Tuesday, August 25, 2009
This weekend, I redeemed the auction item I won at the Taste of Howell Mountain, a day at Lamborn Family Vineyards. Last summer, I visited the tasting room at Napa Wine Company, which is a custom crush facility in Napa Valley, and immediately feel in love with their 2004 Zinfandel. Lamborn grows all of their fruit on Howell Moutain and uses Napa Wine Company to crush, barrel and bottle their wines. They make a little under 2,000 cases a year and their winemaker is Heidi Barrett.
I didn't know what to expect but I knew the day would be filled with good wine and laughter so I was so excited to bring some friends on the journey with me. We drove up to the house and were warmly greeted by Mike and Terry Lamborn in front of their beautiful home and were immediately whisked away on a vineyard tour. Mike and Terry were incredible hosts, very knowledgeable and everyone learned a lot on the tour.
Next, they took us in their home and we did a vertical Zinfandel tasting starting with the '99 and going up to the 2006. It was fascinating to try the different vintages and understand how the fruit differed vintage to vintage and how the wines age. If you haven't had Lamborn wines, I would highly suggest that you run not walk to your computer and order some online or go to Napa Wine Company. Since case production is low, you won't find it in stores. Oh yeah, their Cabernet is amazing, too.
I love wine but days like these really make me love the wine business. Folks like Terry and Mike are a great example of what the family wine business should be and should stand for. Their son is slated to take over once they retire and both of them tend to the vines themselves except at crush. They have a lovely home, a wonderful relationship and like to have friends over for bocce ball and drinks. They are just wonderful people.
We had such a great time at Lamborn and thank Mike and Terry for their hospitality. If you are coming to Napa Valley, try to visit them for a tasting and tell them I sent you. I promised them I would be their biggest fan and ambassador for life!