Throughout my years of following the wine industry, I have enjoyed veering away from the corporate giants and seeking more family owned and exclusive wineries. Available by appointment only, away from the main highways, Truchard Vineyards is precisely my kind of winery.
During my visit to Napa in July, I made sure to plan ahead and visit some of these wineries. Although Truchard is mostly available for appointments during the week, I was very excited that they were able to squeeze us in on a Saturday.
The property is located in the Carneros region of Napa Valley, along Old Sonoma Road. The driveway to the winery is a bit tricky to find and we had to turn around a couple of times and drive past again. Upon finding the property, we pulled up the driveway toward the tasting room and were greeted by a friendly little goat.
Our tour and tasting was guided by none other than the gracious Jo Ann Truchard, co-founder of Truchard Vineyards. She began our tour by pouring us a glass of wine and taking us out into the vineyard. The property is quite stunning with a small pond sitting at the bottom of the vine covered hills. We walked through the cabernet-filled slopes and the chardonnay flat lands. Jo Ann gave us each a bottle label to show us this exact scene where the inspiration for the label design came from.
She then took us into their maze of a wine cave. Shaped with tunnels in all directions, we walked through and acknowledged the different brands and oaks of the barrels the wines are aged in. Wandering through the cave tunnels not only gave us some insight to their wine process, but also provided a nice cool break from the summer heat of Napa Valley.
We followed the path back to the antique barn-styled tasting room where Jo Ann poured us several of their estate wines. While we tasted, she enlightened us on how her husband Tony and herself bought and converted the Carneros property into a vineyard during the 70′s and began making wine in the late 80′s. And only those who have tried wine from Truchard would know exactly how well that has worked out.
My Favorite Wine:
- Truchard Vineyards, 2006 Tempranillo- This wine has to be my favorite at Truchard. Being a fan of oak, this wine has an utterly powerful oak influence to it that lingers on the palate. This deep colored and velvety textured wine presents succulent raspberry, red cherry, sweet spices, tobacco and a black peppery finish.