A Dozen Vintners is located in a modern one-story corner building across from Freemark Abbey Winery just a mile north of the town of St. Helena. This is a tasting room only – no wine is actually made here, rather its a compilation of rather small vintners. They focus on wine from the following local Napa regions: Carneros, Spring Mountain, Diamond Mountain and Howell Mountain. This tasting room gives these vintners a chance for people to taste their wines in a more public setting as typically the wines served here are from wineries so small that they do not have their own tasting rooms, are off the beaten path and are not open to the public. The staff is very friendly and knowledgeable about the local wine scene.
A Dozen Vintners is owned by Norman Alumbaugh who also owns Eagle & Rose and of course his wine is available for tasting here. Norm also owns a string of Northern California based Eagle & Rose Inns, Cobb Mountain, Middletown, a hotel in St. Helena and the small Eagle & Rose Inn St.Helena, is located right next door. Plenty of parking is available – look for the old Limo that seems to be perpetually parked in the parking lot every time we drive by! You enter on Lodi Lane rather than directly from Highway 29. Also note the nice bronze statue in front – Norm has these types of statues scattered around his various holdings including at his other inns and also at his own winery in Pope Valley.
This tasting room is very well organized – and the names of each winery are listed above the bottles of their wines. At press time, wine from the following Napa area wineries are served here: Adams Ridge, Carrefour, Eagle & Rose Estate / Skyhawk Cellars, Howell Mountain Vineyards, Krupp Brothers Estate RustRidge & Watermark. We have met with most of the Napa vintners for each of the wineries represented here. Click on the winery links for our individual reviews. Wine from a select few wineries from other California wine regions are also poured here.
Several wines from our various visits that we can recommend are the Zinfandels from John Tyler (Russian River vineyards – neighboring Sonoma County), Watermark’s Cabernet Sauvignon (well-known long time Napa winemaker who makes the prestigious Diamond Creek wines), and any of the Howell Mountain Vineyard Cabernets. What is nice about a stop here, is that they offer wines priced for all budgets which in Napa, can be hard to find. Also of note is the Iron Horse Art Gallery which adjoins the wine bar and allows for easy access between both businesses. This gallery features sculpture and all original works including oils and acrylics. They also own a sister gallery in Utah.