Explore Howell Mountain Wineries in 2 Days

  • Wine
  • by WC STAFF
  • on SEPTEMBER 28, 2015
  • 3197
  • 0

Share

Share with your friends







Submit
Rising over 2,000 feet above the floor of the Napa Valley, Howell Mountain has become a legend in the wine world. It’s porous, rocky, iron rich soil lends itself to the making of spicy, bold, fine red wines. Additionally, microclimates abound across the hillsides allowing for a variety of grapes to grow. The vineyards tend to be smaller, more intimate than their cousins found on the valley floor. A two-day tour of the mountain allows wine enthusiasts to visit, taste the wines and view some of the most beautiful vineyards in the region.

Day 1: Upper Howell Mountain Wineries

On the Peak

Black Sears
Image Source: Yelp

Black Sears
2610 Summit Lake Dr.
Angwin, CA 94508
(707) 889-1243
Yelp: 5 stars, 5 reviews
Reservation: Required

Directions: Via Silverado Trail. Turn right onto Zinfandel Ln, then another left on Silverado Trail S. Turn right onto Deer Park Rd. After 5 miles, turn left at Four Corners onto White Cottage Rd S. Take a left onto Summit Lake Dr. After 2 miles, winery will be on the right.

Black Sears is the highest vineyard on the mountain and offers spectacular vistas of the often fog shrouded oak forests and vineyards below. Today, the winery and vineyard produce organically and biodynamically grown 100% wine varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Zinfandel under the Black Sears label. Insider tip: If you have the time, schedule a tour of the grounds and the caves while you are there. Tastings are shared on the winery grounds overlooking the slopes below. The view from the peak is worth the trip. If available, try the 100% Cabernet Franc

Rich and Spicy

Outpost Estate Winery
Image Source: Yelp

Outpost Estate Winery
2075 Summit Lake Dr.
Angwin, CA 94508
(707) 965-1718
Yelp: 4.5 stars, 24 reviews
Reservations: Required
Directions: Outpost Estate Winery is located two miles south of Black Sears.

Located at 2,200 feet, Outpost Estate Winery makes the most of the hard, rocky, iron-laden Howell Mountain soil to produce rich, spicy wines. The winery uses organic, sustainable farming practices and produces distinctive wine varieties that are “never filtered or fined”. Insider tip: One advantage of visiting Outpost Estate Winery is that tastings often come with a bit of wine history and vineyard farming practices. Try the Outpost Estate Zinfandel available only at the winery.

Hidden Treasure

Summit Lake Vineyards & Winery
Image Source: Facebook

Summit Lake Vineyards & Winery
2000 Summit Lake Dr.
Angwin, CA 94508
(707) 965-2488
Yelp: 4.5 stars, 6 reviews
Reservations: Required
Directions: Summit Lake Vineyards & Winery is located 2.8 miles south of Outpost Estate Winery on the east side of Summit Lake Dr.

Summit Lake Vineyards & Winery is everything a small, family run farm should be—hospitable, laid-back and always ready to make guests feel at home. Noted for its fine Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon wines, Summit Lake Vineyards and Winery offers a slice of Howell Mountain living not to be missed. It may be off the beaten track, but it is definitely worth the time and effort for the adventurous budding wine connoisseur. Insider tip: Summit Lake Vineyards & Winery’s is often described as intimate and their tastings often occur around the owner’s dinner table and conducted by extended family members. Try the 2006 Clair Riley’s Pirate Reserve Zinfandel Port.

 

Day 2: Central and South Howell Mountain

Italian Roots

Cimarossa Winery
Image Source: Facebook

Cimarossa Winery
1185 Friesen Dr.
Angwin, CA 94508
(707) 307-3130
TripAdvisor: 5 stars, 2 reviews
Reservations: Required

Directions: Via Silverado Trail, turn right onto Zinfandel Ln, then left onto Silverado Trail S. Take a right onto Deer Park Rd for 4 miles. Turn left at Four Corners onto White Cottage Rd S. In two mile, turn left onto Buckeye Ln. In one mile, Buckeye Ln become Friesen Dr. Winery will be on the right.

