Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Be Your Own Wine Expert at Whitehall Lane Winery.

I’ve loved wine for as long as I have been able to sip it – and maybe even before!  So, when I got the chance to head out to San Francisco for a conference with Wyndham’s Women on Their Way, I knew that a trip to Napa was in my very near future.  I explored the region quickly last year but it was my intent to further penetrate the wine-saturated area on this trip.  And, that’s just what we did.
I had an aggressive itinerary and prepped my cohorts on the beautiful drive from the Parc55 Hotel to the Napa Valley.  Step 1?  Cross the Golden Gate Bridge…

Our first stop of the day was to Whitehall Lane Winery.  This small(er) family-owned winery actually sits in St. Helena and owns approximately 110 acres of vineyards which produce around 50,000 cases of wine each year.  Now, I have to say, this was the best experience I have ever had tasting wine.  Each person we encountered was excited to welcome us early on this Friday morning and welcome they did with a delicious initial pour of their Sauvignon Blanc.  I’m not much of a white wine girl but this could easily become my new summer wine! 

From there we were given the opportunity to sit down and discuss their wines with Vice President, Tom Leonardini II, over a pour of three single vineyard cabernets {2008 Reserve, 2008 Leonardini Vineyard, 2008 Millennium MM Vineyard} and specially selected meats and cheeses {including prosciutto from IOWA}.  Tom was so great and down to earth when discussing wine with us and we all agreed that, at the end of the day, wine is meant to be enjoyed with food and friends.  The best advice he gave us was to be our own wine experts.  If we like a wine and it meets the objective of bringing together family, friends and great food then guess what, it’s good! 

I cannot recommend this stop more.  So, if you’re ever in the neighborhood - actually, make a special trip - stop by Whitehall Lane Winery and I would suggest picking up a few bottles of the 2008 Leonardini Vineyard Cabernet – I wish I had grabbed a few more!

Tomorrow, I’ll wrap up the trip through the Napa Valley with thoughts and pictures from Von Strasser , V. Sattui, Miner and Artesa Wineries.

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