Red Meritage

Red Meritage

Melka Wines

Napa Valley isn't quite like Hollywood (yet), where the stars get by on a first-name basis. Even so, what serious wine collector doesn't know who Helen and Heidi are? While the name Philippe may not register so quickly, Philippe Melka is definitely a Napa winemaker to watch, a man many believe is poised to become one of the valley's hottest consultants since Helen Turley and Heidi Barrett.

Opus One Winery

Beautiful property with elegant tasting rooms and a lovely upper balcony for you to enjoy your "tasting" on. They don't do the typical 1oz tasting that most wineries offer. Opus One's tastings are full glasses of their two wines being offered that season.
Opus One, unlike many other wineries, offers intimiate tours just to your group. There's no feeling of being herded along with 15 other strangers, straining to hear what the winemaker or guide is trying to say.

Caleb, our guide, was perfect. He spent just the right amount of time on relevant topics and in each area of the winery. We saw the barrel room, the vines, all the sorting processes, the vats, the winemaking room, even some executive offices! This was service at its best. We were given the Overture (2009, I think), Opus One 2009, and Opus One 2006 to taste throughout our two-hour tour.

I wouldn't recommend this winery if you are with 15 friends on a party bus, looking to get drunk. Or if you're just looking to "check out" Napa for the first time. Or if you couldn't tell the difference between red wine or white wine with red food coloring . The money and the prestige are not worth it. It's a special treat to learn and experience Opus On

Murphy Goode Winery

What a great experience. I love this tasting room. A must if you are going wine tasting in Sonoma County. Downtown Healdsburg is as quaint as can be and the wines here are excellent, and the people working here are super friendly.

Trione Vineyards & Winery

Besides a great Sauv Blanc, Syrah and Cab, perfect California weather, comfortable outdoor seating, and peaceful views of the mustard-filled fields that embody the wine country; a great staff awaits you for a tour and tasting. They provided tasting notes on a card for each wine they served - providing us information while the server was helping someone else. I thought this was a very nice touch as it allowed us to take the notes with us and just add our personal comments. Other wineries provide the same info on a sheet of paper, this was just more convenient for us.

Orin Swift Vineyards

I'm writing this review based on their "unofficial" tasting room that's upstairs in their main office. I know a "real" tasting room will soon open down on the main street, and I'm not sure how much the atmosphere is going to change but if you get a chance to make an appointment at their super secret tasting, do it now!

In the low-key tasting experience, you'll get to sit around a small table with a few other die-hard Orin Swift groupies and taste their entire library of wines! You'll have a friendly, knowledgable guide tell you stories about each wine, the label, the history and more. The tasting is complimentary and there's no pressure to buy any wine, though the direct prices are good and you'll find wines that are hard to get anywhere else.
The tasting is friendly, fun, leisurely, well-paced, and you get the feeling of being a true winery VIP since it's by appointment only. It's also one of the only places in town where, after the tasting, you'll be asked if there's any wine you'd like to revisit. This is SUCH a nice touch and is very appreciated. I love this tasting experience and I love their wine. It's a must-stop in Napa.

McIlroy Cellars

Located in Sonoma County, California, one of the world's premier wine producing areas, McIlroy Wines is a small, family based winery that creates outstanding wines. Only a small number of cases are produced each year.

Astrale E. Terra Winery

They don't have a tasting room but if you're lucky, and know the right people, you might just score an invite up to the property for some tasting and a look around. The property, up at the top of Atlas Peak off the Silverado Trail, is stunning, the vineyard dog is friendly and cute and the wine is great. Trust me, next time you find yourself up this way shoot them an email, see if you can't make arrangements to head up their way. You'll be happy you did!


Subscribe to Red Meritage