This small, family owned winery boasts a varied topography from flat to tiered vineyards. With a decidedly Italian leaning, the winery focuses mainly on Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, and tasty olive oil produced from the 1,200 olive trees planted throughout the property. The staff at Cimarossa enjoys showing off their grounds and vineyards amid the olive groves spread across the grounds. This multi-tiered property offers great views and more than enough hospitality to make it well worth the trip. Insider tip: The winery’s signature 2011 Rive di Cimarossa 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is a good choice at $70.

A Nod to Nature

O'Shaughnessy Estate Winery
Image Source: O’Shaughnessy Estate Winery

O’Shaughnessy Estate Winery
1100 Friesen Dr.
Angwin, CA 94508
(707) 965-2898
Yelp: 3.5 stars, 7 reviews
Reservations: Required
Directions: Continue east toward Friesen Dr, O’Shaughnessy Estate Winery will be on the left.

O’Shaughnessy Estate Winery sits on a 100 acre hillside property and has two separate vineyards planted with 29 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and six acres of Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Malbec, Carmenere, and St. Macaire. The property features an eco-sensitive stone tiered glass winery, an 11,000 square foot cave, olive trees, as well as rosemary and lavender bushes. Insider tip: Guests often use the words “stunning and unique“ when describing the winery’s barrel room and caves attended by knowledgeable and accommodating staff. Be sure to ask about the winery’s “unique” winemaking process. The limited 2012 Howell Mountain Merlot $68 is a good choice although their Cabernet Sauvignons are always popular favorites.

A Mountain Leed(er)

Cade Estate Winery
Image Source: Cade Estate Winery

Cade Estate Winery
360 Howell Mountain Road S
Angwin, CA 94508
(707) 965.2746
Yelp: 4 stars, 83 reviews
Reservations: Required

Directions: From O’Shaughnessy Estate Winery parking lot, retrace your route back down Friesen Dr. 3 miles to White Cottage Rd N in Angwin and turn left. Turn right on College Avenue and then and right on Howell Mountain Rd. Continue on Howell Mountain Rd. to Cade Estate Winery on the right.
When Cade Estate Winery principals, Gavin Newsom and John Conover, set out to open a winery, they took extra care to create a property that would not only produce fine, organically grown wines but be environmentally sensitive as well. The grounds feature the trademark Howell Mountain vistas, a wine terrace, naturally insulated caves, a fermentation room and the first LEED Gold Star winery in the Napa Valley. A visit to Cade Estate Winery is an education in sustainable winemaking at its best. No lack of detail was overlooked during the construction of the facilities to incorporate the most up to date and environmentally conscious building practices and farming techniques. Insider tip: Try the 2011 CADE Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon priced at $104 to experience Howell Mountain reds at their best.

Quality over Quantity

 Bravante Vineyards
Image Source: Yelp and Bravante Vineyards

Bravante Vineyards
300 Stone Ridge Rd.
Angwin, CA 94508
(707) 965-2552
Yelp: 5 stars, 15 reviews
Reservations: Required

Directions: From Cade Estate Winery return to Howell Mountain Rd. and go south to Four Corners. Turn onto White Cottage Rd. S 1 mi. Turn left on West Lane 0.1 mi. Turn right on Stone Ridge Rd. The winery is on the right 0.3 mi.

Bravante Vineyards dates back to 1997 with the planting of two vineyards. Stone Ridge sits lower down the mountain from its sister vineyard, Black Oak, which has one of the only plots of Sauvignon Blanc on the mountain. The winery staff goes out of their way to offer a personalized and friendly experience with tours of the grounds and Howell Mountain vistas part of the package. Insider tip: The wineries current release, Bravante 2010 Estate Reserve Red $125, is a great example of balance and complexity that make this vineyard notable.

Eager to start your trip to taste these mountain wines? Start exploring more Napa Valley wineries today!