by Barb B
Napa, CA and Hereford, AZ , Arizona
September 25, 2001
In 1982, Robert Sinskey began his humble plan to grow grapes in the Napa Valley. Beginning with just 15 acres, he built his winery and caves in the foothills of the Stags Leap District. Today the vineyards encompass over 150 acres in the Valley’s prime Carneros and Stags Leap Areas and a labyrinth of over 18,000 square feet of underground caves provide a perfect environment for the winery’s barrel aging.
A visit to this unique winery carved into the sloping hillside, provides a combination of education and elegance. The dignified tasting room features a dramatic wine bar fabricated from native Napa stone and "narra" an environmentally farmed hardwood. Beauty surrounds the entryway with peaceful water gardens and a culinary garden where herbs are grown for use in the cooking classes and food events at the winery.
Located along Napa Valley’s Silverado Trail, (known among locals as the "quiet side" of Napa Valley), the shallow soils in the area are intended to stress the vines and create grapes which are small and intense. This soil combination, along with the long growing season, has permitted Sinskey Vineyards to produce some superb, award winning wines. Recent vintages of special note include: 1999 Pinot Noir, 1998 Merlot and 1997 Vineyard Reserve Cabernet (a combination of 47% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% Cabernet Franc).
Several tours are available at the winery: (1) Daily at 11 am -- a culinary garden tour which includes the gardens and caves followed by a discussion of the pairing of wines and herbs. (2) At 1 pm daily -- a wine and cheese tasting tour. This tour includes the caves and gardens followed by tastings of selected wines and cheeses. Both tours are $20 per person and the price is redeemable on wine purchases. Select tastings are also available in the tasting room for $10 per person (also redeemable on purchases). A secluded picnic area is also available, including a covered area for rainy day picnics.
Frequent culinary events and special tastings are also provided at the winery. You can see a full list of coming events at the Sinskey website, which also includes fantastic photos, poetry, history and recipes. www.robertsinskey.com
Daily hours 10am to 4:30pm
From journal Napa Valley -Speaking As A Local---