Field Trip to Napa: Oakville Grocery and Cakebread Cellars

Tuesday, 30 Dec 2008


We took a half-day field trip to the Napa Valley today.  This was our first visit to Napa, so the conundrum was what to see in such a short time period.  Thanks to friends and family in the area, we got some good recommendations and hit Oakville Grocery for lunch (super sandwiches, lots of wines and great gourmet grocery store!) and then visited one of our favorite wineries, Cakebread, for a tasting.  We ate our lunch, including this delicious turkey and cranberry sandwich, as a picnic on top of old wine barrels.


The view from behind Oakville Grocery is spectacular.  I discovered what I began to call the “Ziggurat of Wine,” otherwise known as Opus One, the light-colored building you can see in the background of the next photo.


Opus One’s opulent gates and grounds drew us in for a look, although we hadn’t made a tasting appointment.  Up close, I hate to say it, but it kind of reminded me of a mausoleum.  Beautiful but a little cold.  Here’s the impressive gate and drive up to Opus One.


It’s a little travel tradition of ours to take a self-portrait at some point on the trip, so here’s what we came out with. Now, on to the wine tasting.


The entrance to Cakebread Cellars is quite unassuming compared to Opus One’s manicured gate.  In fact, you could miss Cakebread if you don’t know what you’re looking for.


Tastings at Cakebread are by appointment only.  We called ahead and got in for a “Select Tasting of Current Release Wines.” Here’s what we tasted:  2007 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley; 2007 Chardonnay, Napa Valley; 2006 Chardonnay Reserve, Carneros, Napa Valley; 2006 Rubaiyat, North Coast; 2005 Zinfandel, Red Hills, Lake County; and 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley.  Of the whites, Matt liked the Sauvignon Blanc and I liked the Reserve Chardonnay.  We both agreed on the red — the Zinfandel was fantastic.  As our tasting guide said, “this one is biiiiiggg.”  Very peppery and full-bodied.  The most interesting and/or surprising wine we tried was the Rubbaiyat, a combination of 83% Pinot Noir, 15% Zinfandel and 2% Syrah.  It’s a very light red, meant to be served a little bit chilled.  The Cakebread wine maker came up with it to drink in the summer while barbecuing!  It was very fruity and the aftertaste immediately reminded me of Welch’s Grape Juice.  No kidding.  It was good, though. Our tasting guide recommended it to serve with turkey at Thanksgiving.


These are the French oak barrels used at Cakebread.  They cost $900-1200 apiece.  The oak smells so good as you walk around the winery.  Knowing the cost of the barrels is even more amazing given that the Cakebread family started the place with $2500!  This was a fun, friendly tasting and I think the Cakebread’s understated but high-quality approach is more impressive than some of the giant, touristy, flashy places around.


Reader's Comments

  1. cialis generic canada tadalafil 20mg canadian cialis price per pill

  2. cialis 10 mg price black cialis canadian tadalafil free trial

  3. how much is zithromax 250 mg generic zithromax doxy
    [url=]doxycycline generic[/url] buy doxycycline monohydrate

  4. buy an essay cheap help writing papers buy ivermectin usa

  5. Informative article, just what I needed.

  6. buy sildalis generic lamictal 50mg sale lamictal 200mg for sale

  7. sildenafil overnight estradiol 2mg cheap lamictal ca

  8. writing essays for money buying essay stromectol price in india

  9. Treatment of ambulatory hypertensives with nebivolol or hydrochlorothiazide alone and in combination can you buy priligy in usa

  10. buy cialis 10 tab cialis 20mg tablets price cialis nex day delivery uk

  11. doxycycline tablets

  12. purchase stromectol order stromectol online zithromax 500 price
    [url=]cheap stromectol[/url] minocycline 50mg pills online

  13. dr fauci hydroxychloroquine plaquenil dose calculator half life of plaquenil

  14. sildenafil overnight lamictal cost order lamictal 50mg online

  15. Evolutionary origin of GKN3 coding haplotypes buy cialis online from india

  16. sildenafil for women estrace 2mg usa lamotrigine 50mg sale

  17. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on you can try here. Regards

  18. buy doxycycline cheap buy cheap doxycycline online or buy doxycycline doxylin
    [url=]doxycycline 100mg dogs[/url] buy cheap doxycycline online and [url=]doxycycline 100mg dogs[/url] buy doxycycline

  19. buy doxycycline 100mg how to buy doxycycline online or doxycycline 200 mg buy doxycycline hyclate 100mg without a rx
    [url=]generic doxycycline[/url] doxycycline medication and [url=]odering doxycycline[/url] doxycycline mono

  20. buy zithromax no prescription how to get zithromax online or generic zithromax 500mg india zithromax 250 mg pill
    [url=]buy cheap zithromax online[/url] generic zithromax 500mg india and [url=]buy zithromax without presc[/url] generic zithromax azithromycin

  21. buy oral ivermectin stromectol pills 875 mg amoxicillin cost
    [url=]stromectol pills[/url] minocycline 50mg tabs

  22. redtube cialis what does cialis look like where to get free samples of cialis

  23. zithromax 250 mg tablet price buy zithromax buy zithromax online fast shipping
    [url=]amoxil for sale[/url] purchase amoxicillin online without prescription

  24. doxycycline 100mg capsules doxycycline tablets or doxycycline 50 mg doxycycline monohydrate
    [url=]doxycycline 100mg online[/url] doxycycline 100mg capsules and [url=]doxycycline tetracycline[/url] odering doxycycline

  25. cialis daily dose apomorphine and tadalafil side effects of tadalafil

  26. order prednisone 20mg without prescription isotretinoin 20mg drug generic amoxil

  27. Amazing is an all-in-one time monitoring toolkit that can assist you obtain even more performed in much less time.

  28. deltasone 40mg sale order accutane for sale cheap amoxicillin for sale

Leave a Comment