Hendry Ranch Wines In Napa Valley

J and I booked a tour of Hendry Ranch Wines because it was ranked #1 on TripAdvisor for activities in Napa. It had some of the best reviews ever. We decided this was our winery tour and tasting place. The cost was $40 each but they spent 2.5-3 hours with us. It exceeded all expectations and put all other winery tours and tastings to shame.

 

The Hendry Ranch winery had been family owned since 1939 and is composed of 114 vineyard acres stretched over 47 vineyard blocks. It’s a picturesque spot in Napa and the perfect tour and tasting for someone who wants to learn more about the wine making and wine tasting process.

 

Our tour group consisted of 14 people plus our guide, Mr. Hendry, who was the actual owner of the winery. He took two hours out of his day to talk to us about his vineyard. He regaled us with interesting tidbits about how closeness to a creek can affect a vine’s grape production and the taste of the grape. He confided how some of his experiments yielded cool things and others were a lesson learned. Through it all, he has a curious spirit that pushes his vineyard to be better and better.

 

He took us inside the building where the wine making occurs.

 

And down into the cellar where wines are barreled and aged.

 

These are the containers where the wine is made. The grapes are poured in from the floor above.

 

The vineyard dog stopped by to say hello to us and then patiently waited for a staff member to take him back out to the vineyards.

Here’s a look at the 47 vineyard blocks. We had this in front of us at the tasting. Pictures were not allowed during the tasting to ensure that we focused on the tasting. Listening, learning, and being present in the moment.

 

This is the fabulous space where we had our tasting. The owner spent almost an hour teaching us about his wines. I learned that many reds taste bitter to me because I have a tannin sensitivity. It’s also why I love lots of cream and splenda in my coffee.

This is the first time I really savored wine. It was a wonderful experience. I appreciated Mr. Hendry’s frankness about wines. He explained that everyone’s palette is different. So what is delicious to you might not be to me. Award-winning wines may not please your palette, but that’s okay because wine drinking should be tailored to the individual.

I enjoyed most of his wines, which is very rare for me. I found out I have a liking for pinot noir and zinfandels (which are both reds). I don’t need sweet but I require wetness to enjoy a wine. Nothing worse to me than having the feeling that someone just suctioned all the moisture out of my mouth.

The tasting included 10 wines. I ended up purchasing six bottles and sending them home. Two for Dad and four for me. The staffย  were extremely efficient in the purchasing process. Made it a joy to spend money there.ย I’ll definitely be ordering more of his wines in the future.

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34 Responses to Hendry Ranch Wines In Napa Valley

  1. kford2007 says:

    I am bookmarking this so when I get out to Napa Valley, I can tour this place. Do they have a website where you can order online? What was your favorite Zinfandel and Pinot Noir? I am like you and like lots of creamer and sweetener in my coffee so I must have a tannin sensitivity, too. I also don’t like dry wines because I don’t like feeling all the moisture’s been sucked out of my mouth either.

    Very cool post. I learned a lot. Love the dog. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hi Jenny! They do have a website where you can order wine–https://www.net10.net/ShoppingCart/buy/ProductAddAllList_73.asp.
      They had one Pinot Noir for tasting and it’s available on their order form–2009 Pinot Noir. I liked both zinfandels but I liked the Block 28 the best. Their whites were also tasty. I popped open the Pinor Gris last night. I’ve got a bottle of Albarino waiting in the wings. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I hate when my tongue feels like a dried out slug. I also stumbled on a wet zinfandel at dinner a few nights ago–Zen of Zin–it was very pleasant.

      It was a super informative tour. I feel like I walked away with a beginner’s knowledge of wine and a greater appreciation for it. ๐Ÿ™‚ The dog was so sweet and so well behaved.

  2. Ooh, you’ve really got me thinking more seriously about finally securing a wine country tour. Sounds (and looks :)) like you had a marvelous time!

    Isn’t it amazing how different a food/beverage becomes when we really grasp the process required to make it? I bet every glass of fine wine you drink now is extra special.

    • It’s something I wanted to do since I watched Falcon Crest as a kid. ๐Ÿ˜› We also checked out Hess which has an art gallery attached, but it was a standing at the bar and it was more of a pouring. I didn’t find any of their wines to my liking and I really disliked that “Get Them In and Out” feeling of the tasting.

      I really enjoyed all of the Hendry wines. That’s rare. Because my taste buds are rather persnickety. Absolutely true. Learning how much time and care goes into producing wine, I think of it as a treat. Personally, I was always intimidated by wine because I hardly ever tasted what they said I should. Then Mr. Hendry explained that everyone’s palette is different and suddenly it became an adventure to figure out what I tasted and liked. I notice the color, the scent, the taste, the effect on my tongue. Little things that make a glass of wine engage all your senses. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Carrie Rubin says:

    So now will you be one of those people in the restaurant who sniffs the wine, using your hand to wave in the fumes, and then swirls a tiny bit around in your mouth before giving an affirmative nod to the waiter that it is acceptable? If so, do that with Grandma H present. I want to hear what she has to say about it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I’m not a wine drinker, but those grapes look amazing!

