We must say, after visiting Frog’s Leap Winery a week ago, our experience was one of our more fun and memorable visits to a winery in recent times. We enjoyed everything about the hour tour and tasting except, for perhaps the cold and rainy day. Next time we open a bottle of Frog’s Leap wine not only will we savor the wine, but we will think of all the wonderful and caring factors that went into making that bottle of wine.
What we liked so much about Frog’s Leap was the philosophy that permeates the winery. The staff we met was exuberant and excited about Frog’s Leap wine and the opportunity to work for the winery. Everyone on the staff works year-round, no seasonal workers are brought in and all workers enjoy full benefits.
The winery is totally green and environmentally friendly. Presently, Frog’s Leap has 130 acres of organically-farmed vineyards. The organic farming goes back to its origin in 1981 when owner and winemaker John Williams first established the winery and began his organic adventure with just a few acres of vineyards. The winery’s new hospitality center is LEED-certified. LEED is the U.S. government environmental benchmark for what are called “green buildings.” The entire winery is solar-powered. They also have an organic vegetable garden and when a crop is ready it is put to use by the kitchen or given to the visitors and staff. We took home a few fingerling Yukon Gold potatoes and a couple of tangerines.
The tour takes about an hour and while the tour is conducted four wines are tasted. We began the tour on the porch sipping Chardonnay and learning about the history and mission of the winery. Then, off to the barrel room for a healthy sample of Sauvignon Blanc and a close look at the bottling line. Next, it is a visit to the historic Red Barn that was built in 1884, the site of the original Adamson Winery. It was renovated in 1994. Here we viewed the fermenting tanks while tasting the Merlot and later the delicious and wonderful Rutherford Cabernet. The Cab is from their Rutheford vineyards, the AVA that produces a unique aroma in Cabernet Sauvignon that has become famously known as the Rutherford Dust.
The tour ends at the lovely hospitality center where one can purchase wines. There is no pressure to buy wine. There is no fee for the tour and tasting, something that is very rare in the Napa Valley.
The tour and tasting at Frog’s Leap are by appointment only, Monday through Saturday. Call the winery if you want to schedule a tour.
The Good: Wonderful staff, organic winery, solar powered, excellent wines.
The Bad: The winery was sold out of the Zinfandel on our visit.