An underground renaissance is taking place in the Napa Valley. An ancient technology has come to the fore in modern times and proven to be a very efficient method of quality wine production and storage. These simple and natural caves can also transform a Napa Valley winery experience into a candlelit memory to last a lifetime. with a constant temperature and humidity level. And being underground, caves are great when minimal handling of wines are required often with the help of gravity. We’ve picked out some of our favorite Napa Valley winery caves for you below;
Del Dotto Vineyards
Del Dotto Vineyards is a must see for cave wine tastings. It ties the history into a new era as Dave and Yolanda Del Dotto restored their caves in 1997. Originally dug by Chinese laborers in 1885, making it one of the oldest of its kind in Napa Valley, it is now beautifully adorned with fine Italian marble is sculpted into ornate architecture. The wines are tasted almost entirely out of barrel in the caves, and they outstanding and just plain fun to taste the different blends and barrels. The food pairing at the end of the tour is always standout for wine education as Chef Joshua Schwartz displays a keen pairing knowledge of how to make the wines shine.
Del Dotto Vineyards, 1445 St Helena Hwy South, St Helena, CA 94574
Another living link to the history of underground Napa Valley is the illustrious Schramsberg Vineyards. Dug at a similar time as the caves at Del Dotto, Schramsberg’s caves were expanded in the 1980’s and now cover 34,000 feet! At any time, there could be as many as 2.7 millions bottles in those caves! This registered historic landmark winery is still one of the pre-eminent producers of sparkling wine in Napa Valley, as well as the world, and it has been toasted with in the White House for years. They are still keeping an edge with unbelievable events like Camp Schramsberg, which is more than your normal wine tasting. It will completely immerse you in the world of making sparkling wine, and is one of the most unique experiences in wine country.
Schramsberg Vineyards, 1400 Schramsberg Road, Calistoga, CA 94515
Too numerous to mention them all here, there are many more caves in the Napa Valley all passionate wine tasting cave lovers should try. The legendary Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars has a gorgeous cave that includes a Foucault pendulum suspended above a quartzite floor in the Round Room, which is the “beating heart” of the cave. Checkerboard Vineyards and Palmaz Vineyards might be difficult to get into, but they are mind boggling in their respective ways. Checkerboard Vineyards has some of the newest equipment on the planet, while Palmaz Vineyards take Napa Valley winemaking in a never before seen direction.
Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, 5766 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA 94558