Sample Napa Valley Cabernet under the shade of Rutherford redwoods.
A modest winery producing several single-vineyard Cabernets, Sequoia Grove Winery sits just east of St. Helena Highway in the Rutherford appellation. Redwoods tower over its tasting room, a renovated barn more than a century old. On a hot summer day, the nearby patio, also shaded by the winery’s namesake trees, ranks among the mid-valley’s coolest spots, temperature wise, to relax and sip wine outdoors. The Current Release Tasting includes Sequoia Grove’s Napa Valley Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, along with other wines, available only here, that vary with the season. Two other options revolve around Cabernet Sauvignon.
Taste the Terrain
The several small-lot Cabernet Sauvignons poured at the Single-Vineyard Tasting illustrate the range of flavors the Napa Valley’s varied terrain makes possible. The wine made, for instance, from grapes grown in the prestigious Stagecoach vineyard, high up in the Atlas Peak subappellation, has a gritty, tannic personality (great for a steak), its power tempered by Cabernet Franc in a recent vintage. By contrast, a “Rutherford Bench” wine, exhibiting that lower elevation’s classic chocolate-dust overtones, has a smoother, almost delicate mouthfeel.
The winery’s resident culinary expert developed A Taste of Cabernet to expand guests’ notions about which foods pair best with the Bordeaux red. This experience introduces participants to Cabernets from Rutherford and beyond served, yes, with beef but also dishes that might include swordfish and buttermilk fried quail.
Why go: Cabernets from Rutherford and other appellations; redwood-shaded outdoor patio; A Taste for Cabernet food pairing.
Sequoia Grove Winery appears in 10 Foolproof Napa Valley Cabernet Tasting Experiences.
Napa Valley Itineraries
This story originally appeared online in 2017; it was fact-checked and updated in early 2022. Lead photo of Haire Vineyard in the Carneros District, a source of Chardonnay, is courtesy of the winery.