Napa’s O’Brien Estate
With Fabulous Wine & Stunning Views
It’s ironic that after visiting Wine Country 20+ times over the past year while living in San Francisco, Napa (one of the closest, most accessible towns) was one of the last towns I got to know. It’s also one of the towns you’ll learn that some SF locals snub. After spending a weekend exploring Napa I see how it is both a small town with adorable charm and personality but also how some of the wineries are less intimate, catering to large group tours and such, vs. the quaint more personal Winery visits you tend to find outside Napa. The larger tourist groups are part of the reason I suspect some SF locals prefer to head a bit deeper into Wine Country to towns such as Yountville (my personal favorite!), Rutherford, Healdsburg & Calistoga. Regardless of your favorite area to explore, Napa has some great Wineries to visit as well as a charming town with fabulous hotels and delicious restaurants.
O’Brien Estate Winery – This came recommended to me by a friend who’s new to SF so I wasn’t sure what to expect. He’s a bit less high maintenance than I am (yes, I’m admitting I have high-end taste when it comes to Wine). However, when he said it was the most memorable, small family run winery he’d visited it peaked my interest. After experiencing it myself I know exactly what he meant. O’Brien Estate is located about 10 minutes from downtown Napa. When you approach it you don’t expect much as it’s behind a residential home (where the O’Brien’s live) however, that’s the beauty and appeal of this hidden gem. Upon arriving, we were warmly greeted then led to a picnic table with the most spectacular view of the rolling vineyards. Having expected very little, I was blown away. Remember at this point I hadn’t even tasted their wine; this was just their view. After experiencing their Wine’s led by the very engaging and knowledgeable Abraham, I was very impressed. Both their Reds and Whites are delicious. Usually I’m a White girl and I may have preferred the Red selection here (probably a first!). After finishing our tasting and getting a tour of the Wine making facilities Katherine (The Birthday Girl and my travel companion) and I decided this was a winery we’d have to join. We loved their wine too much to risk not having it again, let alone not on a regular basis. I’d say this was a very successful visit. Thanks Jared for the fabulous recommendation. The JSF approves and can’t wait to return to enjoy their charming, quaint family run estate as well as their delicious Wines! 1200 Orchard Ave, Napa, CA 94558. 707-252-8463.