Smaller wineries sometimes have trouble hitting the radar of wine lovers travelling Napa Valley, largely due to the sheer volume of wineries in the Valley. Over the past few months, we have discovered three delightful wineries that were new to us, but should be known by all. We wanted to share these with you because they all make delicious wine and are well worth your time. We highly recommend each one but please realize that due to their size, appointments for visits and tastings are required at each.
Hyde de Villaine (HdV) – This is a family venture between Larry Hyde of Napa Valley (owner of Hyde Vineyards in Carneros) and Aubert & Pamela de Villaine of Burgundy (Aubert de Villaine is one of Burgundy’s most recognized individuals, born and raised in the rich traditions of France’s greatest winemaking techniques). HdV’s label bears the coat of arms of the historic de la Guerra family from which Pamela Fairbanks de Villaine and the Hydes descend, symbolizing the sense of tradition, family, and winemaking history that the new venture embodies. The winemaker, Stéphane Vivier, was born and raised in France and joined HdV in 2002. The winery specializes in Chardonnays, a Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon blend called “Belle Cousine,” and a Syrah. 588 Trancas Street, Napa (707-251-9121)
Kelly Fleming Wines – Off of the Silverado Trail, in the Simmons Canyon area, lies a stunningly beautiful winery with tons of exposed stone on the walls and even within the 7000 square feet of caves. The property offers several locations for lovely scenic views. Kelly Fleming purchased 300 acres in 2008 and her winemaker Celia Welch crafts outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon from the 12 acres of vines planted on the estate. The Sauvignon Blanc and Rose are also very well made. The grapes that don’t make it into the namesake estate Cabernet Sauvignon are used as the base for another delicious wine under their companion label (Big Pour). Gorgeous building, lovely views, and gracious and welcoming staff here make a visit worthwhile. 2339 Pickett Road, Calistoga (707) 942-6849
Phifer Pavitt Wines – When a country girl and a city boy fall in love and move to Napa Valley, this is what happens when they start a winery. Come here for a sophisticated but down-home tasting experience in a renovated barn moved to this location from Franz Valley School Road. The barn now has refurbished snow fencing from Wyoming on the walls, recycled blue jeans for insulation, an enormous black walnut tasting table, and chandeliers made from hay baling wire. If you come for a tasting, chances are the charming Ms. Phifer-Pavitt will be your hostess while you sit on hay bales and sample their wine with country music playing in the background. This very small winery has made Cabernet Sauvignon for a few years and released their first Sauvignon Blanc in 2012. 4660 Silverado Trail, Calistoga (707) 942-4787
If you would like to know where else we recommend going in Napa Valley, please check out the Favorites By Wine Region portion of our website. Simply go to the navigation bar near the top of the page, click on the “Favorites By Wine Region” section, and follow the drop-down menu to “Favorites in Napa Valley.” From there, you will be able to select Favorites in Calistoga and Diamond Mountain. Spring Mountain and St. Helena, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Rutherford, Yountville and Stags Leap District, the City of Napa, Mount Veeder, and Oak Knoll District, and also the Carneros Region.