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 staff were extremely efficient in the purchasing process. Made it a joy to spend money there. I’ll definitely be ordering more of his wines in the future.
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