We set aside one day in August every year. Our first winery? Monticello Vineyards and their wines are awesome!
It was over cast when we left San Francisco. It was still overcast when we got to Napa Valley an hour and a half later. The traffic was slow getting out of the city on a Wednesday morning and then it was traffic free all the way.
Our reservation was at 10am and we got to Monticello Vineyards 2 minutes early. I noticed their Jefferson House right away and didn't understand the connection until after we talked to our wine educator slash pourer.
The tasting room is on the left across from the Jefferson House.
Their tasting room is small. Wood panels all around making me feel like I'm at a country bar rather than in the wine country. I like it! Since we got there early, the staff were still arranging their wines and they were apologetic about it. We felt bad because we got there before our reservation.
They had two tasting menus. We chose the Reserved menu where we got 4 wine tastings for $25. The wines we tasted were their 2012 Proprietary Red Wine (Corley brand), 2011 Yewell Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Corley Brand), 2011 Tietjen Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, and their 2011 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. All exquisite wines!
As a gift to myself, to be opened on my birthday next year, I decided to get my favorite of them all. The 2011 Tietjen Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.
Our wine educator also pointed that all the wines we tasted that day were from their different vineyards - St. Helena, Rutherford and Yountville. I can see the difference in texture and color. I wish we could smell them to tell if they have different hints. Our lesson on terroir.
Over all, we like this winery. The service friendly and knowledgeable, the atmosphere of the winere is inviting and, most of all, the wines are very good.
Monticello Vineyards is on Big Ranch Rd. in Napa Valley.