Andersons Conn Valley is located a few miles in from Silverado Trail on several very windy narrow roads through rolling hills and countryside native vegetation. The terroir here is definitely not the flat valley floor vineyard land. There is no signage whatsoever until you reach the main winery gate. Allow at least 15 minutes to reach the winery from the Silverado Trail. Anderson's is run by a husband wife team. Todd Anderson & his father originally built this winery and vineyards from scratch - they planted all the grapes you see and Todd was the winemaker for many years until the business became large enough so he hired an expert winemaker. The winery dates from the mid 1980's with their first commercial vintage in 1988. There is an interesting story that goes along with the acquisition of the property. The main hurdle they had to overcome at the time was that the property was not for sale! However, 15 months later the 40-acre site was owned by the Anderson's. As of press time, they typically produce around 8,000 cases. Two sets of caves are on the property - one for Anderson's Conn Valley and one for Todd's father Gus who runs the next door Eagle's Trace Winery.
Your tour and tasting will be with Todd, his wife Ronene or their winemaker. It is a one on one event that typically lasts from 2-8 hours - often running 4-5 hours. If your tasting is with Todd, this is by far the longest tour/taste you will take at any Napa Winery. If you do not want to be rushed, set aside at least a half day for a visit. The entire purpose of the tour is educational - you will be shown the vineyards, the wine production facilities, the caves and taste through a wide variety of wines in their larger cave from both barrel and bottle. They welcome questions about winemaking, production, growing - really anything related to wine! Now that you know about a "typical" visit - should you want additional more in depth information consider signing up for one of Todd's wine making seminars. These events cover the main aspects of the vineyards, fermentation and aging, bottling and much more.
Their current release Chardonnay is typically offered during the tasting. They were one of the first wineries in the area not to use Malolactic Fermentation on their Chardonnays, which often results in a less buttery creamy wine. Todd told us that usually those who arrive and say they don't like Chardonnay leave with bottles of this wine! We also tried the crisp 2005 Sauvignon Blanc (sourced from Lake County) & then tasted through a short vertical of their delicious Pinot Noir. Their Right Bank is an interesting blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc that has a very smooth mouth feel yet is richly concentrated with good fruit flavors. The Eloge is their Bordeaux styled predominately Cabernet Sauvignon blend.
Todd also runs one of the most prestigious Napa area labels called Ghost Horse; it is usually sought out by extremely wealthy collectors. There are several labels within this brand and a current release bottle typically starts at $1000 and easily runs up to $5000/bottle. Just the price puts this label above the typical bottle price of the 8 or so Napa "cult" wineries. All Ghost Horse wines are 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Membership to this wine club is very exclusive and ensures you access to a variety of interesting perks including participating with Todd in some of his adventures. Also, forgot to mention there are two tiers of membership to this wine club, one starts at $500,000 and the other is a million dollars. Also ask Todd about the many worldwide wine events that he conducts and participates in. The Ghost Horse website has an inspirational opening scene - visit it here: www.ghosthorseworld.com and the Anderson's Conn Valley website here: www.connvalleyvineyards.com
Video Todd, tasting
Open to Public: No
Regular Tours: No
Address: 680 Rossi Road, St. Helena