Storybook Mountain Winery sits at the northern end of the Napa Valley, about a fifty-five minute drive from The Inn On First, a premier lodging property in Napa. Best known for Zinfandel, it has been named repeatedly as one of Wine and Spirits Magazine’s favorite wineries for Zinfandel. Guests of the inn have also raved about this place.
Founded by two brothers named Grimm in the late 1800’s, it closed around prohibition, opened again for a short time until a fire in the 60’s cleared out the buildings. It wasn’t until years later (70’s) that the current owners came and renamed the place with a whimsical name to reflect the winery’s past history. They were told at the time that Zinfandel was best with the particular soil type found at the winery, and the advice they were given has proven its veracity.
We were given a tour of the property which, amazingly, is only tended to by four vineyard workers; they bring in no outside help. So you can imagine how carefully the vines are tended to throughout the year. Once up the small hillside you begin to understand the beauty of the northern Napa Valley, north of Calistoga. Forested hillsides surround you versus the broad plain of the southern Napa Valley.
Entering the caves we were led to the final tasting room under the hillside where we enjoyed a selection of their wines: the Napa Estate Zinfandel (100% Zinfandel, with cherry tones, balanced fruit and oak), Antaeus (50% Zinfandel, then blended, big fruit flavor with a bit more oak than the first, with a nice oak finish), the Napa Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (very fruit forward, light tannins, toasted wood finish), and the Napa Estate Viognier (beautiful floral, honey nose, little acidity, not buttery, not oaken, just right).
Wines range from $36 to $90. Picnicking is allowed prior to or after your tasting in a grassy knoll surrounded by redwood trees. Reservations are a must, and they are closed on Sundays.