Skip to content

What About Napa Valley Bottles of Wine?

It’s a California Golden Age of Wine

Bottles of Wine Throughout the State

Deserve Our Attention, Not Just Napa

There are just too many good appelations and bottles of wine throughout our state to fixate on one county, one appelation like Napa. We’ll get to Napa soon enough for reporting on their bottles of wine.

Gold Country, Lodi, Monterey, Lompoc, Lake County, Edna Valley, Paso Robles and Foxen Canyon in Santa Barbara call to us with their wonderful wine, the wineries and their work.

Recommendations for Napa wineries may be found on our site here.

So, with all the great wines all throughout California, Napa has not been a priority. In fact, we’ve avoided it because of its crowds. When we travel around, we often speak to fellow onephiles telling us, “We’re here (insert location), because it’s what Napa was like 20 years ago.” Napa County has struggled with it’s success. Wineries started after July of 1990 are not allowed to have open retail hours. Visitors must have an appointment. This is due to the 1990 Winery Definition Ordinance restricting non-legacy wineries from having tours and tastings open to the public.

We really don’t want to be restricted in this manner, we enjoy our freedom to explore.

‘Napa County has struggled with it’s success. Wineries started after July of 1990 are not allowed to have open retail hours. Visitors must have an appointment.’

We’ve recently savored wine from Napa Valley, St. Helena and Oakville (in the northern portion of Napa Valley.) In particular Neyers Winery’s Sage Canyon blend, 2012 Sage Canyon California Red Wine (a blend of Carignan, Grenache, Mourvedre & Syrah-an unusual blend with Carignan blended into a classic GSM.) It was wonderful, a definate ✰+ ranking (while we love GSMs, we really like Carignan for it’s clarity, it’s originality.)

In an earlier critique, we shared an inflight conversation with an fellow from the southeastern portion of our country. While he enjoyed wine, his only exposure to California wine was from Napa, in particular Cabernet Sauvignon. As readers of these columns know, wine is grown throughout the state in abundance. There are many winemakers looking to satisfy your taste palate.

Whether you enjoy white wines like Chardonnay, Viogner, Sauvignon Blanc and Rose, or those on the red spectrum, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Primitivo, Sengeviose, Syrah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and wines like blended Rhone or Bordeaux style bottles of wine, there is much good wine to enjoy within the state of California.

We’ll keep exploring these regions, the appellations of California, to give you the best view of tasting wonderful wine during the ‘Golden Age of California Wine.’ We’ll get to Napa soon enough.

Bill Hodge & Erin O’Neill-Hodge enjoy a good bottle of wine, visiting and enjoying California wineries from Lake County to Orange County, from the Paso Robles Gold Coast to Gold Country and from Lodi to Temecula.

Some notes on our wine ranking system.

– -✰ means -What’s next on your list of wines
-✰ means -Not liking it too much
✰ means -We’ll drink this wine, especially if it’s hosted!
✰+ means -You’ve got our attention and we might buy this wine.
✰+ + means -We’re hooked and we’re going to buy this wine.
When you see -✰/✰+ with a slash, it means we disagree.