Wine | Spottswoode: A St. Helena in-town winery
Wine tasting establishments near the town center of St. Helena Calif. are normally right off Main Street, but for those willing to explore a little further, there are also working wineries within walking distance. And many of these wineries feature estate vineyard property right alongside their tasting rooms. One great venue you shouldn’t miss during a visit to the area is the Spottswoode Wine Estate.
Because the original vineyard land has been passed on from owner to owner for years basically intact, St. Helena has grown up around this impressive 40-acre vineyard and winery. The result is one of the most inspiring wine country walking tours available.
Walking along with a fresh morning breeze coming down off the hills, delicately removing the dew from the vineyard, you can feel your senses lapse between the Napa countryside and the small town of St. Helena. The whole scene provides a deep appreciation of those visionaries, who in previous years, had the foresight to hold onto this precious plot, that still produces some of Napa’s most highly regarded wines.
You can call it “American Grand Cru” if you want, but for most wine country tourists, it’s simply a walk back to a time and place that represents a heart of wonderful viticulture. This is all elegantly unraveled during their appointment-only weekday estate winery tours and tastings.
As for the wines, Spottswoode’s straightforward selection of Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignons, and red Bordeaux blends is first class. There are enough complex flavors in each tasting flight to totally fix your interest as each selection is presented. Here, the variations in each wine’s subtle character can be fully appreciated.
But be informed that Spottswoode is not a place to pick up bargain wine. These are highly rated, and if their tasting inspires you accordingly, pick a mix then lay the reds down.
Their current release 2016 Napa Cabernet is about $175 a bottle, although the lower cost Lyndenhurst Cab is around $90 at Total Wine. The Napa Cab one of those that is usually locked up in the “glass case” at the wine shop, if you can find it. Still, both Cabernets are a value when you stack each up against others of a similar stature.
For white wine lovers, you can pick up their Sauvignon Blanc for about $30. This selection makes for one of the best broiled trout parings around.
Toast to one of Napa’s long-held traditions. Here’s to continued success for a treasure that is often hidden in plain view.