We have been to Rombauer a couple of times previous to this visit and we always enjoy being there. The staff is very experienced and the setting is quite beautiful. It is always fun to browse the memorabilia displayed around the tasting room. Owner Koerner Rombauer loves the 49ers and on display is a very cool portrait of the late Bill Walsh autographed for Koerner. The picnic area is small but located on a hillside just below the tasting room. It is very secluded and peaceful. It is a great picnic spot especially on a hot day in the Valley.
Besides being the owner of Rombauer, Koerner’s other claim to fame is that his great aunt Irma was the author of the indispensable and classic “Joy of Cooking.” One of Koerner’s mottos around the tasting room is the “Joy of Wine.” You feel that reflected in the tasting room and with the wines.
The last time we visited, there was no tasting fee but that has changed. The tasting fee is $10 but you get to keep the glass. Too bad you could not apply the fee to a purchase of wine instead; we have too many wine glasses as it is. The $10 fee gets you a tasting of six wines. Rombauer is famous for its Chardonnay and it has attracted many followers. The Chardonnay is big, oaky, buttery, and creamy. The wine is so big that they serve the Chardonnay after you have tried their Merlot and Cabernet. How interesting is that? If you are a fan of big Chardonnays then this is the place for you. Over the years, Rombauer has become famous for this style of Chardonnay and it has been served at many State dinners at the White House and celebrity functions.
This is one winery that you can easily miss as you drive along the Silverado Trail. You cannot not see it from the road, so you need to be looking for the signs to the entrance road that lead up the hill to the winery. If you are driving north on the Silverado Trail, watch for the left turn to Rombauer after you pass Lodi Lane.
The Good: If you like a big oaky Chardonnay this is the place. Secluded picnic area, and the memorabilia in the tasting room.
The Bad: A little tricky to find off the Silverado Trail.