Day 2's second stop was at Franciscan Estate. This is a larger winery with a rather busy tasting room. My media tasting here was like a typical walk-in experience at the bar with a choice from their current releases of Napa Valley wines, their limited editions and their exclusives from Mt Veeder Winery, offered daily at $15 to $25 per person. Make advance reservations for tasting experiences like a 3 course lunch with wine pairings or a "create your own blend" class.
Wines have been produced by Franciscan Estate since 1973. Though a larger operation, winemaker Janet Myers and team focus on small lot production through regular evaluations and paying close attention to detail. Sustainability is important; they are certified Napa Green, California Sustainable and Fish Friendly and they continue to look for ways to improve and minimize environmental impact.
I was able to sample several different wines here.
A few favorites in the extensive line up were:
- 2014 Napa Valley Rosé (SPR $24)- from 100% Syrah; juicy berries and melon with a creamy finish.
- 2013 "Larsen Vineyard" Carneros Chardonnay (SPR $35)- exclusively at the winery; minerals, baked pear, smooth.
- 2013 "Cuvee Sauvage" Carneros Napa Valley Chardonnay (SPR $40)- wild yeast fermented with extended hand stirred contact; creamy lemon custard character.
- 2012 Mt Veeder Winery "Rosenquist" Cabernet Sauvignon (SPR $65)- ripe, dark berries, cherries and plums, roasted nuts, black pepper, smooth ripe tannins; complex and lingering.