, and then let me know, nicely, that I didn’t know what I was talking about. He mentioned that I probably stuck to the larger, commercial wineries, and by doing that I’ve missed out on great experiences.
He talked about his Napa favorites — referring to the winery owners by their first names — how they approach their business and their exuberance for sharing their ideas with their visitors.
In his words…
“Most talk of balance, from vineyard to bottle. That starts with George at Hendry. They’re all farmers first and wine makers second, understanding that the right root stock, vine graphed to it, planted in the correct soil and micro climate, might make a good bottle of wine. You can hear this theme from all of them. John and Nancy at School House dry farm to extract the best from their vines. I could go on about each winery.”
Here are his preferred Napa wineries, in no particular order, where you will get a much better experience. The photos give you a feeling that these are comfortable and inviting places to visit.
Click on the winery name to visit their website for more information, and to make a reservation — you will need that if you want to stop by.