Although hopping from tasting room to tasting room can be fun, sometimes the best wine country experience is spending a leisurely time in a beautiful setting with a glass or two of your favorite wine. That’s why Rombauer Vineyards recently expanded its Tasting Room options to include a By the Glass Window where visitors can order wines by the glass or bottle to enjoy on the winery’s expansive covered porch or in its verdant gardens and picnic areas. With westward views of vineyards stretching out to the Mayacamas mountains and meandering trails punctuated with an eclectic sculpture collection, Rombauer offers one of the most authentic and relaxing wine country experiences one can have in Napa Valley.
To make visiting stress-free, Rombauer also recently added a Concierge Stand where visitors can check in for their appointment and learn about the surrounding area. Wine lovers can still opt for the convivial atmosphere of the newly-remodeled Tasting Room, although others may prefer the new Joy of Wine Experience, which includes a tour of Rombauer’s cool hillside wine caves and a private, guided tasting of some of the winery’s finest single vineyard wines. The Experience also includes a cheese pairing component.
“We want to make it easy and fun to visit Rombauer, and to give guests the experience that’s right for them,” says Direct to Consumer Sales Manager Cheryl Riedel. “We also want to be more accessible to our guests, to have that personal interaction and share the Joy of Wine.”
One of the great things about visiting the winery is having the opportunity to taste wines not often seen in wine shops or restaurants. Of course Rombauer’s iconic Carneros Chardonnay continues to be the winery’s most popular and enduring offering, but it is joined by small quantities of single-vineyard Chardonnays and a Proprietor Selection Chardonnay that reflect treasured estate and grower vineyards in the Carneros grape growing region.
A highly-acclaimed Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, first introduced with the 2014 vintage, has also been added to the portfolio. And a continued focus on Napa Valley’s Cabernet Sauvignon – which the Rombauer family has produced since 1980 – has resulted in small production wines such as the Diamond Selection Cabernet as well as Single Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernets from Stice Lane and Atlas Peak. All of these, plus the winery’s fabulous Zinfandels, sourced from some of California’s oldest Zinfandel vineyards, are available at various times at the Rombauer Tasting Room in different experiences.
Founded nearly four decades ago, Rombauer belongs to the distinctive class of family-owned wineries in Napa Valley. Three generations are actively involved, including third generation family member Reagan Rombauer Blackwood, who joined Rombauer full-time in 2017. Reagan grew up in the winery, with fond memories of playing hide-and-seek in the caves with her siblings, riding on a forklift with her grandfather — Founder Koerner Rombauer — and being taken out of school a day or two a year to help with the grape harvest. For her, family ownership of the winery and its vineyards is the key to Rombauer’s identity and long-term success.
“We own and farm 520 acres in amazing appellations – Carneros, Atlas Peak, St. Helena, Calistoga, the Sierra Foothills – which means we have secure fruit sources year after year,” she says. “That’s critical to making high-quality wines consistently, and as stewards of the land, we ensure these vineyards will be in our family for many generations.” She notes that several of Rombauer’s vineyards are certified under the Napa Green and Fish Friendly Farms programs.
The Rombauer’s family focus on sustainability extends to community involvement, as demonstrated by its philanthropic efforts locally and beyond. After the devastating wildfires that swept through Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino Counties in 2017, the winery held a fundraiser with 100% of net proceeds directed to the North Bay Fire Relief Fund, an effort that resulted in a $31,300 donation. This followed a similar effort by the winery after the 2015 Valley Fire which swept through parts of Lake County. These fundraisers are by no means the extent of Rombauer’s philanthropic endeavors; in addition to annual donations to dozens of non-profit and charitable organizations, the winery is behind two endowments totalling $4 million in support of pancreatic cancer research at the University of California, San Francisco.
Please note: It is necessary to have an appointment to visit Rombauer Vineyards. For information and reservations please call 1-800-622-2206 or go online to www.rombauer.com.