Monday, July 27, 2015

Trefethen Family Vineyards: A Review

Trefethen Review
Trefethen Vineyards
When I first discovered that Nick and I would be traveling to Napa Valley, I was absolutely ecstatic. My first stop after hearing the news was the local wine store to pick up a couple great bottles of cabernet (because, hello Napa!)!. One of the sommeliers highly recommended a stop at Trefethen. I'll be honest- I hadn't heard of Trefethen before, so I wasn't positive that it would be the best place to visit. After all, there are other more well-known vineyards in Napa Valley- and I naively assumed that the best known vineyards would provide the best experience. Nonetheless, I visited Trefethen while in Napa Valley- and gosh, am I ever glad I did!

Best wine tasting in Napa
I thoroughly enjoyed wine tasting at Trefethen!
Trefethen has been a family run vineyard since the property was purchased in 1968 and the winery was opened in 1973. Keep in mind, this is the early days for Napa Valley- at this time, there were less than 25 vineyards in the area and people still did not believe that Napa could produce great wines. After learning a little bit about Trefethen, and finalizing that I would be visiting them while in Napa Valley- my first step was to learn a little bit about the wines, and of course, try a bottle! Rest assured, it was delicious, and I couldn't wait to visit Trefethen. A few weeks later, I was on my way...!

Hard at work learning all about Trefethen!
If you visit Trefethen right now, upon driving up to the winery you will be a little bit underwhelmed. I was told to check in at 'the tent', and it didn't quit make sense until I pulled up. Right now, Trefethen is going through a bit of a reconstruction phase. As such, all of the wine tasting are currently hosted in a temporary tasting room- also known as 'the tent'. More on this later though- for now, you might be asking, why is your wine tasting experience happening in a tent?

Well, on Sunday, August 14, 2014 at 3:20 in the morning, Napa Valley - and specifically Trefethen- was hit with a 6.0 earthquake. As an effect of this, the historic building - and former tasting room - experience a direct hit. Remember how I said the Trefethen property was purchased in 1968? Well, in 1968 the property, including the historic building - constructed in 1886 - was purchased. The same building constructed in 1886 is still a part of the property, and experienced a major hit due to the earthquake (check out the picture below!)

The Trefethen historic building after the earthquake
Trefethen Historic Building
So, as you can see, Trefethen experienced quite a hit. The entire second floor of the building attempted to shift about five feet to the west, while leaving the rest of the building in the dust. Wow! However, as any true family does, when tragedy strikes it is tradition to prevail and come back stronger than ever. As such, Trefethen is now in a reconstruction process, and working on making the vineyard and winery better than ever!

So, with that being said- right now, the tastings are taking place in a temporary location. The outside is quite misleading though, as it does look like an enclosed canopy tent, often used for weddings and other such events that might get rained out. As soon as you enter, you forget that you are inside of a tent and feel transported to a cozy, warm location for a great wine tasting and vineyard tour. The staff immediately greets you, and seats you in a cozy area before beginning your tour or tasting.

Nick and I started our trip at Trefethen with a nice cool glass of water before beginning the tour. As our tour started, we were led behind the temporary tasting room to view the historic building. Right now, the building is being supported by a steel corset as restorations take place to bring the future tasting room to full strength. Restoration is expected to be completed within two years of the project starting in March 2015. After checking out the historic building, the tour led Nick and I to the family house.

Trefethen Family House
I mentioned above that Trefethen is a family-run winery. The family house is where members of the family have lived. Currently, the house is also under going restoration to turn it into a secondary tasting room. Behind the house is a stunning pool and garden. It is easy to envision the many cozy nooks and crannies where visitors of the winery will be invited to relax and sip on a refreshing glass of wine.

Claudia, one of the amazing and friendly chefs for Trefethen!
stunning details all around the property!
Trefethen is a certified California sustainable vineyard and winery, in addition to being a certified Napa green land and winery. Some of the practices that Trefethen uses include 100% solar power electricity, recycling water for irrigation, night harvesting, and natural pest control uses owls, bats, and hawks. Pretty impressive, right?!

Enjoying my wine tasting at Trefethen
OK- let's get on to the wine tasting! Nick and I were able to taste a great varieties of Trefethen's wines. The range was anywhere from a light and fruity Pinot Grigio to a dry riesling to Dragon's Tooth, a delicious blend from Katie's Acre. Trefethen is a true estate winery, with 100% of the grapes used in the wines being from one of Trefethen's properties. Trefethen really focuses on classic wines with a layer of complexity, while still being approachable by all. Confused yet? That just means that each wine is delicious, whether you have a refined wine palette or are having your first sip ever!

One of the sustainable practices at Trefethen- cover crops growing between the grape vines!
Trefethen was such a wonderful winery to visit, and I can't imagine that anybody could visit the vineyard and not feel a part of the family. The family mentality really seeps through the entire experience, and was refreshing to witness first hand. Many of the staff members have been with the family for 10, 15, even more years, and it was easy to see why. As a guest at Trefethen, I felt truly welcomed and couldn't wait to relax and bask in the beautiful grounds and ambiance. In addition to the lovely feelings at Trefethen, it is easy to envision where the winery is headed, and how cozy it will be as construction finishes. I already can't wait to return in the future and see the gorgeous property unfold! Trefethen is a must visit for any relaxing Napa Valley trip!

wouldn't you love the catch this sunset with a nice glass of Trefethen while relaxing with family?!

**Disclosure: I received a complimentary tasting and tour to facilitate this review. As always, this did not affect my review in any way and all opinions are my own and 100% honest!**


  1. Oh my goodness, I can just picture myself watching the sunset with that view with a glass of wine in my hand!

    1. It was a great experience, that's for sure! Perhaps you can visit- aren't you headed to Napa this summer?!

  2. Sounds like the kind of winery I would like to visit, warm & welcoming. Loved this, thanks for sharing!!

    1. It was such a great winery- I was so happy to visit it! Will definitely be including it on any future Napa trips I take!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on my blog! I truly appreciate and will take the time to respond to each of your comments. Please, do not post links unassociated with my content as they will be deleted.