Diamond Oaks Vineyards has been around since 1982, not making wine but selling grapes to Napa wineries. It was not until 2001 that Diamond Oaks produced its first vintage of wine under the Diamond Oaks label. In 2003, the Diamond Oaks winery moved into its present location on Oakville Grade. It is a beautiful facility, formally the home of the La Famiglia winery owned by Robert Mondavi.
Diamond Oaks Vineyards is a very inviting place offering a few features that a visitor is not likely to find on the Napa Valley floor. The winery is located about two miles from Highway 29 up Oakville Grade. Here, visitors will find a terrific view of the valley floor. Because the winery is off the beaten path, fewer folks are likely to find this winery and the tasting room is not so busy. The grove of oak woodland trees in the picnic area, plus the distance from Highway 29, offers peace and solitude that is hard to match at most tasting rooms. The shaded picnic area is complete with Bocce Ball courts.
Dinesh Maniar, a long-time San Franciscan who slowly accumulated some of the best vineyards in the area, owns the winery. The Diamond Oaks vineyards total 550 acres in four wine growing regions. The tasting room is beautiful with a large open area and views of the valley below. The tasting fee is $7 for four wines. The first thing that caught our attention was the price of the wines. Overall, for the quality, the wines are priced quite reasonably. The two Chardonnay wines are delicious, and at $16, the Carneros Chardonnay is an excellent value. It was so good that we were forced to have a glass of this Chardonnay with our picnic lunch. The Pinot Noir at $19 is another good wine at a great price.
The Good: Peaceful spot, picnic area, reasonably priced wines and beautiful tasting room.
The Bad: $7 tasting fee not applied to the purchase of wine.