Trinchero Winery (the “ch” is pronounced like a “k” as the owners are Italian, not Spanish or Portuguese) is located on site of the old Folie a Deux Winery just across from the St. Helena Marketplace shopping center (north of the town of St. Helena). This winery showcases the Trinchero’s flagship and high end wines from their family owned vineyards in the Napa Valley. They have 5 main vineyards in Napa for a total of about 200 acres. In addition, the family owns another approximately 700 acres from California’s Central Coast to north of Napa. As a result, they are one of the largest independently owned wineries in the USA. Founder John Trinchero came to the Napa Valley in 1948 and soon convinced his brother Mario to relocate his family as well. They invested all their economic resources into purchasing the abandoned Sutter Home Winery (just south of St. Helena) and grew the production over time. In the early years the Trinchero’s focused on bulk wines. That changed some when some of the second generation took over and they started producing single vineyard wines.
Trinchero Winery is one of several Trinchero family Napa owned wineries which include the famous Sutter Home brand (original founders of White Zinfandel), and Napa Cellars in Oakville (where the “new” Folie a Deux Winery is housed. As of press time, Trinchero Winery is undergoing major development which is supposed to be completed in 2009. The new winery is operational and serviced its first crush and harvest in 2008 which will be followed by a hospitality & culinary center to open in June of 2009. The last phase includes the construction of a new one-story tasting room and retail outlet. Once everything is completed all major components of the estate will be located in a courtyard type setting with the buildings right next to each other.
We will re-visit once the major construction has been completed, however while there is “dust in the air” the current tasting room is open. Choose from one of two tasting flights, or if you are feeling adventurous and have a designated driver, go for both! They offer “the guiding light” which are white and lighter bodied wines and then the “bold and beautiful” which features their estate red wines. The flight of red wines is a good opportunity to sample the same vintage Cabernet Sauvignons, side by side from different vineyards (all 100% varietal). This gives one a perspective on how select vineyards can produce completely different wines – both in aroma and flavor. We tried all 2005 vintages. The 2005 Stagecoach Cabernet Sauvignon is our favorite. The aromas have nuances of baking spices and cinnamon with elegant fruit notes. This wine is medium to full bodied with layers of flavor and a very smooth clean finish.
The Chicken Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon comes from Rutherford. Spicy aromas with hints of vanilla lead to a very approachable palate with raspberry and red currant flavors. The finish is slightly smoky or earthy if you will. The Main Street Cabernet Sauvignon is an elegant wine both in bouquet and flavor. It is a great food wine. A small gift shop adjoins the current tasting room. To see the progress of construction click on the “new winery” link on their website and then scroll down to the webcam link. Their beautiful new production facility is operational with additional phases still being worked on including the hospitality center. We can’t wait for the day when all the construction is finally completed! We drive by here often and sometimes stop in for a quick glance at the construction progress. Click on our winery photos for the latest. Also check out their fun online “world wine challenge” quiz and see if you have the Napa knowledge to make the cut! Visit: www.trincherowinery.com
Trinchero Introduction Video: