Tasting at Duckhorn Vineyards
On a rainy but lovely day, we trekked over to Lodi Lane for a tasting at Duckhorn Vineyards. The Duckhorn Vineyards tasting room is located in a beautiful Victorian building, with spacious inside and outside seating. The tasting fee at Duckhorn is $30 a person. That may seem high, but we ended up tasting nine wines, several of which were in the $90 range. Maybe we got a little extra attention in the wine tasting department, because very few folks were in the tasting room. We chose to sit outside on the deck, so we could get a view of the vineyards that are in a beautiful stage of color change. The heaters on the deck kept us very cozy. Duckhorn gained its fame for its Merlot wines and we tasted two, one from the Howell Mountain and the other from the Valley floor near Calistoga. Both were delicious! We also tasted two Cabernet Sauvignon wines, two Chardonnays, and a Sauvignon Blanc. The Duckhorn Wine Company is owned by GI Partners. Duckhorn also operates Decoy, Paraduxx and Goldeneye wineries. When we told our server that we’d visited the Goldeneye winery in the Anderson Valley, he brought us out a taste of the Goldeneye Pinot Noir 2011 and the Goldeneye Gerwurztraminer. The Pinot Noir is fantastic. The tasting room at Duckhorn is a very popular spot on weekends, especially in the high season. An average Saturday may bring 400 visitors to the tasting room. On our mid-week rainy day tasting, there were just a few folks willing to venture out in the rain. To get to Duckhorn, travel north towards Calistoga either on Highway 29 or the Silverado Trail. When you arrive at Lodi Lane turn onto Lodi Lane and the winery entrance is situated near the Silverado Trail. The tasting room is open from 10 to 4 pm daily. In addition to the $30 tasting, there are also an Estate Tasting and Private Tasting. Parties of five or more require a prior appointment. Check the Duckhorn Vineyards Website for complete details.