Harvest time in the best vineyards in Napa

Visiting Napa vineyards

Best vineyards in Napa in St. Helena, CASoon, the best vineyards in Napa will have completed their harvests. Some of them use machines, while others harvest the grapes by hand. The best vineyards of Napa Valley match different varieties of grape to their particular soil and microclimate to create some of the best wines in the world. There are roughly 400 wineries in Napa Valley. In the coolest parts of the valley, Napa vineyards grow Pinot Noir and Merlot grapes. Cabernet Sauvignon grapes grow everywhere, but they yield better wines in some areas than in others. The winemakers taste the grapes during the ripening process to make sure they harvest them when they’re ripe but don’t contain too much sugar.

The best vineyards in Napa have tasting rooms where the best of their wines can be tried for a fee. Bigger vineyards schedule tours, and you can usually get an appointment to tour the smaller ones. At these you have a much better chance of talking to the owner, or at least someone who does some of the work there. The best time to visit is this time of year or in the spring.

One of the best vineyards in Napa is near St. Helena

Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards in Napa Valley, a 10-minute drive from downtown St. Helena, is one of the best vineyards in the Napa Valley area. Cave tastings are $65, but one tasting fee can be waived by joining their wine club or making a $100 purchase. Join their wine club and order a bottle today.

How to taste wine like an expert

Notice the look and taste

Wine tasting in St. Helena, CAIf you’re a member of a Napa Valley wine club, you may get an invitation to a wine tasting. Dress well but comfortably. When handling the glass of wine, don’t hold it by the bowl or your hand will warm it. Look at the wine against a white background to judge its clarity and color. White wines darken with age, and red wines get browner. Swirl it gently to reveal the wine’s body and bring out the aroma. Think of what the smell reminds you of — there are a number of aroma wheels that categorize the aromas by type and origin. Then taste it, looking for the sweetness of fruit and the bitterness of tannins.

Wine tasting at 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 visitors can sample 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.

One wine you might get to try at an Anderson’s Conn Valley wine tasting is the 2009 Right Bank, a ruby blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot with an aroma of espresso, cedar, blackcurrant and black pepper. This is a full-bodied wine with a rich finish, tasting of ripe black fruit, mocha and chocolate. Join the Anderson’s Conn Valley wine club today.

Why wine clubs are worth joining

Joining a wine club

Wine club in St. Helena, CAIf you love California wines, why not join a wine club? You agree to buy a certain number of bottles every year, and the club delivers them to you. They may also send information on the wine and what sort of food it’s best paired with. Joining should be free, and you should be able to cancel at any time.

A good wine club will seek out unknown wines that deserve a wider audience. Wine clubs are also judged on the number of different price ranges, shipping frequency, and the number of events held every year.

An exclusive wine club near St. Helena

Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards in Napa Valley has its own wine club. One wine you might get to try at their wine club is the 2008 Right Bank, a classic blend. After a brief period of storms, Napa Valley experienced a dry, cold spring in 2008. Summer was cool, delaying the ripening of the grapes and making some thinning necessary, so this was not the most abundant vintage. The Right Bank wine from this year has an aroma of cedar, blackberries and plums, a superb texture with a silky finish, and a flavor dominated by black fruit with crushed rocks. This wine is expected to be good for well over twenty years.

By agreeing to buy six bottles a year in groups of three, you can get Level I membership with discounts on their wines, tickets to parties and invitations to a complimentary tasting. Agreeing to buy 12 bottles a year, or 24, gets you higher levels of membership with even more benefits. Join today.

Harvest time in Napa Valley

The annual harvest

Napa wineries in St. Helena, CA

Grape harvest season in Napa Valley is upon us. Already, the winemakers have tested the ripeness of the first few grapes. Grapes can be harvested mechanically or by hand, but they’re always sorted by hand so green, moldy or shriveled grapes can be removed. Then they’re crushed at the winery. Wine clubs sometimes tour vineyards and Napa wineries to give their members the opportunity to learn about this process from the people who do it. This will increase your appreciation of the interconnected arts of viticulture and winemaking. Since everyone in the winery is busy right now, this is a better time to schedule a tour than to hold one.

