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January 17, 2007
PlumpJack's vineyards date to 1881, and their winemaking facility originally used to house Villa Mt. Eden Winery (now located in Yountville). PlumpJack was started in 1973 by James and Anne McWilliams with one goal: to make an outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon. They certainly have achieved that, consistently producing some really lovely reds - including a Syrah and a merlot - but they also make a lovely reserve Chardonnay. Their tasting room is very modern, with seating space outside where you can take a bottle and enjoy the views. Located off Oakville Cross Road close to the Silverado Trail, PlumpJack for years was a quiet secret among those who ventured off route 29 (the main traffic way in Napa Valley), or who was familiar with PlumpJack's other brand holdings - their Squaw Valley Inn, their athletic gear, their restaurants. In the past ten years or so, however, PlumpJack's outstanding wines have found their way onto more and more restaurant wine lists across the country. Several years ago, whenever I visited PlumpJack, their tasting room was usually quiet, perhaps only one or two other people sharing the attentions of the knowledgable staff. The artsy, attractive tasting room has come a long way, and now they are frequently quite busy - but still as friendly as ever - even during the traditionally more-quiet midweek days.
PlumpJack Winery, 620 Oakville Cross Road, Oakville, CA (707) 945-1220. Tasting fee $5.
From journal Napa Valley: California's Landmark Wine Country
October 26, 2003
Hours: Open 10am to 4pm Monday - Sunday Website: www.plumpjack.com
From journal Two Days in the Valley