You might forget you are actually in the Napa Valley when you visit Noah’s Vineyards. Noah’s has no frills, no fancy wine room, no tours, no caves, just good wine and a very laid back style.
Noah Taylor and Alan Haywood own the winery. Both their families have ties to wineries in the Sonoma Valley. The winery has just a few acres of Merlot growing outside the winery and the rest of the grapes come from other locations in Napa and Sonoma. Their case production is very small, about 3000 cases per year, with no plans to expand. It seems that both Noah and Alan are free spirits who are happy maintaining a slow and easy lifestyle centered on wine, music, and surfing.
Dan Blach runs the unusual and unpretentious tasting room. Dan was wearing a baseball hat and sweats pants very uncommon to the usual Napa style tasting room. We enjoyed all the wines but particularly the Merlot, which was very smooth and well structured with flavors. The Merlot ages a couple of years in the barrel and more in the bottle. The winery supposedly is open by appointment only, but Dan says he is usually here daily and will serve visitors without an appointment.
To find Noah’s Vineyard, take the Yountville Exit on Highway 29 towards the center of town. Turn right on Washington St and head south a short distance. Watch for the signs which point to the right, down a country lane off Washington.
The Good: No tasting fee, casual and unpretentious, delicious Merlot.
The Bad: The Noah’s label wines range from $25 to $40. Maybe the tasting room is a bit too rustic for Napa type visitors. Picnic area needs work.