Friday, March 16, 2012

hope & grace Tasting Salon, Napa

After a long day driving through the rolling hills of Napa, sipping wine at various vineyards, and watching the wildlife, we ended up at a little wine tasting "salon" in Yountville. "hope & grace" was the name of it and we had never heard of it before. When we walked in, it was packed full of people tasting wines. It was a cozy tasting room with a warm feel to it. On the right, there was a sitting room surrounded by little knick knacks you could buy. There was a bar for tasting and, to the left, a table in a separate room at which you could sit while you taste your wines. When we arrived, it was almost closing time so we quickly ordered a flight.

While tasting the wines, we inquired as to the story behind hope & grace. Hope and Grace are the daughters of the winemaker, Charles Hendricks. He had been in the wine business for over 20 years, but this was his first pursuit on his own and it was a relatively new label. We found the wines to be very smooth and of high quality. When I asked about the breadsticks they offered, they showed me which ones were vegan and informed me that all of their wines were vegan as well. Well, that's a plus. This is the first winery I've been to that actually knew offhand if their wines were vegan.

The label on their bottles is very unusual. The picture on the label is actually a painting in this tasting room -- a painting Charles had in his private collection for the past 20 years. He acquired the "Figure in Red," painted by Charles Eckart, from Restaurateur Modesto Lanzone in San Francisco. He chose it for his label because he felt it provoked "emotion, opinion and conversation…just as art and wine should," and it has. It reminds me of the guy from the movie, "Scream."

I have to also mention that I loved their packaging. We decided to join their wine club and also bought some bottles while we were there. They wrapped them up in tissue paper and put them in these very nice, thick bags. I've never had a winery wrap up a bottle that nicely. Their logo is very modern as well.

They offer a selection of wines from many different grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Malbec, and Reisling. I liked one of their Cabernet Sauvignons the best. This label offers extremely limited production wines that are very good.  I would highly recommend stopping by if you are in Yountville and be sure to mention you appreciate them producing vegan wines.

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