PiÃ±a is a little tiny winery on the Silverado Trail located about a mile north of Oakville Cross Road. We would never have discovered this winery were it not for a free tasting coupon we found at the Visitor Center in Napa. The owners of the winery are the four PiÃ±a Brothers. The winery is not their main business, as they are better known in the Valley for their vineyard management skills. Their vineyard management company has an impressive list of clients that includes Pahlmeyer, Cafaro, and Showket to name a few.
The most delightful characteristic of this family-owned winery is the very casual atmosphere that permeates the winery. Our host on that day was Clair Palmer, a retired agricultural chemist and wine lover. Clair is waiting by the doorway “Welcome to PiÃ±a, this is how Napa Valley used to be,” he exclaims. Everything is all in one room, barrels, equipment, and a makeshift bar for tasting.
The PiÃ±a family history in the Napa Valley goes back to 1856. The family has a long tradition of farming and tending to wine in the Valley. The four brothers represent the current generation and have gone into the wine business with PiÃ±a Napa Valley. They own a small vineyard on Howell Mountain and another small vineyard on the hillside property behind the winery. The brothers lease three other small vineyards. From each of these vineyards the brothers produce a single-vineyard-designated Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines are very limited in quantity an often sell out to their mailing list.
Clair has three wines open and as we taste he shows us around the winery and the hillside vineyards. Claire mentions that the coupon we have was his idea. He thinks the coupon is not helping the winery much because almost everybody that comes into the winery with the coupon does not buy wine. We think to ourselves, there may be a good reason in light of the present economy. Two of the Cabernets sell for $72, the other two for $78. There is no doubt that the wines are delicious and exquisite. However, like most folks are deciding these days, why not use your $78 to buy two or three bottles of wines instead of one bottle of expensive wine.
The winery has a terrific view of the Valley and also has one picnic table and a Bocce court. If you are a Cabernet Sauvignon aficionado and not too worried about your budget, this is a winery you should visit.
The Good: Very delicious wines, great view, casual and laid back atmosphere
The Bad: Wines range in price from $72 to $78.
Mike Beltran says
Give me a break…. who can afford $50 + bottles of wine in this economy?? Like everyone else in this time, you must offer your product to the largest market at your level.. If prices stay above $30– you will see properties with a lot of unsold inventory. Change your label and offer wines which are a good dollar value.. Or you can watch the wine stay in your cellar, as quality wine from other countries become the beverage of choice for the mass market. Do not compromise, adjust to the market. Mike B.