Conn Creek Winery was founded in 1973 making it one of the older continuously operating wineries in this part of the valley. It is owned by St. Michelle Wine Estates based in Washington state and this is but one of its wineries in their overall large holdings. You can kill two birds with one stone as Villa Mt. Eden Winery is also located on site and their wines are available for tasting as well. When Villa Mt. Eden was purchased (their original site was the current PlumpJack winery) their winemaking team was moved on site and both wineries share the same physical winery building. Conn Creek purchases all its grapes from Napa Growers whereas Villa Mt. Eden purchases grapes from various sources throughout California. Choose from two tastings, one includes select wines from both Villa Mt. Eden and Conn Creek and the other from their list of entirely single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons from Conn Creek. All their prices are extremely reasonable compared to the “expected” Napa pricing.
We started with their 2006 Sauvignon Blanc which is a wine you don’t want to serve too chilled as this inhibits some of the citrus aromas and flavors. Their 2004 Anthology is actually one of their wines most sought after and is a true Bordeaux blend containing five of the Bordeaux varietals. It is very full bodied with a finish full of fruit and silky smooth tannins. One thing that separates Conn Creek from other wineries is their quite extensive small lot production of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons called their AVA Series. All these wines are made from single vineyards in lots of usually only several hundred cases each. These are hand crafted wines all priced very reasonably. A couple of our favorites are the Hozhoni Vineyard, Rutherford and the Herrick Vineyard, Yountville. Sometimes you can get a free tasting coupon if you visit the Conn Creek Website & signup for their mailing list.
Another neat feature of this winery is their appointment only one-of-a-kind Napa barrel tastings (the AVA Room Barrel Blending Experience). In their barrel room they have one barrel from each of Napa’s 14 distinct appellations. You get to play “winemaker” for a day! These barrel tastings represent specific terroirs and a rare opportunity to taste from all 14 AVA’s in one location as well as use these components for creating a final blend. In addition barrels containing the original pre-blend components for their Anthology blend are available for barrel tastings. This two hour seminar includes a Napa Valley overview led by a wine educator, a guide walk-around, instructions for blending including various techniques and strategies, a bottle of your custom blend and a tasting of Conn Creek’s current releases. Visit: www.conncreek.com
Wine with Tony