Napa Valley Cabernet in June

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon on June 11, 2014 - Revana Vineyards

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon on June 11, 2014 – Revana Vineyards

Napa Valley Cabernet in June

This photo of Napa Valley Cabernet was taken on June 11, 2014, in the St. Helena AVA. The photo shows the current development of Cabernet Sauvignon on the Valley floor. The leaves and berries look very healthy and Napa Valley Cabernet appears to be in line for a great harvest year. This vineyard is owned by the Revana Family Vineyards in St. Helena. Revana Family Vineyards is a small family-owned winery that specializes in high-end Cabernet Sauvignon. The vineyard is sustainably farmed. On this day the vineyard was in morning fog with the sun breaking through around 10:30 a.m. The afternoon was warm and a cooling breeze swept the vineyard in the late afternoon and early evening.

Important Napa Valley resources

Napa Valley Wine Trails
St. Helena Lodging
St. Helena Restaurants
Winery Finder and Trip Planner – Napa Valley

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    Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen without Cindy

    We took a very quick overnight trip to the Napa Valley to view a house that a family relative is considering purchasing. On the way, we stopped in St. Helena for lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen. Several weeks ago we read in the S.F. Chronicle that Cindy Pawlcyn had been in a car accident. The newspaper report indicated that Cindy suffered minor injuries. We asked our server how she was doing. She stated that Cindy’s injuries were extensive. She spent several weeks in the hospital and will not return to her kitchen for perhaps as long as 4 months. Our meal was excellent, but we felt something was amiss at the restaurant. Cindy is obviously missed by all. We wish Cindy a speedy recovery.

    piquillo peppers stuffed

    Stuffed piquillo peppers

    A Visit to V. Sattui

    Sign in tasting room

    Sign in tasting room

    I am always amazed at the number of folks who visit this winery and buy wine in huge amounts. I wonder, as probably winery owners in the Valley do, how it is that Dario Sattui is able sell all his wine out of his tasting room. None of the Sattui wine is distributed. The tasting room is a bevy of activity. Our server was efficient and knowledgeable. He knew each Sattui wine like the back of his hand. Impressive, to say the least. By the way, visitors can try one complimentary taste of wine, otherwise it is $15 to taste a lineup of several wines. We had previously tasted the Sattui wines as well as the wines from Castello di Amorosa, Dario’s newer winery located near Calistoga. The overall quality of the wines is very high. Winemaker Brooks Painter is the winemaker for both wineries. The St. Helena tasting room has a cheese and deli shop where visitors can purchase food items and head outside for a picnic lunch. No outside wine is allowed (understandable) and no outside food. I think that is a bit stiff on the food control, but it seems to work because the expansive picnic area is very busy. I need to do more digging into the tremendous success of Dario Sattui and his wines.

    Calistoga Tidbits

    In the late afternoon we walked along Lincoln Avenue, the business area of Calistoga. Since our last visit, there are a couple of new tasting rooms in town and one new restaurant. Do you remember Wappo, a restaurant with an eclectic menu? It closed down several years ago, but recently reopened as 1226 Washington. The menu looks great and, at the W.H. Smith Tasting Room, our server highly recommended it. We will give it a try the next time to Calistoga.

    At the W.H. Smith tasting room, we shared a tasting of 6 wines for $15. The wines were all delicious but expensive. The Sauvignon Blanc was $28. The lineup of Pinot Noir wines was fantastic, but again expensive. Our favorite from the Sonoma Coast was above $50.

    Solbar Restaurant at Solage

    This is the top restaurant in Calistoga. The restaurant is situated in the beautiful and luxurious Solage resort. We had a lovely dinner outside in the warm evening air. The food, wine and atmosphere were excellent. Surprisingly, we found the service lacking. Slow, slow, and slower was our experience. For example, our party ordered a second bottle of wine and it took 10 minutes to arrive. The check including tip came to $390 for four.

    The Solbar restaurant at Solage Resort

    The Solbar restaurant at Solage Resort

    Calistoga Cab Hopper

    I would like to recommend this little taxi company that serves the Calistoga area. They are pricy at $5 a mile, but Calistoga is a small area. As it states in the brochure, taking the Hopper is more fun than spending a night in jail. We called the Hopper from the Solbar, and within ten minutes they were there to take us to our destination. I previously posted an article about the presence of Uber in the Napa Valley. However, they are not as yet servicing the Calistoga area of the Napa Valley.

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      Whitehall Lane Winery in St. Helena – The Sauvignon Blanc is outstanding

      Amid the rain and wind this past Wednesday, we managed to squeeze in a tour and tasting at the Whitehall Lane Winery in St. Helena. Tom Leonardini and Family have owned the Whitehall Lane winery since 1993. Whitehall Lane is one of the Napa Valley’s earliest wineries with a start date of 1979. The winery is one our favorites, and we’d selected the winery for our Boutique Wine Trail back in 2003.

      This was our first visit since the winery did a remodel and an addition a couple of years ago. Although the building structure has changed, the personnel remains very much the same, anchored by winemaker Dean Sylvester now in his eighteenth year at Whitehall. Our tour leader was Mike McLoughlin, the General Manger who joined the winery shortly after the Leonardini Family purchased the winery. Consistency is good in this case; the Whitehall Lane wines have been highly regarded throughout its history, highlighted many times by the Wine Spectator for its reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.

      Dean Sylvester the winemaker at Whitehall Lane

      Dean Sylvester is his lab checks the Sauvignon Blanc blend

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        Inside Yountville

        The main wine towns of the Napa Valley are Napa, Yountville, St. Helena, and Calistoga. “Inside Yountville” is the first of a series of short videos designed to give the tourist a quick view of the major attractions of these localities: where to stay, dine, shop, and enjoy other very fun wine country activities. In this video, you will quickly see why tourists love Yountville.

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