On your next day trip to a spring mountain winery, be sure to extend your stay and check out these other options below. The suggestions provided here are only a fraction of what you can find to do and experience while you are in Napa Valley.
In addition to being famous for its wines, Napa Valley is also home to an assortment of excellent dining options. The options we have highlighted here are among the best dining establishments in the valley.
Fall is a great time to take a day trip to wine country. In addition to the many harvest celebrations, you can learn how to make greek yogurt, attend a fundraising dinner for Camp Silverado, and learn how to taste and evaluate wine! The St. Helena event calendar has information on any of these events and more!
Calistoga’s Petrified Forest is a treasure trove of ancient redwoods which were transformed by a volcano over 3 million years ago. South of Napa, San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge is home to an amazing array of plants and animals and features activities such as canoeing, hiking, fishing, and more.
There are wineries scattered throughout Napa Valley, providing ample opportunity for wine tours. Squire Livery Tours offers small tours where you can select the wineries or let them guide you to some hidden gems. Napa Valley Wine Train has tours available all summer long, including an exclusive July 4th excursion. For a party atmosphere, try the Fiesta Italiana at V. Sattui Winery, where wine, food, music, and dancing come together in a memorable experience.
Be sure to schedule a tour of Sherwin Family Vineyards and other Spring Mountain AVA wineries while you are here. Fall is a perfect time to get out and explore Spring Mountain.
Spring Mountain day trips are for everyone. Whether you are looking for a fine culinary experience, attending one of the numerous events in St. Helena, or simply looking for a day of fun and sun, there is an exciting day’s adventure waiting on your arrival.
There is a lot to take in when you visit our vineyard and winery. The summer months tend to be a little more relaxed, allowing time to enjoy the view, and sample some of our favorite vintages. We would love to meet you and offer some of our local hospitality, so make sure that Sherwin Family Vineyards is part of your day of wine tasting on Spring Mountain.
The Spring Mountain District AVA and the surrounding Napa Valley brings in hundreds of thousands of tourists each year to explore wine country. After spending a morning or afternoon learning more about some of your favorite small vintners, you'll want to stretch your legs and explore some of the most beautiful land in California. Here are a few suggestions to help you make the most of your time in St. Helena.
1. Rent a Bicycle. St. Helena is not a large city geographically, so a bike is a great way to become familiar with the local stores, restaurants and other attractions. In St. Helena, there's plenty of hills and curves to keep the ride interesting, while down in the Valley, you get a more relaxing ride.
2. Picnic in the Park. Take along a bottle of your favorite local wine and head to Crane Park on a sunny afternoon. Playgrounds, bocce courts, tennis courts, volleyball nets and picnic spots abound, so you can enjoy the weather and a relaxing day burning off some excess energy.
3. Hiking Oat Hill Mine. For an all day adventure in the mountains, enjoy an exciting walk along the old stage couch route the Oat Hill Mine Trail. The 8.3 miles of dirt track are surrounded by stunning vistas of the peaks and forests below. Watching the sun move across the sky, lighting up the mountains and valley is an unforgettable experience. If you want a more gentle adventure, you can always turn back at the base of the Palisades. It is a natural halfway point that lets you experience all of nature's wonder.
4. Camp on Spring Mountain. The Bothe-Napa Valley State Park sits virtually on Spring Mountain, with all of the views and natural beauty of the local scenery. Camping is available if setting up for a night under the stars sounds like a romantic way to spend a weekend, and day trips are always welcome. Hiking trails lead you past stands of redwood trees and a variety of firs. Don't forget your swimming gear since the pool is open during the summer season. Pack a fun picnic with a few delicious local wine pairings and soak up the sites as you sip on your bounty.
5. Explore the Mount St. Helena Trail. The challenging Mount St. Helena Trail is 9.3 miles of some fairly tough hiking, but the view from the top might even have you forgetting to break out the wine. The mountain top reaches 4,342 feet, giving you an unparalleled view of the flower covered slopes. You'll climb nearly 2100 feet during the hike, but it is all on a wide dirt track, so no worries about getting lost or breaking new ground.
1. Balloon Accessions. Take an hour or two near sunset to appreciate a bird's eye view of the Valley laid out before you from up high in the sky. With all the noise and activity left behind, you and your significant other can enjoy the serene beauty of floating above mountains, lakes, rivers and more.
2. Saunter up the Napa River and Bay Trail. Romantic views and scenic overlooks are part of the fun along the Napa River and Bay Trail. Walking hand-in-hand as you take in the wonderful views is more than just romantic, it's dreamy and charming as you watch the sunset go down on another great vacation day.
3. Tour the Culinary Institutes of America Campus. Combine a romantic meal with some shopping for your kitchen at this non-profit school that has turned out some world-renowned chefs. Tasting plates and nibbles keep you satisfied without weighing you down as you explore everything the campus has to offer.
