Our final Napa wine tasting tour of the year was going strong. We transitioned from the refined elegance of Domaine Carneros to the modern esthetic of Domaine Chandon.
The Domaine Chandon tasting room is nestled into a beautiful park, full of mature trees, a meandering stream (complete with ducks) and sweeping walkways. The parking area was something that would be at home at a National Park in both design and scope. The vine-encrusted entrance set a light hearted, one-with-nature vibe that was maintained throughout our tasting experience. Arriving visitors have no doubt that they are about to be part of something special.
We entered the building, moving through a Gift Shop that would make the National Park Service proud. Since we were visiting during the off season, there was a lot of unused tasting room capacity. We easily located the operating tasting room and found a nice spot along the bar. The room was a beautiful blend of glass, wood and metal. Every wall was glass, bringing the magnificently manicured outdoors in, and the arched wood ceiling was gave the room an amazing airiness. The cool, brushed aluminum bar served as counterpoint to all of the warmth of nature.
We settled in and met our two (yes, two!) wine guides for thay, Antwaun and Alexa. We learned that there were three sparkling wine flights and two still wine flights for our enjoyment. So many choices! As we considered our options, Judi noted that there were no bad choices. A great situation, without a doubt. After some consideration, we chose to divide and conquer once again, so we split the three sparkling flights amongst us. Yet another great reason to wine taste in a team formation.
Our tasting proceeded smoothly, with Antwaun and Alexa seamlessly tracking where each of our three flights were in the progression. Given the swirling crowd of happy tasters in the room, this was wine guide performance at the highest level. We loved the variety of flavors presented in the dizzying array of sparkling wines, with something presented to please every palate. There was even a sparkling red, made from Zinfandel grapes!
Tasting flights completed, we thanked Alexa and Antwaun for all their time and attention, and made our way back to the Gift Shop to purchase some bottles to join us at home. Although we could have spent many more hours looking around the property, we had more tastings on our schedule! So, we visited Domaine Carneros and Domaine Chandon so far. Where do YOU think we visited next?
About the Author: John grills a mean steak and is always in the market for another wine fridge. Believes that if a winery has more than 10 employees, it's probably too big. Buys wine faster than he drinks it, but who cares?