Monday, October 1, 2012

100 Napa Valley Wineries Reviewed

Quintessa was the 100th winery we have reviewed on our blog since we created it in 2011.  We have visited many more wineries over the years, of course, and have recently visited wineries in other states and regions that we have not reviewed. We have also reviewed some wineries more than once but only counted them one time in terms of the number of wineries visited and reviewed.

Most people in the wine trade, with whom we have spoken, estimate that there are now about 420 actual physical wineries in Napa Valley. But there are actually around 904 wine producers in Napa Valley (perhaps as many as 1100), with around 420 having physical locations. Some simply round it off at around 600.  David Thompson at The Napa Wine Project represents the gold standard for information in this area. It is amazing that he has been able to visit so many Napa Valley wineries (700+) and to write such detailed, objective reports. Very few blogs have reviewed as many Napa Valley wineries as we have, but he has reviewed seven times as many! He started his project in 2006. These are not Yelp type reviews but objective documentary descriptions of Napa Valley wineries. The emphasis is not so much on reviewing the wine as on introducing us to the winery. If you own a winery and have not yet agreed to participate in this project, please reconsider. His blog is really more of a Wikpedia of information than a compendium of tasting notes or preferences. Many of us find interesting historical information on his blog that we don't even find on the winery's web page. I hope the value of his project will be better acknowledged by Napa Valley wineries and eventually published as a book. Please check it out:
Napa Wine Project

A significant advantage to living in Napa are the numerous wine festivals and tasting events plus having access to many incredibly high quality wineries and great wines, especially Cabs and Cab blends. Our access to great wines, however, is really comparatively limited, as is our ability to taste large numbers of wines. Well known wine critics, wine distributors, wine store owners, and commercial purchasers of wines for restaurants, etc. are able to sample many more wines than most of the rest of us, often hundreds a day.  (One of my favorite wine critics, Richard Jennings, recently stated that he tastes about 7,000 wines a year and wine tasting and writing is not even his full time job.) They also have access to expensive wines that the rest of us can't afford. This exposure to wines, plus their incredible expertise, really places these experts, not just in another league, but on another planet, if not in another universe. We can read and learn from them, but almost none of us could ever have as much access to and experience with wine. 

So, we have now reviewed 100 wineries.  We have no goal or specific number of wineries we plan to review but will simply continue doing so as long as it remains an enjoyable leisure activity for us. We are simply two guys who have loved wine for the past forty-five years or so and enjoy learning. We hope some of our enthusiasm and discoveries will be of interest to others.

Please see our list of favorite wines here: Favorite Wines from Napa Valley Wineries

Good night and good luck, TJ


  1. TJ,

    Congrats on reaching winery 100 and best of luck with the next several hundred :)!!



  2. Thanks, Nick. I don't think there will be several hundred more, though. We are not that OCD. I'm thinking perhaps 50 to 100 more in Napa Valley and then either doing Sonoma, especially Russian River and Anderson Valley, or simply returning yearly to the wineries we love best while perhaps adding a new one now and then.

  3. I haven't been to the Anderson Valley yet, so I would be very interested to see anywrite-ups, and he Russian River and Dry Creek valleys were my first wine loves. Look forward to your future reviews, wherever they may be.

  4. Hi Nick, I haven't been to Anderson Valley for tastings yet either but have had some really nice Pinots from there. Russian River and Dry Creek are great. I love Rhone style reds so much I might head south to try a few from the Rhone Rangers. Syrah's are often underappreciated.

  5. I agree with you on Syrah--I've been happily gorging myself on Washington Syrahs lately.


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