It is not often you get out of the hustle and bustle of Napa, while being smack dab in the Napa Valley. When it does happen, you know you’ve found a hidden gem. Teachworth Winery fits that criteria perfectly. A family owned and operated boutique estate winery in the Diamond Mountain District focusing on organically grown 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Secreted on Quail Mountain, an adjacent foothill of Diamond Mountain, Teachworth grows Cabernet Sauvignon from their two picturesque hillside vineyards, just south of Calistoga. Manzanita Hill, the lower vineyard, contains more vines and gets penetrating afternoon sun on its chalky slopes while Rattlesnake Ridge, the terraced upper portion has deeper soils and shifted exposure. Given the uniqueness of the two vineyards, it enhances the complexity of the wines you wouldn’t normally see from a vineyard so small.
I’m a sucker for a great winery story and this one was no different. Walter and Joan Teachworth moved to the Napa Valley with their children, Chris and Laura, in 1991…longing for a simpler life. They fell in love with the beautiful landscapes, clean air and healthy lifestyle. Their intent was not to become vintners, they only wanted to enjoy the wines of the valley. Walt and Joan both had an adoration for Cabernet Sauvignon. After they had been living in St. Helena for a few years, they found the perfect spot to build their own home on Diamond Mountain. It was at that time, they realized the property was yearning to be a vineyard and the rest is history.
Let’s talk about the wine. Aged for 22 months in new French oak barrels, it is then hand-bottled at the winery and aged an additional year in the bottle before release. Their current release is a 2014 vintage of estate grown Cabernet Sauvignon, proving to be one of the greatest growing years for Napa Valley. This vintage is especially sentimental as it commemorates the passing of Joan Teachworth. She had a distinct vision in the creation of this now classic estate in this quaint corner of Napa Valley. This Cabernet has intense blackberry fruit, clove and spice. Structured on the palate, pleasing tannins and a smooth finish. More than I normally spend on a Cabernet but well worth it. Hell, I bought two bottles!
Teachworth Winery does host private tastings by appointment. Tastings are hosted by winemaker, Taylor Boydstun or owner Chris Teachworth. I didn’t get a chance to meet Chris, but we had a fabulous experience tasting with winemaker, Taylor. You will also have the unique opportunity to taste Taylor’s own brand, T. Berkley Wines. He makes a killer Cabernet Sauvignon and Chenin Blanc! The views from the estate were stunning and it was a fun time having Taylor all to ourselves as we listened to his stories while relaxing and enjoying the wines together. If your love for boutique wineries is as strong as mine, you will want to visit Teachworth Winery, well worth the drive to Calistoga. Cheers!