Long Vineyards is located in what is probably the best terroir in Napa Valley not to have a sub appellation designation. This is in what the locals call, Pritchard Hill located in the eastern hills above the Napa Valley. The Long Family along with Chappelet winery were the first two “modern day” wine families to take root in this area. High end winery neighbors also include Bryant and Colgin. The winery dates from 1977. Today there are a number of small wineries and producing vineyards in the area. Once more people started finding out about Pritchard Hill and the benefits of growing vineyards on this specific terroir – coupled with the dot com boom in the late 1990’s, other vintners rushed in to plant. However, vines have been planted in this vicinity since the late 1880’s by Italian American Vintners.
When the Longs moved here in the mid 1960’s they found old stills and other wine making evidence buried in piles of debris. From talking to old timers, they found out that during prohibition, customers from the Bay Area used to drive up here to buy black market brandy and wine which was being produced illegally. Their vineyards are situated around 1000 feet in elevation; this would be a much warmer growing climate if it wasn’t for Lake Hennessey situated at the base of their long driveway. This lake provides a moderating cooling affect in the summer with afternoon cooler breezes blowing over the lake and up into the nearby hills.
A tasting here is is for the serious wine enthusiast; the tastings are always held at the Long home as the actual wine is made at Hall Winery St. Helena on the valley floor. Your tasting will be with Bob. Weather permitting the tasting is held outdoors under their vine covered trellis with great views overlooking the hills and Lake Hennessey in the distance. The Longs specialize in 100% varietals and have made a number of wines throughout their history. In 1978 they produced one of Napa’s first barrel fermented chardonnays and until several years ago they made a wonderful ‘botrytis’ Riesling. After producing in the range of 3000 to 4000 cases annually, the Longs have downsized and now produce merely several hundred cases each year.
Today they focus on two varietals, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Chardonnay exhibits amazing floral characteristics and is very well balanced with a lot of flavor due to the concentrated grapes from their mountain vineyard. The palate has notes of melon and lime flavors with even a steely minerality characteristic. The Cabernet Sauvignon is soft in tannins, has a high natural acidity and as a result should age well for many years. Cassis, anis, black cherry and blackberry flavors are layered on the palate. For serious wine enthusiasts this is a great opportunity to meet with a vintner and taste wine from someone who has a long rich history in the Napa area. Be sure to sign their guestbook before you leave.
NOTE: This review has been archived.
REASON: Stopped producing wine commercially
John & Carola Herrin says
We met you many years ago at a tasting in Dallas (although we live in Houston).
You told us how to keep wine for second night with a small screw top vodka bottle. We still follow your suggestion and tell others.
Unfortunately, we lost contact with you over the decades with the ups and downs of our small business. However, we have never forgotten your wonderful wines. I have searched the web for your site dozens of times and only with current search have I found you again. I’m sure you can sell everything you make, but if you ever have some extra, we’d like to get on your list.
John & Carola
Jerry Snyder says
Hi Bob, this is Jerry Snyder, I have been trying to find you for 10 years or more. I retired from Wine Warehouse in 2005, when I came up to see you with Andy di Girgis who opened the gourmet cheese and wine, and I helped him as Wine Director. Drop me a line if you get this.
Luann Ellis says
I met Bob Long a long time ago in Frenchtown NJ. I worked st Frenchtown Inn for Bob and Holly Long. Bob had brought a case of wine and signed the bottles for Bob and Hollys son Rober Long.
I now live in Mississippi and own my own restaurant.
I will be in California in January and would love to tour your vineyard.
Devin c says
I bought a little red nissan truck that once belonged to Long’s. It was transported to ny state. Still had the napa ca. Key ring as well as a key with longs stamped into it. The truck is living a good life here in ny and has even been in a car magazine.
Ronald Rosenbaum says
Still drinking some of the Cabernet, (from the UC Davis experimental Vineyard) Still love it. My stock is getting low, but brings back great memories.
On release, I thought my wife was trying to corner the market. I am glad she had me buy as much as we did.
Diane Madden says
I met Bob Long on a Cal Travel Aboard trip to Burgundy in 1998. I will be in Napa on Tuesday, March 2. I would love to taste and visit Long Vineyards. I love the Chardonnay.
Keith Bader says
I had the pleasure of working with and selling Bob’s wines for many years working for Lauber Imports in NJ.
Opened a 2004 Long Cabernet Sauvignon last night. A great bottle of wine! Unfortunately my last.
Still have a couple bottles of Chardonnay.