Brian Arden Winery
This is Napa Valley’s “new kid on the block” winery. It opened on May 2, 2015. As you drive along Silverado Trail very near Calistoga, it is easy to spot on the west. As you can see from the photo, the building structure is very different from most of the wineries along the Silverado Trail. The Brian Arden name comes from Brian Harlan, the winemaker, and his father Arden Harlan. The Harlan Family has been a long-time owner of an old-vine Zinfandel vineyard in Kelseyville in Lake County. The records date back to the 1880’s, so these are authentic ancient Zinfandel vines. Outside the winery there are plans to plant a small Cabernet Sauvignon block. The grapes, except for the Zinfandel, are sourced from several locations in the Napa Valley and Sonoma County. We tasted through several wines ranging in price from $24 for the Sauvignon Blanc to $75 for the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Our favorite wine of the tasting was the 2009 Burton Ranch Zinfandel. This is the old-vine Zin from Lake County, and these grapes definitely give this Zin a special characteristic. According to Brian this Zinfandel plot ripens evenly, so there are no raisiny grapes that go into the mix. It is a delicious and deep-flavored wine and not over the top with jammy flavors that many Zins are like these days. The tasting room and hospitality area are not complete as yet. Plans call for a kitchen to be in operation later in the year. The kitchen will create foods to pair with the Brian Arden wines. The current visiting hours are Wednesday to Sunday from 11-4:30 for walk-ins or appointment. Monday and Tuesday are by appointment only, but as soon as the winery gets rolling the tasting room will be open daily. There are two options for tastings: $20 for a bar tasting or sit down at one of the cozy outdoor tables. A sit-down wine and cheese tasting in a private room or cave room in the winery building is $35. Check the Brian Arden winery’s Website for complete details.