Jul 24, 2012

Napa’s Pine Ridge Vineyards

So as you awake to the sun shining and the birds singing in the beautiful area of Napa California, the need to go wine tasting is just undeniable. But where to go when you have what seems like a million choices. Go back to some old favorites or roll the dice and find new tastes?

In this instance a bit of both. Pine Ridge Vineyards it was to be. Having become a little familiar with Pine Ridge Vineyards via twitter, Koala decided to pay a surprise visit to the tasting room and see what one may expect. Let’s face it, recommending Facebook friends and twitter followers you’ve never met is not a good practice. Located in the Stags Leap District on the famous Silverado Trail at 5901 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA 93401, 800.575.9777, the place is easy to find.
First a little history from their web site -  “Established in 1978 by Gary Andrus who was inspired by the illustrious wines of Bordeaux, believed in the Napa Valley’s potential to produce wines of similar stature. He planted the property’s original namesake vineyard on a steeply terraced hillside flanked by a dramatic ridgeline of pine trees in the Stags Leap District. Gary’s pioneering efforts with this first vineyard were met with tremendous success as the Bordeaux varietals he planted – Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot – thrived and produced wines of great distinction. In the following years, Pine Ridge continued to acquire exceptional vineyard sites across the region. Today, the Estate’s 200-acres span over five renowned Napa Valley appellations – Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Oakville, Carneros and Howell Mountain.”

Ok, done with history and into the present to see if the wines are really any good. Short answer - yes! There are some choices to make when it comes to your tasting experience. A tasting of current general release wines, an appellation specific tasting, a taste on the terrace that includes a chef-prepared sampling platter of artisan cheeses and local meats from the Fatted Calf Charcuterie and the 5x5 with food and wine pairing prepared by Pine Ridge Vineyards Winery Chef Janet Sheehan and you will get to enjoy this tasting experience in the recently renovated Cellar 47 room.
Koala went for the Appellation tasting which currently is the 2011 Sans Barrique Chardonnay, the 2007 Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2007 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2008 Staggs Leap Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2007 Fortis. Koala could ramble on about each wine and its smells and tastes but better yet go taste for yourself and know you will enjoy the experience. All the wines present themselves well and anyone would be welcome on Koala’s dinner table. 

The facility has a display vineyard that is really good with different varietals and trellis styles to see in a beautiful setting. The picnic grounds are top notch and the only caveat is that you consume Pine Ridge Wine. That is easy to do! Over all a beautiful facility with great wines and an excellent display vineyard and a great tasting experience with Jennifer who was knowledgable about the history and the wine.
Koala’s bottle of choice purchased for the day was the 2007 Fortis. A truly lovely drinking wine that Koala puts at an 8 and *. Ponce note “drops onto the palate easy and says have some more”.

Next time in Napa Koala is looking forward to taking Kiwi here if he’s behaving!

To happy tasting!

Kiwi & Koala

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