A significant part of an already significant project involves taking numerous trips (both cars and flights) – to any space or place that is very strongly connected to wineries within Napa Valley – within California, domestically or abroad. This obsession has brought us to places we never ever would have considered visiting previously.
We began exploring this aspect of the project in 2016 – we founded the Napa Wine Project in 2006. At the end of 2021, we have visited, tasted and extensively written about 1,100 unique Napa Valley based physical wineries, brands along with several stand-alone non Napa Valley winery tasting rooms to date (IE wine shops).
The most common examples of our exploration outside of Napa Valley include wineries, restaurants or resorts owned by a Napa vintner. However the sky is the limit when it comes to Napa winery connections located outside of Napa Valley. If the space is indoors – we attempt to gain access. We also attempt to eat at all restaurants, taste the wines at related wineries and stay at all resorts we visit connected to wineries in the Napa Valley.
In part, our visits have taken us to: gravesites of prominent Napa Valley wine personalities, childhood homes, prominent vineyards, streets named after Napa vintners, gold mines, art museums, wine shops, college buildings named after Napa vintners, stand alone tasting rooms, performing arts centers and *numerous* non-wine related vintner owned businesses.
Several other obscure and eclectic connections that we have uncovered & visited in our extensive research of Napa Valley based wineries include a cooperage, a national park, a research center, a sporting good store, a trip to a zoo, and an entire town among other unique places.
For winery visits outside of Napa Valley, priority is given to wineries owned by a Napa Valley based winery (a good example would be Grgić Vina Winery in Croatia under same ownership as Napa Valley based & headquartered Grgich Hills Estate). Priority is also given to winery companies which are based in the Napa Valley but own multiple wineries outside of Napa Valley. An example would Napa based Crimson Wine Group.
Lesser priority is given to visiting wineries outside of the Napa Valley whose parent company is not in Napa Valley but owns a winery within the Napa Valley. A good example of this would be Moët & Chandon (based in Champagne, France) but owns Domain Chandon in Napa Valley but also own other wineries in select countries around the world.
And some companies with wineries in Napa Valley are just so large we will never visit all wineries under their ownership (IE, Boisset Estates, Gallo, Foley Wine Estates, Jackson Family, to name but a very few). In those cases, we attempt to visit their original winery, or perhaps the most iconic winery under their ownership. We usually draw the line at a maximum of 10 places or spaces outside of the Napa Valley connected to a winery in the Napa Valley.
The majority of our visits to these connected places and spaces were on Napa Valley focused trips but in some rare cases we had already been to the place or space on prior non Napa Valley focused trips. Also note that in some cases – some of these places have connections to multiple wineries in the Napa Valley.
We are currently traveling outside of Napa Valley for roughly 1 of every 4 published reviews (active producers) on this site. To date, we have visited 650+ unique non Napa Valley places and spaces outside of Napa Valley connected to wineries/brands within Napa Valley through heritage, ownership or family ties.
Of these, a couple highlights have been:
Estancia Colome, Argentina
Domain Chandon, Yarra Valley Australia
Mike Grgich childhood home, Desne Croatia
Visiting the inside of the old Mondavi home in Lodi
Walking through Chateau Latour & some of surrounding vineyards
Several hours spent with Eric Morlet at Champagne Pierre Morlet
***TO VIEW/DOWNLOAD THIS FULL LIST AS PDF, CLICK HERE Last updated: 11.26.22.