Start your day in Oakville at Silver Oaks Cellars. You’ll know you’ve arrived when you see their iconic white water tower. Silver Oak is for Cabernet lovers. The winery was founded in a dairy barn, but that’s hard to imagine today, with their recently renovated, elegant winemaking facility. In 2016, Silver Oak became the first commercial production winery in the world to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification in the Existing Building category. Silver Oak recognizes that “the quality of the grapes we grow is only as good as the quality of work put in by those on the ground” and they offer a competitive benefits package to all their full-time vineyard workers; a great example of social sustainability. You can do a walk-in tasting at Silver Oak, book a tour or reserve a food and wine pairing, which includes herbs and vegetables from their garden.
Next stop: St. Helena and the historic Spottswoode Estate. Walk along their vineyards – certified organic and Napa Green Land – and tour the property and pre-prohibition stone winery. The team at this family-run, Napa Green Winery prides itself on being good stewards, which you’ll learn about as you try their renowned wines. Natural is beautiful here. In the vineyards they use compost, are re-establishing native grasses and have reduced tilling (saving fuel and retaining soils), saying, “We accept a landscape made imperfect by small, well-managed weeds.”
Afterward, wind your way up Spring Mountain to Schweiger Vineyards. As you walk up to the winery you may be distracted by the breathtaking views. This is a small, family run operation established by Fred Schweiger, who you’ll likely see in the vineyard. Son Andy makes the wines. Consider a visit in the fall and get your ticket to their old-fashioned grape stomp and dance in some of that acclaimed Spring Mountain Cabernet. As a Napa Green Certified Winery, Schweiger Vineyards takes a holistic approach saying, “Sustainability starts in the vineyard and continues into the cellar and into the home and workplace.”
Appointment-only wineries are indicated with the icon depicted. Please call ahead to schedule a time for your visit.