Napa Valley’s Hendry Vineyards, a wonderful tasting lesson for wine lovers

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hendry vineyardsNapa Valley

Napa Valley boasts some of the very best vineyards and wineries not only in California but the world over.  Rich soil and ideal climate spoil the vines, in turn they spoil wine lovers.  Napa Valley is rather a small region compared to others in California but it makes up in diversity, the same Cabernet Sauvignon grown just minutes away could taste quite different. 

Wine lovers find themselves lost in Napa, as there are so many great wineries to visit, great wines to taste.  Heading into town on Highway 29, it is nothing short of a grand entrance; lining up on both sides of the road are winery after winery, some with a reputation to match. 

I love Napa Valley, great wine and good, and I am so proud that California wine can shoulder to some of the best in the world, and a lot of them sit right on highway 29.  But there are a lot more to Napa Valley than you might think. Before going to the heart of town, head west on Redwood road, off the beaten path, just a short but windy drive, you’ll find Hendry Vineyards.  It is not fancy place, just a quiet vineyard, with a small sign that could easily be missed.  It is at 3104 Redwood Rd, Napa, CA 94558

The wine and the people

Hendry Pinot Noir 2010Part of a day tour, I found myself here with a few friends one late morning in June, but it didn’t feel like I was in Napa.  It was pleasantly quiet and soothing with birds chirping in the background.  Hendry Vineyards offers a variety of wines both white and red.  They are enjoyable and affordable, especially for Napa Valley standard.  If you like over the top big Napa Cabernet, this probably won’t be up your alley.  But I am sure you’ll be delighted at the tasting table.

Hendry Vineyards are owned and operated by a group of retired engineers and they have it down to a science.  From labeling the wine based on their DNA structure or which block of vines they grow on, these guys take all the up-tight out of wine.  Exactly how I like it. 

Great Tasting

As a sommelier, I often suggest friends, family and guests be adventurous with wine and learn.  With more knowledge, you can taste more than just flavors in wine, but also stories, cultures and ways of life.  I found the tasting presentation at Hendry Vineyard was by far the most informative, very easy to follow and funnily down to earth.  These guys really simplified Wine-101, straight forward and to the point. 

Even if you are a seasoned wine drinker, especially if you are new to wine, swing by Hendry Vineyards before heading into town.  This 2 hour tasting will have you nodding your head of approval the whole time.  Cheers!

Thomas Le.
Napa Reserva -falling for wine one sip at a time. TM

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