Napa Valley Taste of Victory


Written by:

Joe Becerra

Last updated:

americascup wine
Official wine bottle of America’s Cup

Napa Valley is official wine region of the 34th America’s Cup

The 34th America’s Cup is currently underway in San Francisco until September 7th. You’ve probably heard that the Napa Valley was declared the official wine country region of the America’s Cup. I’m not sure why an official wine region is needed, but nonetheless that is how it is. The benefit for the Napa Valley wineries and related industries is plenty of PR, and the only wines poured at all the official venues for America’s Cup are from the Napa Valley.

Napa Valley “Taste of Victory” aboard the SS Jeremiah O’Brien

On Thursday we were invited to an America’s Cup and Napa Valley event, a trade and media tasting, “Taste of Victory,” aboard the SS Jeremiah O’Brien. This World War II Liberty ship is docked permanently at Pier 45 in San Francisco. The deck of the ship served as the tasting area and provided spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay and a chance to see a couple of the America’s Cup racing yachts in action.

Expensive yachts mean expensive tastes, including wine. At the “Taste of Victory” there were many expensive wines to try. For us it was a chance to try wines we normally would not purchase, being too high in price for our budget. It was also a chance to meet and chat with winery owners and winemakers and discover some new wineries, as well as reacquaint ourselves with some old favorites.

Round Pond 2010 Cabernet from the Rutherford AVA is quite is a delicious wine, and I see it in my local wine shop for $40. I think that is a steal when you compare this wine to others selling well above $60. Round Pond is on my list of wineries to visit soon. They offer a variety of tours and tastings, as well as food pairing experiences. I have not seen a winery in the Napa Valley that offers as many choices for the wine country visitor to experience.

Perry Cellars
Sue Parry, Parry Cellars

Another impressive Cabernet came from Parry Cellars. Owner Sue Parry poured her two Cabernets, 2008 and 2009, with enthusiasm. She and her husband Stephen make only 200 cases of wine, all Cabernet, from their estate vineyards and they sell for $60. Too bad it is out of my price range. Celia Welch is the winemaker, and I always seem to like her wines.

Jonathan and Susan Pey, veterans in the wine world, were on hand to pour their Textbook wines. I like their Textbook Napa Valley Cabernet. I think it is very nicely priced and I have seen it for about $22 a bottle.

Another winery serving up some delicious wines was Keever Vineyards. They poured a wonderful Sauvignon Blanc ($32) and an outstanding Cabernet ($95). We liked both of these wines and guess who the winemaker is. Celia Welch!

Two old standbys we also enjoyed. The mother and daughter team of Herta and Lisa Peju were pouring Peju wines. They seem to be having a lot of fun with with the tasters. The Tess wine is a blend and is served chilled. It is very much a refreshing and tasty summer wine. Grgich Hills Estate was also present and was pouring their tasty Cabernet, Zinfandel, and Chardonnay wines.

Peju ladies
Lisa and Herta Peju

It certainly was one of the more enjoyable tastings we have been to. The Fisherman’s Wharf area was bustling with activity, including tourists, party fishing boats, and many others. They say that America’s Cup has been very disappointing in bringing folks to San Francisco. You could not tell that by the crowds and activities on the Wharf. A very memorable day, indeed!


  • Joe Becerra

    Joe Becerra has been traveling to wine country and enjoying wine since 1965. He is a retired educator, and now have the time the opportunity to share his wine travel experiences through this Website.