Back Lane Wineries of Napa, Second Edition by Tilar Mazzeo

By Tilar Mazzeo

This up-to-date advisor to the small and "secret" back-lane wineries and tasting rooms of Napa profiles over 70 hard-to-find, genuine boutique estates that function world-class, artisanal wines respected via locals and critics.

Beyond the crowded tasting rooms of Napa’s well known wineries, there’s an actual, welcoming facet of the valley ready to be explored: boutique estates run through passionate winemakers who handcraft world-class wines. Back Lane Wineries of Napa uncovers greater than seventy of those gem stones that locals and critics revere yet few viewers ever see. up-to-date with new wineries, eating places, and native sights; maps; full-color images; and pointers on wine-tasting etiquette, wine transport prone, and itinerary making plans, this consultant will organize oenophiles and starting wine-lovers alike to reside the great life—Napa variety

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For the first eighteen years, they made just that one red wine and a small-lot production of Burgundian-style Chardonnay, with just a whisper of oak. Today, sons Christopher and Michael are now part of the second generation of family winemaking at White Rock, and the Vandendriessches have added two more Cabernet Sauvignons, including a reserve wine sold only from the tasting room ($80). There is the occasional release to wine club members of extremely small lots of other wines—sometimes as few as a half-dozen cases—including Viognier, Malbec, Syrah, and a reserve Chardonnay.

Wine Tasting Essentials EVEN SOPHISTICATED WINE AFICIONADOS sometimes find themselves wondering what the “right” way to taste wine is, and, as you anticipate sitting down face-to-face with a winemaker, it’s easy to start worrying about whether you’ll pass the test. There’s no need: in the wine country, the friendliest welcome of all is reserved for passionate amateurs. You’re not the only one who gets the giggles when that gentleman at the far end of the tasting bar starts throwing around wildly improbable adjectives either.

Blocks of these early vines are still in production today. The winemaker’s tour includes a walk through the vineyards and, in the warmer months, a tasting under the oak trees, with views of Mount George and the foothills of the Vacas range. During the rainy months, you’ll sample by candlelight in the barrel room at a small wooden table. In addition to the wine produced from fruit grown here in the Haynes vineyards, Ken also sources Pinot Noir from other spots in the Carneros AVA, Sonoma County, the Willamette Valley, and the Santa Rita Hills.

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