Sand T Cellars specializes in one type of wine and one only – a Syrah. This winery is owned by Tom and Susan Ridley who moved to the Napa Valley over 30 years ago. In their name, the S stands for Susan and the T for Tom. Look for the small turtle on the label; it is an endangered sea turtle native to the Gulf of Mexico. As it happens with so many people who come to the Napa area, they had no plans on making wine when they moved here but as so often happens they were bitten by what we call the Napa Allure.
Their neighbor happened to be George Hendry (who by the way gives some of the most detailed personable vineyard tours in the valley). George convinced them to plant their 3-acres to vineyards and they began producing this wine by the early 1990’s from their small vineyard appropriately called Brookside Vineyard as it sits right next to Redwood Creek. They make merely several hundred cases so it can be somewhat hard to find outside of the winery. Good ratings from the famed wine connoisseur Robert Parker certainly don’t hurt and only contribute to the difficulty of procuring this wine!
A tasting here is for the serious Syrah wine enthusiasts as the tasting is at their home and they are not setup for large groups. They are located several miles west of the main town of Napa in the shadow of the Mayacamas mountain range. Weather permitting the tasting is held outside on their vine covered deck overlooking their pool. The tasting is always with either Susan or Tom. Their wine is made at their nearby neighbors’ winery, Hendry who we have also reviewed. Sand T’s Syrah is made in the French style which means it is made using practices that are common in the northern Rhone area of France. T
his 2005 vintage is dark purple with blueberry and dark cherry flavors; there is a bit of pepper, spice and almost an earthiness towards the long finish. Also of note is their Brookside Vineyard B&B on site; this is a spacious Mediterranean style B&B with 3 rooms. Each room is named after a country (USA, France & the UK) and is decorated to reflect each particular country. A stay here always includes some of their wine! Accommodation is priced rather affordably for Napa B&B’s and is in a very quiet location, yet is just minutes from the town of Napa. Click on our winery photo link above to see a few photos of the B&B.
Note The owners are focusing their efforts on a new label. Updated review coming.
NOTE: This review has been archived.
REASON: Stopped producing wine commercially
Judy Elsass says
Where are the Ridley’s? I have stayed in their B&B many times over the years, but not since 2007.
They retired and sold the property.