Cakebread Cellars
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Phone: 707-963-5221
Toll Free: 800-588-0298
Hours of Operation: 10am - 4pm daily by appointment only
Average Rating: 2.8

    User Avatar Don't Believe the Hype
    (Posted by: krj99 on 07-14-2008 @ 8:57 AM)

    First let me disclose that I'm no vinophile. I'm actually a foodie at heart. I like wines on how they taste, not how they are rated by Wine Spectator. That said, I thought going to Cakebread would be a "no brainer" as good wine tasting experiences go. Unfortunately, I wasn't that impressed.

    We were grouped together with a larger party (which is no surprise to me) and we were immediately shuttled off to our tasting. Our guide was definitely well versed in the art of Cakebread wine making. So much so that it felt very rehearsed and that we were one of many tours he had to do today. There was no "personal touch" to the tour at all.

    The wines were ok. I prefer the whites to the reds, though overall, they weren't mind blowing. I was also surprised at the small amount of wines they poured for the tasting. I'm not out to get drunk when I go to a tasting, but I do need more that 2 or 3 small sips to be conviced about by varietal.

    Overall, the experience didn't live up to the hype.

    User Avatar Not at the top of the list
    (Posted by: dkarch on 07-08-2008 @ 7:57 AM)

    I was really excited about this winery. It was recommended by several people. We arrived a little early and they were able to fit us into an earlier tasting. (So far, so good.)

    Then we milled about in a shop-type area, unsure about where to go until "someone finds you." (ok... strange.)

    Then our sommellier tracks us down and takes us back to the tasting room. They have a cool setup where you walk through the rooms with the storage and fermentation tanks to your room. We had a nice private room overlooking the vineyard. (thumbs up for the setting.)

    It's the tasting where they lost me. First, the wine guide. He was a super nice guy. Obviously knew his wines and loved Cakebread. But he talked too much and didn't really seem to tell us much about the wines. The best thing we got from it was how the wines age and why women make better winemakers.

    Second, the group was awkward. We were sitting around a table together, not at a bar with just us (my wife and I) and the wine guide. Sometimes this works well if you have the right group. But we didn't have a chance to mix beforehand and didn't feel free to really discuss the wines.

    Third, the time. Our wine guide kept looking at the clock and referring to "our 30 minutes together." That's usually enough time for a tasting, but we did have 6 wines and he kept talking.

    Fourth, the wine. The most disappointing. Granted we were drinking young wines. The Cab clearly needed more time. But it just seemed simple and uninteresting compared with others we tasted while in Napa (i.e. Rubicon, Phelps, and Montelena). Plus for the price, it just wasn't worth it. The Chardonnay was over-oaked and I just overall wasn't impressed with the wines.

    However, I'm one that really wants to be comfortable with the entire experience (not just the wines). So understand that my response to the wines is in part caused by my disappointment with the atmosphere. I give it two stars for that reason.

      User Avatar Re: Not at the top of the list
      (Posted by: clairesfabmom on 04-20-2009 @ 2:21 PM)

      i was there a couple months ago and agree as well.

      i felt rushed, the wine wasnt that impressive and i wouldnt go back.

      User Avatar Re: Not at the top of the list
      (Posted by: TrevR on 07-13-2008 @ 11:58 AM)

      I just visited two days ago and would have to agree with this review. Heard tons of great things about Cakebread, but after visiting, I'd not recommend it.

      Felt way too corporate for my taste and the guide did make us feel like we were being shuttled out of there as quickly as possible. That, combined with wines that were OK, but didn't blow our socks off, was the most surprising.


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