Just a 20-minute drive from The Inn On First, a romantic Bed and Breakfast inn in Napa, lies Tudal Vineyards. Now into their 5th decade operating the iconic Tudal Winery in St. Helena, Napa Valley, they proudly grow and produce a Signature (and world-class) wine “Tudal Estate Cabernet Sauvignon” on site from the estate vineyard that was planted in 1972. Visitors of any age can find something to explore, whether it is the array of Napa Valley wines; our bocce court, the enticing flower and produce gardens or the collection of historic farm tractors, tools and bygone novelties that make up a fascinating agricultural retrospective. And if they ask if you want to take any produce home during the Summer, just remember that your innkeeper-chef would love it if you wanted to drop something off in his kitchen!
Here we learned a bit more about maloactic fermentation. We always associated it with “buttery” Chardonnays, but came to find out that it also adds a fullness or roundness to their Chardonnay. It wasn’t buttery at all but felt fuller on our tongues, and had an aftertaste of warm buttered toast that I really enjoyed. Their Zinfandel was bright with cherry flavor and a hint of pepper. They also produce a Super Tuscan blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet that had hints of caramel and dark red berries. Of course we fell in love with their 100% estate Cabernet that is celebrating its 30 anniversary this year. This is a lovely spot to do a tasting and to have a picnic afterward surrounded by their vineyards.
Final note: I am not a Rose fan. They run either too dry or too sweet. Suddenly I felt like Goldilocks and found that theirs was “just right” for me. I bought 3 bottles for summer sipping. Can’t wait for that warm weather to hit! Prices range from $25 to $75.