As I was planning my trip to Napa Valley, I was blown away by all the options and possibilities when researching wineries and vineyards…especially when it came to the boutique variety. We decided to join Platypus Tours to help make these decisions for us and I’m happy to report that they over-delivered when they took us to the Tudal Winery.
While the bigger name labels and show-like atmospheres can sometimes draw you in, the real treasures of Napa lie in the lesser known places hidden in the valley. These are the kind of places that will steal your heart…just like the Tudal Winery stole mine!
So to find the Tudal Family Winery, we had to venture off the beaten path just past the town of St. Helena, right off Highway 29. Tucked away on the most charming dirt road, you really feel like you are visiting someone’s farm house instead of arriving at a vineyard. Apart from their modern amenities and winemaking technologies, this property is like a little time capsule that is layered with interesting stories and hidden treasures. I had the pleasure of speaking with John Tudal, who let me tag along as he fed his chickens (pictured above) and then shared with me the amazing nostalgia that this property has for him. He has painstakingly managed to keep the property as his father and grandfather kept it (still using some of their same vines!) even restoring their old tractor shed and turning it into a barrel room and tasting facility. He also proudly displays their antique tractors on the property which ads to the charm.
My favorite part of the property was the gorgeous vegetable garden where the outdoor tastings are held and were our tour enjoyed a light lunch from Platypus Tours. I have quite a keen appreciation for “junk” so I loved wandering around and seeing all the displays of old empty bottles of wine and oak barrels.
As much as I loved the grounds, I can also say I love their wines. Here are those that are considered the most notable at Tudal Winery:
- 2009 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
- 2009 Clift Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
- 2010 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc
- 2009 Napa-Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon
Between the charming grounds, the charming stuff, and the charmingly delicious wines, our experience at Tudal Winery is what most tempts me back to visit the Napa Valley. Attending their Annual Harvest Party officially has a spot on my bucket list and I intend to continue buying wines from them for years to come!