Scenic Pritchard Hill
If you want to escape the busy Napa scene, a scenic drive up Pritchard Hill is the perfect way to do it. To get to this property, after a few minutes of driving along Lake Hennessey you’ll turn onto a long private road that will zigzag you all the way up to the top, where there’s a panoramic view of the valley. The winery itself has sort of a “Beauty and the Beast” feel to it. Not in that it’s a castle with a hairy prince inside but in that it’s a gated property with massive front doors and an almost unnervingly private feel to it. But that all changes as soon as you find the friendly, and quite entertaining, estate coordinator, Tanner Sneed.
The tasting is hosted in the barrel room, which is pretty darn cold, but luckily there is a heater under the table as well as blankets to keep you warm. The wines are certified organic, limited in production, pricey (the tasting itself is $75), and are meant to be rested for a while before opening. This is primarily a Cab house that also produces a Bordeaux-style blend. Tasting wines like these could give you tannin nightmares for weeks, but in their defense these particular wines possess a notable amount of balance and complexity from notes of mustard flower to licorice all the way to sandalwood. And for a nice finishing touch, the staff gives you a taste of dark chocolate on your way out. –February 2017
- INSIDE INFO: A visit to this winery is pretty straightforward and to the point, leaving no wiggle room for hanging around afterward. So bring some snacks and picnic gear with you and head back down the hill to go relax by the lake or even take a leisurely stroll along one of the walking trails surrounding the lake amongst the soft rolling hills.