Yet another ‘off the beaten path’ Napa Valley itinerary

by TrevR on November 10, 2008

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The folks over at Gannett News Service have published an ‘off the beaten path’ Napa Valley itinerary that left us wanting a bit more (don’t forget to check out our growing list of shared Napa Valley itineraries). Granted, they hedged a bit right at the beginning of the article by saying:

None of these wineries is boutique or culty — indeed, all three are established Napa names — but they have in common lovely grounds (even by Napa Valley standards), casually elegant tasting rooms and a concern for quality not always associated with larger houses.

So which wineries did they recommend?

First up was Markham Vineyards, which has new “equipment, a new cellar master and a new oenologist” and according to winemaker Kimberlee Nicholls is doing its best to “get back to our roots and make more artisan-style wines within the scope of a large brand.”

Front view of Markham Vineyards

Next on the list is Chimney Rock Winery, out on the Silverado Trail in the Stags Leap District. Here’s how it’s described:

The buildings of Chimney Rock Winery rise — white as tufa — against the craggy foothills in the southeast corner of the Napa Valley floor. The winery’s sinuous gables and other features recall the Cape Dutch architecture of South Africa.

Beds of blooming flowers pop with color and heighten the winery’s stark beauty. Soaring ceilings and dark wood floors compose the tasting room, which gives onto a terrace and a groovy rectangular reflecting pool.

As you may recall, we visited and reviewed Chimney Rock already.

Finally, the article suggests Rutherford Hill Winery, which sits perched on the western hillside above Auberge du Soleil. We’re not completely crazy about this winery, but we do agree with this bit:

Beyond vino and vistas, the caves at Rutherford Hill rank among the winery’s chief attractions. Cypress trees and a trellis soaring almost 25 feet flank the entrance to the caves. Boston ivy laces the trellis; periwinkles and hot pink morning glories add jots of color.

If a quick, educational cave tour is what you’re after, this is a decent option.

What do you think of Gannett’s recommendations?

[techtags: Napa, Napa Valley, wine, winery, napa itinerary, Markham Vineyards, Chimney Rock Winery, Rutherford Hill Winery]

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has written 722 posts on The Cork Board. He was born and aged in the Napa Valley and has a passion for wine, writing and social media, which led him to co-found this blog in early 2007. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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