The Napa Valley is beautiful on this day with the celebrated mustard plant in full bloom. We began our trip into the Napa Valley on the Silverado Trail side of the Valley where things are more quiet and peaceful. Cliff Lede Vineyards is located on Yountville Cross Road, just a quarter of a mile in from the Silverado Trail.
As soon as you come upon Cliff Lede it is hard not to be impressed. Everything about this winery is first class. The landscaping gives off a mood of quiet and solitude. There are beautiful pieces of sculptured art scattered around the winery. The tasting room is in a beautifully restored craftsman style house that was built in 1913. The tasting room is spacious with wonderful views of the surrounding vineyards. It is a very inviting place.
We paid $10 to taste four very delicious wines. We tasted a Sauvignon Blanc, a Chardonnay, a Cabernet Sauvignon, and a Petit Sirah. The Sauvignon Blanc is made in a slightly different style with a small percentage of the fruit barrel aged and then blended with the stainless steel fruit. The 2003 Cabernet from Diamond Mountain was soft with very little tannins. It is a delicious wine, but at $48 out of our price range. The Petite Sirah was our favorite, a robust wine with lots of structure.
We were the only visitors so we got plenty of attention from our host. She ended up waiving the tasting fee when we purchased two bottles of wine, the Sauvignon Blanc and the Petit Sirah.
Businessman Cliff Lede is the founder and owner of this winery. He purchased an existing winery on this location and began the Cliff Lede label in 2002. So far, so good. It is a pleasant and attractive winery to visit in the Napa Valley and the wines are top notch.
The Good: Beautiful wines, tasting room and grounds, art sculptures amid a quiet and serene landscape.
The Bad: It would be a perfect picnic spot but the winery has no picnic permit.