We heard through the grapevine that Vincent Arroyo makes one of the best Petite Sirahs in the Napa Valley. What we found on our visit was a most unique winery tucked away off Tubbs Lane at the very north end of the Napa Valley, just past the town of Calistoga.
The winery has no formal tasting room, tasting fee, or traditional wine club to join. In short, nothing is fancy here, just a place that is fun and where making good wine is a passion. Our host Teddy welcomed us like we were old time good customers. Teddy gives us a good news-bad news scenario. The good thing is that they have wine to taste. The bad news is there is only one wine to taste, but fortunately, it is a 2004 Petite Sirah. They make two other vineyard designated Petites and several other varietals but they have long been sold out under their “futuresï¿½? program.
The 2004 Petite is a very big wine and full of flavors. We know this wine will need a hefty meal such as a BBQ steak to go with it. Teddy poured us another taste of the Petite and invited us on a tour of the winery. We found out that owner Vincent Arroyo is both the vineyard manager and the winemaker. Vincent carefully controls all aspects of his wine production of 8000 cases. He dry farms his vineyards, and that is a rarity in the Napa Valley.
The wine club is one-of-a-kind and we joined, so to speak. We purchased one bottle of the Petite Sirah ($32). This entitles us to a standing order of one bottle for next year. Under the rules, we can void the order, or add additional wines. The orders are futures? This is a very fun winery to visit and by purchasing one bottle you can get on the futures list. Otherwise, there is little chance of getting any of the Vincent Arroyo wine.
The Good: Small and family owned, great Petite Sirah, unique wine experience for Napa Valley.
The Bad: Most wine sold as “futuresï¿½? which means limited wines to taste or purchase.
I have been a member of Vincent Arroyo’s wine club for years. Is it just me or does anyone agree that his wine is not the same anymore.