A visit here is a very personalized tasting experience always held with one of the members of the Keever Family – usually Olga or daughter Ashley. Bill Keever is a graduate of Napa High School but spent most of his working years abroad including time as CEO of Vodaphone Asia. With retirement age setting in they were looking for something to occupy their time. Both Bill and his wife Olga have always enjoyed wine and living in Europe not far from famous wine regions, certainly did not temper their desires! They moved to the Napa Valley planted vineyards and then constructed this modern winery (completed in 2006).
Today their two children are involved in the day to day operations; Jason handles much of the cellar duties and Ashley helps host visitors among other winery duties. After your initial tasting, you will take a quick tour of the actual winery equipment; this is interesting because you get to see up close some equipment that you normally will not see on general winery tours – much of it is state of the art machinery. A great deal of thought went into the design of the actual fermentation room and it shows. The overall winery operations were designed to be gravity flow.
A cave is tunneled into the hillside directly behind the winery and below Bill and Olga’s home. Tours also visit this cave where you will see their small wine library and learn more about barrel aging. Your visit will culminate back in the tasting room with a glass of their current release Cabernet Sauvignon.
All of their wine has been made from day one by the well-known Napa winemaker, Celia Welch who also produces her own small label here called Corra. Celia focuses her consulting efforts typically on single vineyard premium limited production wineries.
Keever produces one high end Cabernet Sauvignon which is often only sold at the winery due to the limited availability after it ships to their mailing list customers. This what you expect of a beautiful Napa Cabernet when everything comes together from the vineyards to the wine making.
They also have a Chardonnay and more recently sourced fruit from Pope Valley for their Sauvignon Blanc. Note that only specific amounts of wine are released through their website (not their entire production). Because of this wineries’ location, on a clear day you will have excellent views of the Napa Valley and the Palisades which rise behind the famous Stag’s Leap district in the distance. When you watch the traffic roll by slowly in the distance on Highway 29 on some weekend afternoon you realize this is most certainly where you would rather be! Be sure to get directions and the code to ring the winery ahead of time as they are located in a gated neighborhood.
2012 was the start of three excellent vintages in a row in the Napa Valley. The 2012 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon shows crimson red in the glass with a bouquet that is elegant – revealing floral notes, blackberry and black cherry aromas. As the wine opens, secondary aromas of vanilla and mocha show. There is a pleasing softness on the palate with darker fruit showing mid palate through to the finish. Also intriguing is the density of both flavor and mouth feel on the finish. The finish is smooth with a persistence of both barrel and fruit tannins for some time – yet these tannins do not dominate, rather they are well integrated into the wine.
Keever also offers several wine club options. For more information visit: www.keevervineyards.com
NOTE: this review has been identified as needing a major update.