Judd’s Hill Winery is a good place to start your wine tour

Judd's Hill

Judd’s Hill is one of the first wineries on the Siliverado Trail.  The entrance is marked by colorful balloons.

Why Judd’s Hill Winery is a good place to start your wine tour in the Napa Valley

Judd’s Hill winery in the Napa Valley is a very good place to start exploring the Napa Valley. Many tourists miss this winery because it is very near the start of the Silverado Trail at the southern end of the Valley. Most travelers cross over the Valley floor to the Silverado Trail at Oak Knoll on Highway 29. If you turn left to head north on the Silverado Trail, you will miss Judd’s Hill. From San Francisco and Oakland, we take the back side of downtown Napa. Instead of continuing on Highway 29 to the left,  we take CA-221 N and CA-121 N to the Silverado Trail. It is a short cut, and if you go this way you will not miss the first few wineries on the Silverado Trail. Why is Judd’s Hill a good place to start your wine tour? The winery is small and family owned. The folks who work the tasting room are very informative and low key. The wines at Judd’s Hill are very good and, better yet, priced reasonably for the Napa Valley.  No price gouging here. We really like the Pinot Noir and the Cabernet Sauvignon. We also like a special wine called “Magic.”  It is a red blend of several grapes and made for Judd Finklestein’s magic group. The case price came to $16 a bottle and it is a very good wine bargain. The Judd’s Hill winery does a huge business in the custom crush arena. They have many clients who produce a small amount of wine. Judd’s Hill will find grapes, make the wine, and bottle and label the wine depending on the desires of the client. The surrounding area at Judd’s Hill is absolutely beautiful. I believe the area is in the Oak Knoll AVA. There are two other wonderful experiences for wine travelers at Judd’s Hill. There is a wine and food pairing session that one must book in advance. It is an hour-and-a-half session with wine educator, CJ Friedman. She makes things very understandable and demonstrates how foods change the taste of the wine. The second fun event is a blending camp. Visitors have the chance to create their own bottle of wine from a choice of different varietals of wine. Complete details along with visitor information is at the Judd’s Hill Website.

Addition helpful resources

Half-Day Wine Country Getaway to the Napa Valley

This is our second suggested trip for a quick getaway to the wine country. Last post we suggested a trip to the Carneros wine region; this week we suggest the Silverado Trail on the south end of the Valley. This trip is about an hour away from the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. We like going through the back side of Napa; it saves a little time when headed to the Silverado Trail. Print out these driving directions.

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