4. Tour a Tuscan Castle. You won't need to visit Tuscany to see a castle with that style of architecture. St. Helena has its very own example. General admission tickets are available, and nothing says romance like a classic Tuscan castle.
Whether your next trip to the Spring Mountain District AVA is for business or pleasure, there are plenty of outdoor activities to round out your trip. Be sure to schedule a visit to Sherwin Family Vineyards and taste our award winning estate cabernet on your next visit.
There's nothing like sitting back with a great meal and enjoying a lush, vibrant and flavorful glass of wine at the end of a long day. If there is a particular type of spring mountain varietal you would like to enjoy, your options include everything from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. White wines come from Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling. All of these varietals do well on the partly shaded slopes of the mountains surrounding Napa Valley. The most popular Spring Mountain varietals are the deep reds of the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, followed by white wines like Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc.
One of the most well-known varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon grapes have black, tough skins that make them very hardy. Expect to see fields full of Cabernet Sauvignon anywhere they make reds. The lush aromas of vanilla and currant are part of this wine's tasting experience, paired with a medium body and hard tannins. When sipping on a wine made from Cabernet Sauvignon, you might taste anything from mint to bell pepper, depending on the ripeness of the grapes at harvest. Pair your bottle with a meat course, cheese course or any rich, creamy sauce.
Merlot vines also produce black grapes that create a smooth, low tannin wine that is a great choice when developing your palate. The clean, herbal aroma conceals luxurious flavors of chocolate, plum and black cherry, all wrapped up in a medium body wine with smooth acidity. Try a fruity and flavorful merlot the next time you enjoy a fish dish, or you're in the mood for some Spanish cuisine.
If you enjoy a bit of the bubbly now and again, you've probably already enjoyed Chardonnay grapes. The white skins lead to a pale or golden colored wine, and the fruit grows on a particularly hardy vine, making it one of the most popular white varietals. In addition to its ability to grow in a range of climates, chardonnay grapes also take on flavors quickly, easily and completely. Two different growers can produce very different versions of Chardonnay, even when the grape varietal is the same. You'll enjoy everything from toast to pineapple in the aroma of a Chardonnay.
California-made Sauvignon Blanc tends to bring out the best of the fruity aromas and flavors in this white grape varietal. While very few Spring Mountain wineries produce Sauvignon Blanc, those that do offer a light, crisply acidic version that goes well with the fresh and vibrant produce of the area.
To enjoy the crisp white varietals, be sure to visit Spring Mountain earlier in the season. This is when most producers harvest their white grapes. For the more full-bodied reds, come back towards the end of the harvest season. Cabernet Sauvignon is often one of the last varietals to reach harvest and start the long process of becoming a rich, smooth and enjoyable bottle of wine.
Sherwin Family Vineyards proudly produces award winning wines including our estate cabernet sauvignon. We are also the only producer of the Patriotic Pour. Come relax on our vineyard terrace and sample our wines on your next visit. To schedule a tasting please contact us or book online here.
Serving wine should be a straightforward, simple affair. Just uncork and pour. However, if you ever had the misfortune of encountering a crumbly cork, you will appreciate learning to decant wine. At our St. Helena vineyard, we often decant many types of wine for various reasons.
There are two main reasons to decant a wine after opening. First, if your wine falls a little flat on the bouquet and it tastes like something is missing, it may still develop a fuller body with oxygenation. Some connoisseurs will say that it will get all the air it needs in the glass. However, it never hurts to decant a wine, even white wines, before serving. Another reason to decant is sediment. Red wines, older than five years are especially prone to sediment build up, which happens when the naturally occurring tannin bonds with the wine’s pigment. Sediment can cloud your wine and add undesirable bitter notes to the bouquet. Sediment becomes more pronounced in older and heavier red wines. It may not always be visible when inspecting an unopened bottle.
Wines are oftentimes decanted ahead of time to allow them to open their full body. It is worth noting, though, that this is not particularly advisable for fragile wines that may fade too quickly or are prone to oxidization. These sensitive wines should not be decanted more than 30 minutes before drinking or should just be poured straight from the bottle.
At our St Helena vineyard, we begin the decanting process 24 hours ahead of time by standing the bottle upright. This gives any sediment plenty of time to accumulate at the bottom. Also using a short candle or another light source to backlight the pour will make it much easier to see any sediment. Pour the wine steadily, not too quickly, until you reach the last few ounces. As soon as you notice flakes of sediment in the stream, stop pouring and discard the remainder. Be sure to pour with a sure hand and avoid agitating the wine or it may become cloudy. Decanting wine is a highly recommended practice. If you are looking for new wines to add to your collection, visit Sherwin Family Vineyards today. Call us to schedule an appointment at (707) 963-1154.
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