Max Napa Tours Showcases Napa and Sonoma Wines

Day tours explore Northern California Wineries

Whetstone Wine Cellars Voignier, Syrah and Cabs

There are hundreds of wineries in Northern California. On my last visit, I knew I wanted to experience wineries that were unique; made great pinot, cab and sparkling wines and that I might not be able to find or get into on my own.

Thanks to Max Roher, owner of Max Napa Tours, I was able to visit four unique wineries, learn about the history of Napa and Sonoma winemaking and taste some outstanding wines.

Max picked me up at the Silverado Resort and we headed a few miles away to Whetstone Wine Cellars, owned by Jamey Whetstone. Whetsone produces limited single-vineyard wines. Housed in a gorgeous two-story chateau, Whetstone’s tasting salon is warm and inviting with a huge stone fireplace, big blue velvet chairs, a mustard sofa and a stunning upstairs patio area. I tasted the 2014 Pinot Noir, 2014 Syrah and 2015 Viogner, all were delicious.

Next Max drove us to Salvestrin Winery where I met owner and winemaker Rich Salvestrin. Rich shared the history of the winery and told me stories of his grandparents John and Emma Salvestrin who moved to St. Helena in 1932. They purchased a portion of Crane Ranch and began growing and selling grapes. Their son Ed grew up on the vineyard and continued the family wine business. Rich took over from his father and has raised his daughters on the family vineyard. Rich and I shared a 2015 Retaggio and two Cabernet Sauvignons (2014 and 3D 2013). All were outstanding. Rich took me on a tour of the vines and barrel room.

Max and I went to lunch at Farmstead, a huge open restaurant with large communal tables and a store. We talked about wine and food and enjoyed grilled artichokes, a house made charcuterie plate, mini ham sandwiches and steak tartare.

Our last stop was the Davies tasting room for some bubbles from Schramsberg Vineyards. I sampled the 2009 J. Schram, 2014 Blanc de Noirs and the 2015 Blanc de Blancs. Each was unique and would go well with seafood, appetizers and on their own. Max stored my wine in a cooler while we explored the wineries.

I would recommend taking a tour from Max for anyone visiting wine country. I learned a lot about Northern California wines; tasted great pinots, cabs and sparkling wines and made a new friend by taking the tour.

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