Napa Valley’s wine caves

Wine caves and cave tours

Cave tours in St. Helena, CAWine caves are the perfect places to store and age barrels of wine. Well out of the sun, they’re cool but not freezing all year. They also have a relative humidity of at least 75 percent. This reduces the loss of wine through evaporation that would otherwise happen when storing a non-airtight barrel for years at a time. Winemakers have used natural caves and quarries for centuries. With the growth of the wine industry in California, winemakers couldn’t always find natural caves tours in the mountains of Napa Valley. So they made their own, hiring the same workers and explosives experts that dug the silver mines in Nevada and tunnels through the mountains to create the best places for wine storage.

Cave tours of a winery near St. Helena

Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards in Napa Valley, not far from downtown St. Helena, holds tastings in its barrel caves, where current releases and library wines may be sampled and visitors can learn how they make and store the wine. One of the wines in its library is the dark red 2009 Éloge. A fine blend from an excellent growing year, the ’09 Éloge has an aroma with a core of concentrated dark fruits, with cedar, violets, toast and streaks of red currants. Its flavor is similar — deep and full-bodied with concentrated dark fruits, spice and mocha. Cave tastings are $65, but one tasting fee can be waived by joining their wine club or making a $100 purchase. Join today.

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Cave tours of the mid-Napa Valley region

Cave tours in St. Helena, CATour the caves where wine is stored

One of the best things about wine clubs is the cave tours. Caves stay at just the right temperature and humidity year-round for storing wine in the barrel, making them so perfect that when immigrants to California found there weren’t enough caves in the hills, they hired engineers to build some more. The humidity in a wine cave should be at least 75 percent — this slows the evaporation of wine in the barrel.

Cave tours of a vineyard near St. Helena

Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards in Napa Valley, a 10-minute drive from downtown St. Helena, holds tastings in its barrel caves, where you can try current releases and library wines and learn about the process of making and storing the wine. Cave tastings are $65, but one tasting fee can be waived by joining their wine club or making a $100 purchase. Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards produces world-class wines at affordable prices. The vineyard is a 40-acre estate just south of Howell Mountain, and 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.

One wine you might sample during an Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards cave tour is the Right Bank. Their 2011 Right Bank came from a cooler than average year, leading to a powerful aroma and flavor of roses, fresh red raspberry compote, clove and allspice, with seamlessly blended oak and grape tannins and bright acidity. This wine is expected to be good for thirty years. Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards doesn’t issue a Right Bank every year. Try their latest Right Bank today.

Join a wine club, tour a cave

Wine clubs

Cave tours - St. Helena, CA

Napa wine clubs like Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards Wine Club often hold tours of the vineyard’s wine caves. These caves are beautiful and well-furnished, although still chilly and damp, and are good for storing wine. When winemaking came to California, the winemakers decided that if these hills didn’t have enough caves to go around, they’d just make their own, using the same equipment and hiring the same workers that built tunnels for the railroads.

Vineyard near St. Helena offers cave tours

Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards in Napa Valley, a 10-minute drive from downtown St. Helena, holds tastings in its barrel caves, where current releases and library wines may be sampled and visitors can learn all about the winemaking process. Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards produces world-class wines at affordable prices. These wines are sold online and in five locations in Napa Valley, and many other locations nationwide. One Bordeaux blend from the library that you might be introduced to on a cave tours of Anderson’s Conn Valley is the 2010 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon, an intense dark purple wine with a slight edge of red, has an aroma dominated by cassis with streaks of blackberry and plum, elements of tar from the oak, and highlights of blue flowers and anise. Born from a year with a cool spring and fall and an intensely hot summer, this wine’s flavor has a massive structure of black, blue and red fruits with licorice, anise, smoke and violets. This is a wine that deserves to be permitted to age.

Touring the wine caves of Napa

Wine caves of Napa Valley

Cave tours - St. Helena CA

Caves have been used to store wine barrels for a very long time. The wine caves of Napa Valley, many of them built at the same time and by the same methods and workers as the first railroads to reach California, are famous. The air in them, humid and always cool but never freezing, is perfect for storing wine barrels for years or decades, as it minimizes the loss of wine to evaporation through the hairline gaps in the wine barrel.

The vineyards that own these caves have turned them into places worthy of exploration by tourists and wine lovers. Cave tours are an excellent addition to any vacation in the Napa Valley area.

Winery near St. Helena offers cave tours

Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards in Napa Valley, a 10-minute drive from downtown St. Helena, holds tastings in its barrel caves, where current releases and library wines may be sampled and visitors can learn all about the winemaking process. Cave tastings are $65, but one tasting fee can be waived by joining Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards Wine Club or making a $100 purchase.

One Bordeaux blend you might be introduced to on a cave tour of Anderson’s Conn Valley is the 2007 Éloge. This dark ruby wine has an aroma of violets, cedar and oakiness. Its flavor begins with the juicy taste of ripe blackberries, followed by more dark fruit flavors with coffee bean spice perfectly matched with fruit and oak tannins. It is a wine to savor, with a long finish. The ’07 Éloge is expected to get even better as it ages. Buy a bottle today and enjoy it ten to fourteen years from now.

Cave tours beautiful, delicious

The wine caves of Napa

Napa wineries - St. Helena, CA

One of the pleasures of exploring the wine culture of Napa Valley is the cave tour. Caves have been recognized for centuries as excellent places in which to store and age wine in the barrel. In the 19th century, with the rise of winemaking in California, the same technology that was used to mine for silver in Nevada was used to blast and carve out artificial caves in the rock of the Napa Valley.

During cave tours, you can learn about the wine industry from the people who work in it every day and taste the latest wines and wines from the library. Added to the pleasure of the wine is the visual delight of the cave itself. The wine caves of Napa are no mere warehouses for barrels. Many of them have been carved, decorated and artistically lit by their owners and are watered by underground rivers. Some of them are set up to cater dinners. It will always be cool inside the cave, so bring a coat when going on a cave tour.

Cave tours of a vineyard near St. Helena

Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards in Napa Valley, a 10-minute drive from downtown St. Helena, holds tastings in its barrel caves, where current releases and library wines may be sampled and visitors can learn all about the process of making and storing the wine. Cave tastings are $65, but one tasting fee can be waived by joining their wine club or making a $100 purchase. Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards produces world-class wines at affordable prices. Try some today.