One of the best Napa wineries near St. Helena

Some of the best California wines come from Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards in Napa Valley. Just a 10-minute drive from downtown St. Helena, these vineyards produce world-class wines at affordable prices. An example of what this winery has to offer is the Signature Cabernet Sauvignon, a wine that comes only from the best of the vintage. The 2011 Signature Cab is an intensely dark purple and red wine with an intense aroma of dark berries, blue flowers, spices, tar and minerals. It tastes as good as it smells, with a fruity palate of berries with hints of violets, licorice and smoke. This is a rare vintage, produced in a cool year when yields were low. By ordering six bottles or more per year, you can join their wine club, giving you discounts on many of their finest wines.

Find a great Cabernet Sauvignon near St. Helena

Cabernet Sauvignon a famous California wine

Cabernet Sauvignon in St. Helena, CA

As you read this, the grapes are being harvested for future Cabernet Sauvignons. It’s been dry in California, but the Cab grape is famous for endurance and quality. Its tannins let it last a long time in the barrel, interacting with the oak to bring out new flavors as it ages. This results in the famous aroma and taste of the California Cab, featuring such elements as blackcurrant, black cherry and blackberry, and often hints of black pepper, licorice and violets.

Some very good Cabs near St. Helena, CA

Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards in Napa Valley, a short drive from downtown St. Helena, produces world-class wines at affordable prices, including a famous Cabernet Sauvignon that has been rated one of the top Cabernets in the world since the inaugural vintage of 1987. The fruit is more similar to mountain fruit, and the style is more Bordeaux than the average Napa Cabernet, with more dark fruit. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate praises the 2012 vintage for its “crème de cassis, graphite and spice box notes” and its “terrific purity, plenty of depth and ripeness, and a full-bodied mouthfeel” and describes the 2010 Cab as “an elegant, finesse-styled effort to enjoy over the next decade.”

The 2013 Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is rich and silky, with hints of orange peel. The finish is very powerful, with notes of black cherries, menthol, orange peel and dark spices. Wine club members save $10 buying the ‘13 Estate Reserve Cab. If you’re looking for a good wine to serve at a special occasion, order a bottle today.

Tour the vineyards of Napa from home

Let a wine club bring the wines to you

Wine tours in St. Helena, CA

The simplest way to wine tours best wineries of Napa Valley is to join a wine club, stay at home and let them bring the wine to you. When you agree to buy a certain number of bottles every year, you get a discount on the bottles — and sometimes the club sends those bottles as a series that acts as a tour of the vineyards of Napa Valley, along with all the information you could want on the terroir and care of the grapes, how the wine should taste and what foods to pair it with.

Touring a winery near St. Helena

Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards in Napa Valley, a 10-minute drive from downtown St. Helena, is one of the best vineyards in the Napa Valley area. It holds tastings in its barrel caves, where visitors can learn all about the process of making and storing such wines as the 2012 Right Bank. 2012 was a perfect winemaking year in Napa Valley in both yield and quality, and the ’12 Right Bank reflects this. The strongest element of the aroma and palate is blackberry, but it is combined with notes of plum, red berries, dark cocoa, roses, clove and allspice. Like the 2011 vintage, its grape and oak tannins blend smoothly together to accompany the bright acidity and fruit, and it is expected to age well for up to 30 years. Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards can be visited as part of a tour, or you can join their wine club today and find out what they have to offer.

Understanding wine descriptions

Things you hear at a wine club’s wine tasting

Wine tastings in St. Helena, CA

A lot of the wine tastings language you hear in a wine club is straightforward. If you know the smell and taste of fruits, vegetables and spices, a lot of the description of the aroma and flavor of wine will be easy to understand. But there are many other terms that seem to defy such understanding. What does it mean, for example, to say that a wine is “angular” or “round?” This refers to the mouthfeel. The sensation of drinking a round wine is very smooth and pleasant, like a smooth surface. If it has low tannins, it might be “velvety.” An angular wine affects the mouth only at certain places, and isn’t as pleasurable.

Wine tasting at a vineyard just outside St. Helena

At Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards in Napa Valley, a 10-minute drive from downtown St. Helena, cave tastings are $65, but one tasting fee can be waived by joining their wine club or making a $100 purchase. One wine you might get a chance to try is the 2011 Right Bank. 2011 was a cooler than average year, but Conn Valley saw plenty of sunlight. Thw ine has a nose and palate of blue violets, fresh red raspberry compote, menthol and anise. Its grape and oak tannins blend smoothly together to accompany the bright acidity and fruit. This wine is expected to age well for up to 30 years. Anderson’s wines are sold online and in five locations in Napa Valley, and many other locations nationwide. Join their wine club today and schedule a tasting.