TRES SABORES • Raymond Vineyards • GRGICH HILLS ESTATE
The Rutherford American Viticultural Area (AVA) is nestled in the heart of the Napa Valley and is known for producing exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon, among other grape varieties. Please be sure to make advanced reservations.
Next go west toward the Mayacamas Mountains to find Tres Sabores (three flavors) nestled into the Rutherford Bench. As you arrive at this certified Napa Green Land and all organic estate you’ll likely be greeted by the three resident Golden Retrievers. Tres Sabores has some of the oldest Zinfandel vines in the Napa Valley. All are dry farmed, as are their Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah grapes. Tres Sabores owner and winemaker, Julie Johnson, is a passionate steward of the land and will likely be there, ready to share some of the sustainable features of this diverse property. Pomegranate trees line the vineyard, attracting hummingbirds and bees. Hummingbirds eat vineyard insects and the bees make honey in the farm’s hives. You’ll likely see bluebirds and Red-tailed hawks in action. Sheep mow the vineyard cover crops. A large grove of heritage olive trees surrounds the wine cellar and cave. Bring a picnic to enjoy in the grove after your tour and tasting.
Next, head west and wind down at Raymond Vineyards. You can start your visit with an amble through their “Theater of Nature,” connecting with the ways biodiversity, cover crops and special composts all contribute to healthy and thriving vineyards. As you enter into the winery you change worlds, with velvets and chandeliers. This contrast makes sense if you know that Raymond is owned by a Frenchman, Jean-Charles Boisset. Raymond goes beyond organic to Biodynamic farming, which is a system that not only eliminates the use of synthetic pesticides but also cultivates a greater diversity of plants, insects and animals and invests in more attentive farming, managing each area of the property based on specific conditions rather than a one-size fits all approach. As you sample the wines see if you agree with some growers and winemakers that believe these farming practices enhance the quality and sense of terroir found in the glass.
Please note: In order to protect the health and safety of all guests as we continue to be vigilant about the spread of COVID-19 all wineries will be reservation-only for the time being. It is essential to make appointments in advance and also review each winery’s posted policies and procedures before you arrive. Don’t forget your classiest wine tasting masks for entering and exiting the winery.