What’s the drink of summer? In Napa Valley, Rosé of course, it always hits the spot on a warm day. Before we dive into the best places in St. Helena to enjoy this blushing beauty we wanted to cover how most Rosé is made. It can be made from pretty much any red grape varietal but most commonly you’ll see them made from Grenache, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Cabernet, and Malbec.
So if the winemakers are using red wine grapes how does it get its pretty in pink color and not turn that well known red? With Rosé wine the winemakers leave the grape skins on for short period of time during fermentation, just to impart the color, where red wine allows the skins to soak for much longer. We’re big fans of familiarizing yourself with wine labels. Give the back label a read and you’ll be able to see what grapes make up your favorite summer wine!
Now let’s dive into where you can find the refreshing favorite in St. Helena:
1010 Big Tree Road, Saint Helena
Benessere is the Italian word for “well being” or “living the good life” and the name reflects their dedication to producing fine Italian varietals and their warm, casual hospitality can’t be beaten.
The Benish family named the winery in 1994 to describe the feeling of life in the Napa Valley. Benessere Vineyards is a small, family-owned, St. Helena, Napa Valley estate in a country setting that provides an intimate tasting and picnic experience.
Rosé to try: 2017 Rosato di Sangiovese
2252 Sulphur Springs Avenue, Saint Helena
In the heart of St Helena, their historic Hayne Vineyard is home to 114-year old heritage Zinfandel vines and the source of some of the most highly rated Zinfandel in California. Like living works of art, these old vines are each a spirit unto themselves and totally unique. Chase Cellar’s vines are dry-farmed, head-trained, hand-tended and managed sustainably with lots of love and without chemical intervention- the same way the family has done it for five generations.
Rosé to try: 2018 CHASE Hayne Vineyard Zinfandel Rosé
709 Main Street, Saint Helena
Clif Family Winery was founded in 2004 in St. Helena, California. Owners Gary Erickson & Kit Crawford are focused on hand-crafted wines that sustain the natural resources of the local community and bring awareness of organic and sustainable farming to others. The fruit for their estate wines comes from the vineyards located high atop Napa Valley’s famed Howell Mountain appellation. They also source fruit from small, family-owned vineyards in other regions of the Napa Valley and Mendocino. You can experience Clif’s wines at the Clif Family Tasting Room on Main Street, St. Helena during your Napa Valley adventures. The Clif Family Tasting Room is a unique place where the passions of cycling and wine are celebrated and blended.
Rosé to try: 2018 Rosé of Grenache
254 S Saint Helena Hwy, Saint Helena
Louis M. Martini’s decision to settle in Napa Valley was driven by a desire to craft exceptional wines by sourcing the best fruit possible. In the years that followed Prohibition, he established a legacy of craftsmanship and a passion for Napa Valley that continues to this day. The winery’s history reflects the vision, ingenuity and endurance of a family committed to making the best Cabernet possible.
Rosé to try: 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé
2812 Saint Helena Hwy N, Saint Helena
In 1976, industry pioneer Bruce Markham acquired his first 230 acres of Napa Valley vineyards, and founded Markham Vineyards the following year, with the now local Napa legend, Bryan Del Bondio as the winery’s first employee. In 1980, Markham crafted its first vintage of Napa Valley Merlot—becoming only the fourth winery in Napa Valley to make varietal Merlot—and a decade later, Markham’s flagship bottling was named “Merlot of the Year” by Wine Spectator. Today, Markham continues to be recognized for making benchmark Napa Valley Merlots, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.
Rosé to try: Rosé of Pinot Noir 2018
1111 White Lane, Saint Helena
Sattui Winery is a family-owned property located in the heart of Napa Valley, which was founded in 1885 and makes more than 60 different wines with dozens of 90+ point rated wines among its current vintages. It is a must-see Napa Valley destination for picnics, weddings and events, offering an impressively Cheese Shop with more than 200 selections. The sprawling estate includes two-dozen picnic tables nestled beneath ancient Valley Oak trees and tri-level terraces that overlook beautifully manicured gardens and vineyards.
Rosé to try: 3 different varieties