Friday, September 5, 2014

Three Napa Valley wineries where you can play games

The view from the deck at Cade Estate
The best way you can help Napa Valley rebuild from the earthquake is to visit. Tourism can take a hit after a quake, and that impacts a lot of local jobs. More than 95% of Napa wineries, restaurants and hotels are open and they want you to come and spend your money.

Here's a short list of wineries with games:

Cade Estate has backgammon and dominos

Ehlers Estate has a bocce court

B Cellars has croquet

Bonus winery in nearby Sonoma Valley: Hamel Family Wines has Cards Against Humanity and Jenga

A little more detail:

In July I got a fine PR pitch from Heidi Pettit at Glodow Nead Communications. Most PR pitches are useless; i.e., "We just released our Merlot!" But this email about the games was as good an article as you see in most travel magazines. Of course, a lot of travel magazine articles are simply rewritten PR pitches. But I wouldn't feel right about not giving credit where it's due.

Due to the nature of PR pitches, these wineries are all Glodow Nead clients, so if you know of another good Napa Valley winery with free games, please list it below.

I've been to Cade Estate. The view from high up on Howell Mountain is terrific, nice on a sunny day but even lovelier when the fog rolls in on the San Pablo Bay. The wines are pretty good, among my favorites in Napa's mid-range price wise (i.e., $50-$150), though it will set you back $40 to taste them. Welcome to Napa Valley! California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom is one of the owners, though it's not likely he'll be here on any given day, because we all know how
ceremonialvitally important the Lt. Governor's job is.  Click here for more info on visiting.

I haven't been to the other three wineries. You need an appointment at Ehlers Estate (click here for info). Tasting is $35. You also need an appointment at B Cellars (click here for info). Tasting is $45. I believe you can just walk into Hamel Family Wines and spend $40 to taste wine -- and play Cards Against Humanity. Pro tip: "Panda sex" is a trump card.

It takes an earthquake for me to recommend spending $40 to taste wine. But I do love to play games, and I often have a $40 wine while I'm playing. So what the hell. Have some lunch while you're up there, and tip generously; your server is the most likely person you'll see to have suffered great economic hardship.

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1 comment:

Bob Henry (Los Angeles wine industry professional) said...


You write:

"I've been to Cade Estate. ... The wines are pretty good, among my favorites in Napa's mid-range price wise (i.e., $50-$150) ..."

One Hundred Fifty Bucks is mid-range pricing?!

Sheesh, I had no idea you were such a high roller.

Next time I'm visiting the Bay Area, YOU can pick up the bar tab.

~~ Bob