Upbeat staffers keep things jolly at upvalley outpost.
This upvalley outpost known for Cabernet Sauvignon touts its tasting room as the Napa Valley’s friendliest, and the upbeat staffers do keep things jolly. Bennett Lane Winery also makes Chardonnay from the celebrated Sangiacomo vineyard in the Carneros district, and the Maximus White Feasting Wine, a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and a little Muscat. Cabernet Sauvignon predominates in the Maximus Red Feasting Wine, which contains a few other Bordeaux varietals mellowed by Syrah, a Rhône Valley grape, and a touch of Petite Sirah.
As of mid-June 2020 seated garden tastings included the Maximum red blend and a Cabernet Sauvignon; look for the return of the flight of reserve Cabernets. The setting is relaxed and informal, as though you’ve just dropped by a friend’s patio to share a glass of wine, or in this case several. Reservations, which can be made by phone or (at least a day ahead) online, are required for all tastings.
Tip: Bennett Lane Winery is 3 miles north of downtown Calistoga. Because the winery is at the far end of the valley and many visitors trek from south to north each day, it’s often uncrowded first thing in the morning.
Why go: pastoral setting; appealing red blends; elegantly balanced Cabernets.
Bennett Lane Winery is mentioned in 48 Perfect Hours in Calistoga.
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This story originally appeared online in 2017; it was fact-checked and updated in 2020.