is located off of Highway 29 in the southern part of St. Helena almost right next door to the Flora Springs Tasting Room and just south of the Dean & Deluca shopping center. However, they do not share driveways or parking lots. This is one of the older wine shops in all of Napa Valley having been founded in 1983. This shop is often confused with the St. Helena Wine Center located in downtown St. Helena. Think Wine Center, and center of town and you will never confuse these two shops again despite both having similar names!
This is a great shop to visit because of its central location in the Valley and for their collection of very small producers that you may not have heard of. They have a very good selection of Napa based wines, typically from vintners who have total productions under 500 cases although some larger area wineries are also represented. During one visit we saw several wines that are made in such limited quantities you will never find them distributed outside of Napa. The owners of St. Helena Wine Merchants have established relationships with some of the valley’s smallest vintners, often with wineries that are still yet “undiscovered”.
If you are looking for wines outside of Napa some of their larger representation regions are Oregon and Sonoma Coast Pinot noirs as well as California sparkling wine and French Champagne. Be sure to walk in their “cult” room as this is a small side room that contains only the most well known high end wines, usually priced in the several hundred dollar per bottle range. Napa notable cults such as Harlan and Colgin have good representation here. Looking for some older vintages of Sautern styled late harvest wines? Look no further than their display case containing rare and unique vintages of Chateau d’Yquem going back 30+ years. They also carry a select number of local cellared wines, often up to 10+ years old.
The owners are good sources of local information about restaurants, hotels and other Napa Valley activities. They welcome visitors. Tastings are conducted, usually in the afternoon and are based on what they have open. Typically they try to have at least one red and one white wine open and will always be from a producer they think highly of. As a result, you never know what bottles will be open. They also have a very good selection online. This store also occasionally holds vintner tastings or special tastings. Inquire for details and their calendar of events. Visit their very informative website at: www.sthelenawinemerchants.com
NOTE: This review has been archived.
REASON: After many years this wine shop and tasting room closed. As of the last update, it’s new occupant is Vine Cliff (their open to the public tasting room).
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