Sterling Vineyards
The Hess Collection & Domaine Carneros

The Silverado Trail

The Silverado Trail is a beautiful drive that runs parallel to the main drag in Napa (Route 29) but seems light years away from the hustle & bustle of that busy strip. It's a much less congested road, with wide open expanses of grape vines on one side and views of the Las Posadas State Forest on the other. We took a leisurely drive along it one day and visited two vineyards:

Mumm, which is known for its sparkling wines and has gorgeous grounds, complete with flower garden, seasonal pumpkin display, and a barn-like art gallery full of Ansel Adams prints. We sat on their dog-friendly patio (beautiful spot) and enjoyed a tasting of 5 different sparklers, with a bonus round of Santana DVX, a special sparkling wine resulting from a collaboration between the winery and musician Carlos Santana.

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Just down the road, we visited ZD Wines, a fantastic, no-frills, family-run operation (for 3 generations) that produces Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon. In fact, their 1969 Pinot Noir was the first to carry a Carneros designation on the label. These were among our favorite wines on the trip.

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