Napa Wine Company is where a new breed of winemakers toil at their labor of love. The Napa Wine Company is what is called a custom crush facility. They provide anyone who wants to produce wine with all the equipment for crushing, fermenting, aging, and bottling wine. If the person is not up to snuff on making wine, they can hire a winemaker or consultant depending on their needs. These days, you don’t need to own a winery, a vineyard, or have a tasting room to be called a winery.
We visited the Napa Wine Company’s tasting room, which they call Cult Wine Central. At Cult Wine Central they pour 24 wines made by clients who use their crush facilities. The word “cult” used with wine usually means expensive wine. Yes, of course it means hard to find and limited production but, any way you divide it, the wines are expensive. There are a few exceptions here, the Joel Gott and Michael Pozzan wines are reasonably priced and bargain wines. The Napa Wine Company also has its own label and those wines are in the budget category.
Each day the tasting menu changes with a set of the 24 wineries available for tasting. For the most part, you are not going to find any household names of wines at Cult Central. Instead, you will find names like Crocker & Starr, Elizabeth Rose, Showket Vineyards, and Volker Eisele. The wines are sold only here or from the winery’s web site.
If you are interested in some unique wines and want to impress, stop in at the Napa Valley Wine Company’s tasting room. You are sure to find something to suit your needs. The Oakville Grocery is across the street and has picnic benches. Pick up a bottle of wine at the Cult Wine Central and head off to Oakville to grab a deli sandwich and enjoy a wine country picnic.
The Good: A chance to taste wines and buy wines that are not found elsewhere.
The Bad: Since the tasting room does not represent one winery, it is missing that winery ambience.