Some of us here in the Napa Valley call the Chiles Valley 'East of Eden'. And when you experience a journey to the Chiles Valley, only 9 miles east of Silverado Trail, you will see why. Bring your camera to capture the historic houses, the vineyards and the rolling hills of the Valley.
We start out the day at 10 am, after a brief ride we stop at Mumm Cuvee for a little bubbly to get the palette going. The Wine Enthusiast Magazine calls Mumm Cuvee Napa "one of the best tasting experiences in America." Whether you decide to taste in the glass enclosed tasting salon or outside on the terrace, looking out to the Napa Valley Vineyards while tasting a flight of their sparkling wines, the views are spectacular.
Once we leave Mumm's, we're on the road to 'East of Eden' (Chiles Valley) where we will take a beautiful drive past Lake Hennessy and then itıs on to Brown Estate Vineyards. The Brown family has turned this magnificent property from rags to riches. "The Ranch" as they refer to their 450 acres is a splendid collection of rolling hills and majestic oaks mixed in with a beautiful garden setting and a romantic picnic area, and of course, 40 acres of vineyard. But what stands out in front and captivates you as you enter the property is the beautifully refurbished 100-year-old White Victorian Home. Also located on the Ranch is a masterfully preserved two-story stone and redwood barn built in 1859 that functions as their winery facility. This is the staging area where we will be tasting their sought after wines. After tasting their wonderful Zinfandels and their Cabernet - their debut of Cabernet will release September 1, 2003, we can purchase a bottle to have for lunch 'al fresco' in their beautiful garden. Esperya will set up a table draped in linens, wine glasses and paired with just the right foods for the best wine and food experience. It might be hard to leave, but there is more...
Our next experience is a visit to the RustRidge Ranch & Winery where we will meet the owners Susan Meyer and Jim Fresquez. The ranch has been a breeding and training facility for thoroughbred racehorses since the 1950's. The Kentucky-bred stallion son of "Raise a Native" has been in residence at RustRidge since 1986. The young thoroughbred horses are exercised and trained near the vineyards before they run at the track. Each spring Raise a Native sires a new crop of foals just around the time the new buds form on the grape vines. Jim the co-owner, is also known as one of the trainers of Seabiscuit. There is a great deal of racing memorabilia (including Seabiscuits') at the winery. However let's not forget that we're here to taste wines... RustRidge Winery is known for their award winning estate bottled Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Chardonnay. There is plenty of wine to taste and lots more to experience.
Last but not least...
The remainder of the day will be spent at the historic site of the Nichelini Winery. Here we will view the site homesteaded in 1884 by Anton Nichelini, a Swiss-Italian immigrant. The winery is the oldest 'family owned and operated' winery in the Napa Valley. The stone masonry of the building is original and rustic looking. There is also a roman press that dates back to the days when the winery first operated. We can take our wine down to the bocce court and play a game of bocce while sipping our wine. A visit to the Nichelini Winery as our last stop will show you why the people in Napa call Chiles Valley 'East of Eden' and why Esperya has added to it our collection of experiences.
Anyone can go to wineries in the Napa Valley, but to experience a truly incredible journey you have to experience the Chiles Valley. It is a complete day with incredible wines, vineyards, rolling hills, historic houses, flora and fauna, and even race horses and bocce ball. What more could you ask for?
This East of Eden tour can also be customized to visit other wineries in the Chiles Valley area. And can be packaged with staying at the RustRidge Ranch B&B or other Napa Valley B&B or hotels.
Esperya will take care of all of the planning and tactical details for you! Wherever in the world you are, a trip to the Napa / Sonoma wine country will bring you back to your senses, leaving the hysterical world in your personal rear-view mirror.
Contact Esperya for a complete list of Chiles Valley wineries.
RustRidge Ranch B&B
The three rooms at this remote B&B have sweeping views of the vineyards, pastures and hillsides. The amenities include queen size feather beds, decks, open beamed living room with a fireplace and a sunlit breakfast room where guests are served a hearty breakfast. In the evening they serve RustRidge wines and appetizers. It has a pool and tennis court as well as hiking trails.
A Day in the wine country with Esperya. An example of one of our tours.
Do you need help planning a business or personal event? Contact Esperya, we'll handle the details.