The grounds are soaking up the last of the misty rain as the fog pulls away from the mountains. I’m entering the drive of St. Supery, located off of Highway 29 in St. Helena. The tree-lined entrance leads up to a giant oak tree. Behind it, a historic home preserved for private wine tasting experiences and the winery. Puddles here and there as I make my way to the front door of the wine tasting room. This adventure is on behalf of Wine Paths Travel a premiere luxury destination travel company, specializing in the delights of Napa, Sonoma and around the world.
A warm greeting and an offer of a glass of St. Supery Rosé with it. A perfect palate cleanser after coffee and before wine tasting. Walking with my glass I observe a quiet but professional wine tasting room. Bright and open with spacious areas dedicated to tasting. This is my first visit to the Rutherford Estate winery.
St. Supery thrives on experiences.
From making your own blend and taking home a bottle to tasting each Bordeaux varietal in its purest form. From Malbec, Merlot, and Petit Verdot to Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s an excellent way to taste and compare each of these unique varietals. It also helps you understand the varietals better and their nuances. The video above has some really rich information about the experiences and features Micheal Scholz, Vice President of Winemaking and Vineyards.
Behind me, a phenomenal day spent at their second estate, Dollarhide Ranch.
Dollarhide Ranch contains the largest vineyards belonging to St. Supery. With over 1,500 acres of vine, and a focus on Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon. There are also other varietals rounding out the vineyards. They include Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot Malbec, Semillon, Muscat Canelli, and Chardonnay.
Dollarhide was our home for the afternoon sipping exceptional wine.
It included a favorite Sauvignon Blanc, Virtu. The estate touts seven lakes, elevations from 600 to 1,100 feet above sea level. Each positioned above the fog line. It is an incredible microclimate that enables a diverse planting of vines.
They are extraordinarily careful in their use of resources. Certified Napa Green since 2008, they are heavily vested in Solar power, reclaimed water, and the use of environmentally-friendly growing practices.
A special experience called “Ampelography” was part of that day.
Dedicated to learning all about vines and how to identify a vine from its leaf and leaf structure. Further, it is a study of botany focusing on identifying and classifying grapevines. Twice a year St. Supery brings in a professional Ampelographist for this event. They are a rare breed. There are four ampelographists in the world. Leading the experience, Lucie Morton famed vineyard manager and expert on all things vine & vineyard. She has studied with some of the greats around the globe.
After the ampelography lessons, I felt much more comfortable with knowing how to identify the types of vines in the vineyard. Understanding the differences of leaves of the vines is enlightening.
In the sky above the vineyards, rainbow clouds appeared.
Also known as cloud iridescence. It’s a rare occurrence, especially for Napa Valley. To see it in at St. Supéry’s Dollarhide Ranch was a special treat. If you are particular about experiences and want something unique out of Napa Valley, you must visit St. Supéry.
For more and booking experiences contact WinePathsTravel
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