Travel & Adventure – Rombauer Vineyards
3522 Silverado Trail North, St. Helena, CA 94574, Phone: (800) 622-2206
We headed North on the Silverado Trail for a tasting at Rombauer Vineyards. After driving up the curvy, narrow road to the winery, we were greeted by a few colorfully painted cow sculptures and gorgeous landscaped gardens. The winery is located atop a sunny knoll surrounded by giant trees that offer the perfect shield from the bustling valley below. As we stepped from the car, a tranquil, quiet peacefulness overcame our senses and the playful sound of songbirds danced through the air.
From the woods emerged the Head Gardener of the Rombauer Estate (I didn’t get his name). Smiling, he approached and handed us an orange from one of the many fruit trees on the property. He told us to slow down, enjoy the wine, the expansive gardens, and feel free to stay a while. He also shared with us that there were over 100 varieties of plants and flowers and plenty of whimsical artwork throughout the estate. So, while the rest of the country was deep in snow and frigid temperatures, we headed to the outdoor tasting area to enjoy the 70+ degree sunshine!
As we walked along the wooden deck to the tasting area, we inhaled the breath taking view of the forest surrounding us, Napa Valley below, and the majestic Mayacamas mountain range in the distance.
Our taste master Susan P. greeted us warmly and explained to us the two tasting options available. They offer a Classic Flight of five commercially available wines for $20 (the wines you can get in stores), or a Proprietor’s Flight of four wines for $30 (these wines are only available through the winery). Susan suggested the Proprietor’s Flight after carefully listening to our personal wine preferences. Our tasting included 2008 Le Meilleur du Chia, 2009 Stice Lane Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010 Atlas Peak Cabernet Sauvignon, to finish with the 2013 Proprietor’s Selection Chardonnay.
I enjoyed the classic characteristics of both the Le Meilleur du Chai and the Proprietors Selection Chardonnay best, though the Cabernets were lovely as well. The rich, deep berry aromas present in the Le Meilleur du Chai rose from the glass to greet the nose, followed by a long, roasted vanilla finish. In contrast, the Chardonnay possessed a vibrant blend of melon and honey fruitiness with a spicy finish of oak and sweet vanilla, which played well together on the palate. I look forward to creating a beautiful meal to pair with each of these fabulous wines in the coming months, so stay tuned…..!
Throughout the tasting, Susan shared with us much of the history behind the winery. We learned that Rombauer Vineyards was founded in 1982 by Koerner and Joan Rombauer, and has remained a family-run operation to this day. As reflected in the beautiful gardens throughout the estate, the Rombauer family nurtures the land where their grapes are grown. The winery also accesses over a mile of underground caves to create the optimum temperature and humidity for aging their wine, while minimizing their carbon footprint. Apparently these values were established in Germany, where Koerner’s ancestors made wine in the Rheingau region.
But the most interesting fact I learned that really curled my toes, was that Koerner’s Great Aunt, Irma Rombauer authored the book ‘The Joy of Cooking’ in 1936. I ask you, what more Voovacious pairing could be made, family, fine wine and good food?!!!
From the beautiful flow of the gardens cascading down the hill, to the relaxed atmosphere in the tasting room, Rombauer Vineyards is a treasure in Napa Valley. ‘The Joy of Wine’ embodies the philosophy at Rombauer, and honestly, you can taste the quality and the care that goes into creating all of their fine wines.
Helpful Tips: As noted above, many of the best wines created at Rombauer Vineyards are not available in stores and can only be purchased directly through the winery. Their wine club offers members complimentary tastings, guest passes, and special prices, making it an excellent and affordable choice. Reservations are recommended. Call (707) 963-6606.
To read the full story of our visit to the Napa Valley wine country, please click here.
***A closing note from our dog Otter-Pop: Both the winery and the tasting room are dog-friendly!!!***