Housley Napa Valley was founded in 2011 but their roots go much deeper into the Napa Valley. Art Housley moved to Napa in 1969 and raised his family here – he is 5th generation from the San Francisco Bay Area. Wanting to get away from the south bay and its impending urban sprawl, he choose Napa as a less crowded more rural environment for his family. Working for PG&E at the time, he later left his job there and branched out into other businesses including starting a community market in Napa in 1976 and calling it Ranch Market (still there today on Soscol Avenue north of downtown). A year later he purchased a tiny store in Yountville, called Cash & Carry. He changed the name to Ranch Market Too!; it is still family owned (Art’s son Arik and his wife Hannah now own the store). This market is one of the last places in Yountville where one can get a reasonably priced sandwich at the deli and basic food provisions. Art used to run a liquor store, meat market, a video game space and had a yacht charter business on the Napa River.
The family has owned a vineyard along the southern part of the Silverado Trail since 1977. Today they own two vineyards, both originally planted to Chardonnay – currently both planted to Cabernet Sauvignon – a 2.5 acre block and another larger 6 acre block (in the Oak Knoll/Stags Leap District part of the valley). They continue to sell some fruit from their vineyards; in 2014 they produced their first ever estate Cabernet Sauvignon.
Art’s son Adam and his wife Tamera oversee the brand and tasting room in downtown Napa. Both have led intriguing lifestyles – Adam grew up in Yountville, was a former minor league baseball player and later became an Emmy Award winning journalist as a news correspondent for Fox News Channel spending time as a reporter in Napa, Chico, Sacramento and Santa Rosa. During his time as a reporter he covered both local news as well as some of the world’s major news events with his reporting taking him around the world.
German born, Tamera is an actress with a number of Television shows to her credit including Sister Sister, Tia & Tamera and The Real. In addition to an accomplished Television career, she has acted in a number of films including Twitches (a Disney Channel production), Double Wedding (a Lifetime movie production) and had a role in The Hot Chick starring Rob Schneider.
Tasting Room Napa
In early June 2019, Housely Napa Valley opened a tasting room in downtown Napa. The prior occupant was Uva Trattoria – this restaurant was open from 1999 through 2017 – almost an eternity in Napa’s always changing culinary scene. This tiny part of downtown Napa used to be called “Spanish Town” – referring to the immigrant community who lived here from the 1860s through the 1930s – with residents often from Hispanic speaking countries in South and Central America. And for decades, it was also Napa’s red light district (reference the Vintner’s Collective building just down the street from the Housely tasting room) and was the city of Napa’s Chinatown.
With Tamera’s oversight and insights into interior decor – the lengthy space has been completely transformed from a restaurant layout to a more open space – with an attractive bar as well as sit down areas. A number of locally made and sourced products are available for sale within the tasting room including candles and wooden cutting boards – often a result of either Adam or Tamera’s personal relationships with artisan producers.
The focus of the tasting is on both the Housely Napa Valley wines and as well as wines from the family’s Century Oak Winery in Acampo (Lodi). It should also be noted that their wines are extremely reasonably priced for the quality.
And through Adam and Tamera’s connections in the world of entertainment and in wine – sometimes select events will be hosted at the tasting room featuring the wines from some of their friends in the industry.
The 2014 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was the family’s first ever Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley. It was harvested from their 6-acre vineyard and is 100% varietal. Offers a pleasant bouquet with plenty of aromatic layers including raspberry, blueberry, sweaty leather, old cedar box and sage; it is also somewhat meaty or savory in its presentation. Rounded and plush on the entry this seamlessness continues nicely across the palate revealing higher toned red fruits and blackberry with a textured well defined finish – but not overly grippy or harsh in its lingering feel. It is an approachable Cabernet Sauvignon with depth and refreshingly is available at a reasonable price point (not words we often use when describing single-vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon).
The 2016 Adam & Tamera’s Field Blend was made from Lodi grown fruit and is a blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Zinfandel and 25% Petite Sirah. The bouquet offers darker fruit with darker spices and a recently wet earth nuance. A crowd pleaser – the palate shows both red berry and blueberry fruit with red currant and red cherry. Very approachable young, the wine is layered but not heavy. Mouth watering acidity, but not tart – the finish lingers pleasantly with soft tannins, a hint of mocha and subtle darker dessert spices. And this wine has proven to be popular with those who have followed Tamera’s career.
Housley’s Century Oak Winery, Acampo – Lodi
Located about an hour and 15 minute drive from downtown Napa, Century Oak Winery was built by the family in 2000. Named after the massive Valley oak tree on the property surrounded by rows of vines, this prominent giant has been dated to more then 100 years old (and also serves as the image for their logo). The property is planted to 37 acres of vines.
The tasting room is homey and welcoming – with a small bar and wine related gifts for sale. Also plenty of awards and medals line one of the walls won in various tasting contests and a few pictures of celebrities holding their wines – based on Adam and Tamera’s connections in the world of entertainment. The tasting room connects to the winery – one can take a peek in to see all the tanks and barrels. A tasting is very relaxed and features both their Lodi wines as well as select Housely Napa Valley wines. Open 12-4pm on Saturday and Sundays – or by appointment the rest of the week.
Total production between both Housley Napa Valley and Century Oak is around 6,000 cases a year. They maintain distribution in a select number of states and the wines from both sites are sold at both tasting rooms. For more information visit: www.housleynapavalley.com and www.centuryoakwinery.com
Tasting Room, Napa
Ranch Market Too!, Yountville
Ranch Market, Napa
Housley’s Century Oak Winery, Acampo CA
Century Oak, Oak Tree