Almost 75% of the time I find myself in Napa or starting to plan a trip there, Round Pond Estate always seems to pop up on my radar. It makes sense when you consider it is in the heart of the valley, so whether you find yourself somewhere north near Calistoga or sipping on bubbles south in Carneros, you could easily add this stop to your itinerary in a day.
It made for a perfect afternoon for my friend Eduardo and me. We started the day at Oxbow Market with some coffee on nitro at Ritual, grabbed a couple empanadas at El Porteño (to have something quick and tasty in our bellies before imbibing) and didn’t leave without a couple provisions and Napa keepsakes. Oxbow really has it all — this is typically how I’ll start or finish my day when I have a couple wineries on the docket.
I chose Round Pond Estate. this time around because I was on the hunt for a good representation of Cabernet Sauvignon. I also wanted a good selection of other varietals since I was shopping for friends out-of-state and wanted them to have something iconic that wouldn’t disappoint.
At Round Pond you will find the perfect setting for sipping on their rooftop patio. In the foreground an elongated fireplace sets the scene, framed by Napa Valley views. The indoor/outdoor ambience was just right considering the weather this time of year (November) is just past harvest and not too hot or too cold. I guess you can say we got a goldilocks of days, but in winter the heat lamps will provide for a cozy outdoor experience all the same. They also do a very good job at keeping guests at a minimum so for anyone concerned with Covid-19 safety or just doesn’t like a tasting that feels too crowded (many I can name here), this is an ideal spot.
The big, bold reds will also, no doubt, keep you warm and if you’re into lighter, crisp whites they have just the variety – pun intended. Their Proprietary White (currently sold out), made of predominately Semillon and Viognier, was a wonderful way to wet the palate. Made to drink young and welcome you to the lineup, this was the perfect pour while we settled in.
I came for big reds, and these did not disappoint. Their Bovet Series Cabs turned out to be the exact wine I was looking for. They have two different Cabernets from the same vintage with the same production methods only differing from each other by block; one Rutherford and one Oakville. Rutherford had the classic “Rutherford dust” which lends the wine an earthy structure while maintaining the perfect balance of black fruits, mocha and spice, while the Oakville is similar in structure sans “dust”.
Along with these was an impressive list of not just Bordeaux varietals, but also an array of international grapes, creating a long list of small lot wines. Let’s just say your wine tasting won’t be boring and the wine club will be that much more enticing. Especially considering that these wines aren’t easy to find outside of the winery itself. Even Wine.com and my favorite local wine retailer rarely, if ever, have even one of these bottles in stock. Winery direct is the way to go here, and if you come by for a visit I suggest stocking up. These reds are built to last!
See you on the soil!
- Best for: Rutherford Cabernet, esoteric varietals, estate-grown extra virgin olive oil.
- Price range: $$-$$$
- Favorite feature: Outdoor fireplace
- Favorite wine: Bovet Cab, Rutherford
- Expert tip: Don’t leave without a bottle of olive oil
- Reserve a tasting
This article was originally published on Lipstick on My Glass.
For more on Better:
- Santa Barbara’s Unexpected Hospitality History — Plus, Where to Stay on America’s Riviera
- Napa and Sonoma Are Open Again: The Top New Destinations for Tastings, Dining and Wellness
- Chilling Out on The Central Coast: Resorts Offering a Much Needed Reset
Lisa Rocchi is fashion grad turned wine pro who shares her wine-tasting insights at lipstickonmyglass.com. When she’s not out in the market selling Santa Barbara County’s best wines, you’ll find find her sipping on the soil somewhere off Highway 29 and sharing what makes California’s regions and wineries so spectacular.