I knew that my friend Jackie and I were in for an interesting experience when I called Buehler Vineyards to schedule a tasting and was told there was a map to their winery on their website. In the age of Google Maps and GPS, I was a bit surprised! And when I saw the map, I was definitely intrigued (yet scared at the same time) it was a PDF that resembled a treasure map. At the start of our journey to Buehler, I joked that there better be a treasure at the end… in the form of delicious wine!
The drive to the winery was gorgeous, and I was not even annoyed that I made 3 wrong turns. I was concerned that we were late for our appointment, but the woman who answered the phone did not sound surprised at all that we got lost and steered us in the right direction. The property is absolutely stunning, with amazing views. Definitely a far cry from the tasting rooms in the more congested area of Highway 29. The owner, John Buehler, took us on a tour of the property/winery and provided us with interesting historical facts about the area. If you visit, be sure to ask him the real story behind Two Buck Chuck!
And now for the wine. My favorite part, of course The standouts for me were the Chardonnay and Cabernet. Their Chardonnay ($16/bottle) is sourced from the Russian River Valley so it is not the very ripe, high alcohol Chardonnay you’d come to expect from the Napa area. The fruit definitely shines through, especially the citrus notes. The Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is the wine that is the easiest to find in wine shops and restaurants, and I’ve definitely had the ’05 by the glass at a wine bar. The 2007 is pouring very nicely and will age well – a bargain at $25/bottle for a Napa Cabernet! John also poured us the 2007 Papa’s Knoll Cabernet Sauvignon, which was big, bold and the standout of the group. The production on this one is limited as it is made from old vines, so the $45/bottle price was understandable – many other Napa wineries charge much more for their Reserve Cabernet.
I recommend this winery to anyone who doesn’t mind driving a bit out of the way… and if you would rather enjoy beautiful scenery and a secluded environment over the hustle and bustle of the wineries on Highway 29. Be sure to call ahead for an appointment, and allow extra time to get there