Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Wineries with Caves

I frequently get asked to visit wineries that have caves. Most wineries do not have caves as they do not have access to hills in which to drill caves. When wineries do have hills, they often chose to excavate caves so they can store their wine in perfect climatic conditions with minimal expense for power. Fifty-eight degrees is the perfect temperature for storing wine. With a cave, the winery does not need to spend money on heating and air conditioning. In addition, wine should be aged in a humid environment to minimize evaporation. Caves, being naturally humid, save on power for humidification.

Below is a partial list of wineries with caves that can be visited:

Napa Valley

Del Dotto - Compare barrel samples while visiting their cave.
Hall-Rutherford - Taste wine under a chandelier in the shape of a vine's roots.
Jarvis - See beautiful crystals and a restroom with twinkling stars.
Palmaz - Enter a 180 foot tall cave while being guided by a family member.
Rombauer - Tour the cave and enjoy a picnic lunch on their beautiful grounds.
Rutherford Hill - Take a public tour that includes a visit to the winery's cave.
Schramsberg - Visit caves dug by Chinese laborers in the 19th century.

Sonoma Valley

Moon Mountain - Visit one of the few natural caves used for aging wine.
Nicholson Ranch - Walk through their no-frills cave on a private tour.

Dry Creek Valley

Bella - Enjoy beautiful views from the hillside and then taste in the cave.

This list is by no means complete. It includes caves I've personally visited or have been recommended to me. If you would like to take a private wine country tour that includes a tour of one of these winery's caves, please call me at (866) 326-42377 (toll free) or e-mail me by clicking here.

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