    • LOL. The sniffing looks obnoxious but it really enhances the experience. Mr. Hendry explained that we taste maybe 8 things, but we smell closer to around 27 things. I don’t think I’ll wave fumes–that’s too over the top. It also take a few sips to get to the true flavor of the wine. I do like swishing it around now too. OMG, I am an obnoxious wine drinker! But I don’t do it to be pretentious. I swear I don’t. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I may do it in front of Grandma H just to see what she does. ๐Ÿ™‚ And I was dying to pick a grape but ofc I didn’t. They looked uber tasty. I would love to do a grape tasting and learn the differences between the varieties. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Erik Johnson says:

    We visited Hendry a couple of years ago and it is still one of our absolute favorite Napa wineries (been to more than 50 in four trips). George was fabulous and you’ve done a great job of capturing the uniqueness of this tour/tasting.

    • It’s a really wonderful place. George and his staff made it a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Thanks, I really wanted to capture what a terrific experience it his wine tour and tasting are. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Elliot says:

    You are like my wife and I after we did the wine tasting experience. I nearly always try to take in the aroma and drink it slowly now. I much prefer reds, and also like you, Pinot Noirs or Zinfandels. White wines I very rarely drink, and I’m not so keen on sweet ones either (although they are good if you like spicy food apparently).

    That said, I still don’t have much of a clue towards most wineries, but it is all about trying and seeing. And then remembering ๐Ÿ™‚

    • It’s cool to know how to appreciate wine and also to enjoy it not because of its awards but because of the experience it gives your senses. ๐Ÿ™‚ I am not a fan of tannins so I used to avoid reds until I learned which ones I could drink without tasting bitterness. Some whites are too dry for me. I like the sweet ones, but that’s because of my sweet tooth and my preference for wet wines. I’ll have to try them with spicy foods. I’m curious now. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I agree. I happened to taste at Hendry and liked most of what I tasted so I’m a Hendry fan. I’m open to trying wines, but I’d rather do tastings or tasting parties so it doesn’t become an expensive process to find what I like. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. zelmare says:

    Sounds like a wonderful place to spend some time. And I do love wine… ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Napa reminded me of Tuscany. It’s so beautiful. And you can spend a week there sampling hundreds of wineries. I was only there 48 hours but I’d definitely go back! ๐Ÿ™‚ I now am starting to truly appreciate wine. ;P

  7. Debra Kristi says:

    Ooh! That looks lovely! I really need to get back up to the wine country. Or at least drive up the coast to Santa Barbara. It wouldn’t hurt to slow down and relax every once and a while. Thanks for sharing!

    • There’s some great wineries on the central coast near Carpenteria. I went there back in 2003. A little town, Los Olivios, will tasting rooms you can stay at. I agree. We need to make time to appreciate our lives. Glad you liked the pics. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Going to remember this one! It looks beautiful – and sounds like you learned stuff.

  9. Hi Kourtney, I don’t know much about wine, but you did a really great job telling the story and illustrating it with your pics. My sister always said, “Never get the cheapest wine. It’s tacky and the neighbors will talk. Get the second cheapest.” Last summer we did visit a winery in Argentina wine country and discovered Torrentes wine–white and a little sweet. Now, mostly because I know its name and have pleasant associations, I have a new favorite wine!

    • Hi Naomi! I use the same trick. LOL. Wow. Argentina. That sounds yummie. I’ll have to see if any of my wine stores carry it. Isn’t that the best when you have a personal connection to the winery, not just a “hmm this label looks cool” kind of thing. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. themadgayman says:

    My favorite wine so far is a muscato. I love the sweet, wet taste it gives. Plus it’s a tad fizzy. I’ll have to try a pinot noir since I usually can’t stand red wines for their dryness.

    • Zinfandels are very wet too. I like the lighter reds. Yum–Moscato is delicious. I’m a huge fan of sweet wines and sparkling wines. I like how it feels like a German Riesling and a French Champagne has a baby–Moscato. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. berry says:

    Looks like fun. I love liquor. But cant drink. Pics great. Enjoy wine

  12. mj monaghan says:

    Sounds great, Kourtney. I never made it to that winery. We went to Napa many times when we lived in No Cal, now I wish I would have hit that winery.

    • It really was MJ! We had one day so we relied on Trip Advisor. Hendry was #1 rated and hate terrific reviews. We also wanted the full experience of touring the winery, learning how wine was made and having an educational but fun tasting. We also did Hess because they were in the top 10 and had an art gallery but I was disappointed. The tasting was standing at a bar and no real info on the wine was imparted. Plus I didn’t like the wines I tried there. Thank goodness for Hendry–they made our Napa experience. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. 4amWriter says:

    Neat post, love the pics. I have never been to Napa and your experience tells me I need to add it to my to-do list!

    • Thanks! I wanted to give tastes of my travels instead of blow by by pictures like I did with Asia. ๐Ÿ™‚ Napa is a definite must especially for couples. It’s romantic and relaxing. And if your with your best friend it’s also pretty fabulous. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. Angela says:

    Kourtney,

    Thank you so much for you wonderful description of your experience with us at the Hendry Ranch. I love that your pictures captured George’s mannerisms in story telling mode. We’d love to have you visit us again and we will certainly take great care of your friends when they come to see us.

    It’s because of great people like you that we get to do what we love, grow grapes and make great wine in the Napa Valley!

    Cheers!
    The Hendry Gang

    • Thanks Angela! My friend and I had a terrific time at Hendry Ranch. We’ll definitely be back to visit. I send my dad a few bottles and he said how hard it is to go back to other wines after drinking Hendry’s Primitvo and Pinot Noir. We plan to place an order in the fall. ๐Ÿ™‚

      George is a wonderful storyteller. He peppered his personal experiences with knowledge we could use long after the tour ended. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Best Wine Tour and Tasting ever!

  15. Gorgeous post! I’ve never seen green and red grapes growing together like that! So neat–cheers!

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