Napa Valley wines and wine clubs
About this time, a tradition well over a century old is being continued, as vineyard workers harvest the grapes that Napa Valley wines are made from. The first wine grapes in Napa Valley were Mission grapes, descended from Spanish grapes and brought to California by missionaries. They were tough grapes that could adapt to almost anywhere, but didn’t necessarily make the best wines. Better varieties of wine grape were brought to California in the nineteenth century, including the Cabernet Sauvignon grape which is as resilient as the Mission grape and has the quality of the finest French wine cultivars.
Napa Valley wines come in many sorts — red, white, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay — depending on where they were planted and from what stock. Every part of the valley has a subtly different terroir, a different combination of sunshine, rain, mist, soil moisture and soil composition. To make a great Napa Valley wine, the vineyard tries to find the right variety of grape for each terroir.
If you’re planning to visit a small winery in Napa Valley, you should find out if it has a wine club. Joining this club will get you savings on tasting fees and the wines you buy from the club. Many wine clubs offer different selections of wines, as well as collections of wine — the highest-rated wines, or all-Napa Valley wines, or all one particular kind of wine.
Napa Valley wines from a winery near St. Helena
Some of the best California wines come from Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards in Napa Valley. Just a 10-minute drive from downtown St. Helena, these vineyards produce world-class wines at affordable prices. The vineyard is a 40-acre estate just south of Howell Mountain. Instead of a busy tasting room, the vineyard offers you the chance to meet the owners and wine-makers and taste excellent wine stored in a cave. Wine Merchants Gourmet includes them in one of its Middle Valley tours.
An example of what this winery has to offer is the Éloge, an exclusive blend. The 2008 Éloge comes from a year notable for its extremes — storms followed by a prolonged frost in spring, a cool spring and early summer followed by sweltering heat later. All this led to a vintage of low yield but high quality — a dark ruby red wine with extraordinary aroms of black cherries, chocolate, cedar, cassis, leather, mocha and crushed rocks with a distant hint of smoked meats. It tastes of chocolate-dipped black cherries, currants and plums with toffee, mocha and spices.
Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards has been owned and operated by the Anderson family since 1983. Anderson’s wines are sold online and in five locations in Napa Valley, and many other locations nationwide. By ordering six bottles or more per year, you can join their wine club, giving you discounts on many of their finest wines.