You may wonder why Napa Valley is so popular among wine lovers when wineries are found practically all over world. Well, the fact is of all the wineries in California, more than 360 wineries are found in Napa Valley alone making it the most popular destination among wine lovers. Napa Valley owes this popularity to its extraordinary topography that's unique and provides a broad range of climate and soil all throughout the Valley. The diverse climatic conditions across Napa Valley are conducive for cultivation of different varieties of grapes.
For instance, the cool climate in the Carneros region at the southern end is ideal for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. Although Napa Valley is particularly famous for Cab, it is also a huge draw for Merlot lovers who simply love the wine. Wine lovers love this thin-skinned variety that's as popular as Cabernet Sauvignon, but has more lush. All die-hard Merlot lovers make it a point to go on a varietal-inspired tour along the Silverado Trail and Rutherford to visit some of the best Merlot wineries.
As you begin your Merlot wine tour in the Napa Valley along the Silverado Trail, start with Clos du Val that's situated at the southern end of the Napa Valley. Clos du Val is a popular picnic spot and close to heart of many a wine lovers. The place had to struggle for identity for a very long time until it was finally noticed and acknowledged as one of the finest wine producers in the region. Although Clos du Val is more famous for Cabernet, it also offers produces the finest Merlot, along with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. You may also visit Regusci, a small family winery that has limited production. Chances are that most of their wines are sold out, however you could taste their Merlot and Cabernet that are simply incomparable.
As you explore the Silverado Trail further, you will come across Pine Ridge thats located near Yountville. Although Cabernet is its strong contender, Pine Ridge also boasts of its impressive Merlots.
Situated north of St. Helena is Duckhorn that is famous for its deep and majestic Merlot. The tasting room here is located in lavish settings offering relaxing experience to its guests. This winery however, insists on prior reservations for tastings especially if you are planning to visit them on weekends. You may opt for an estate tour followed by a tasting and also absorb some of the interesting details regarding Duckhorn Merlot wines. Duckhorn is also the place to be if you want to learn about their portfolio of wines, as you taste their exclusive limited-production wines along with some delectable food compliments.
Towards the south of Calistoga is the Cuvaison thats famous for its ripe, concentrated Merlot indicating their impeccable winemaking abilities. Also not to miss is the Clos Pegase winery (Calistoga) that is known for impressive architecture and of course, its Merlots with dark, leathery qualities. Merlot lovers also vouch for Twomey for their Merlots that exude the kind of balance and silkiness thats found in their richer counterparts like Chateau Petrus. Swanson is the place to be for a relaxing and enjoyable wine tasting experience with friends and family. And if you are looking for impressive wines at an equally impressive cost, then don't miss the Whitehall Lane Winery!
And last but not the least; make it a point to visit Sterling Vineyards for its rich Merlots particularly "the Reserve" with a dash of plum jam and spice. Visiting this place in May is a treat for Merlot lovers when Sterling holds its annual Merlot gathering inviting the top Merlot producers to pour their best Merlots.