I know, I know, I’ve been on a “not Napa/Sonoma” kick for most of my posts but I swear I couldn’t love the Napa Valley more! To prove it, I’ll get you guys a look at one of the best small wineries of Calistoga if not all of the Napa Valley-Summer’s Estate.
Summers Estate, located on the northern side of Calistoga, is not a fancy, larger than life winery. In fact, its size is just right and is quite intimate. The back patio has an up close and personal view of different grapevines so you can look at the leaves and developing grapes. During the fall, you can even pick a grape off one of the vines and taste it (only do this at wineries that encourage it though!). The view of the nearby mountains is also a picture-worthy moment before you sit down on the patio or head inside to the tasting room.
On this particular day, I just happened to be in the area and I decided to visit Summers Estate as it is one of my main recommendations to people visiting the Napa Valley (always call ahead about a day in advance first though as they are by appointment) The first thing I noticed when I sat down on the patio and looked at the menu was how fair the bottle prices were (around the $50 mark) along with the tasting flight at $25. Summers Estate features uncommon wines and I really enjoyed them all. The wines I tasted were:
Charbono (a red grape): this used to be a common grape in California but has since become quite rare. This particular one had a medium weight with good acidity making it quite delectable.
2012 Calistoga Cabernet Sauvignon: Calistoga Cabernets are not too prevalent in the outside world so I was happy to try this one. It was a delightful wine that reminded me of spice and clove.
2013 Knights Valley Merlot: Knights Valley is a grape growing region to the northwest of Calistoga in Sonoma County. They can grow some excellent wines and this Merlot was a great example. It had a lovely magenta color and was soft but not flabby. When I smelled it, it reminded me of violets.
2013 Malbec: Though this grape is grown in Napa, it is not a common wine done by itself. Normally it is blended in with other grapes like Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon. It had a firm tannin structure that I really appreciated. (Tannin is that fuzziness that coats the inside of your mouth after taking a sip).
2013 Knights Valley Petite Sirah- this was the heaviest wine of the bunch and had a pleasant fruitiness.
2014 Petite Verdot-My server Bryanna picked out this gem for me. Petite Verdot is a blending grape not usually done by itself as well. It was also the first vintage of this particular wine and I believe it will sell well in the future. It was quite tasty.
Summers Estate is a bit of a hike up the valley, but I guarantee you won’t complain as the drive is beautiful, the winery is humble. and the wines are delicious. So the next time you take a trip to the Napa Valley, be sure to head just a little more north and visit Summers Estate. You won’t be disappointed! Visit them at http://www.summerswinery.com