No Comments

Envy Estate Wines

One of the things you find out in the valley is many times there is a connection between wineries. Well known winemakers will help out other wineries and vineyards by do consulting work for them. Smaller vineyards or locations without sufficient property often do not have crush pads, tanks, or storage areas and will work out agreements for sharing facilities. Sometimes it may even come down to a trade type agreement, you work for me and I work for you. There is also the making of friendships with either money or talent to start a new venture. Remember growing grapes and making wine is not an easy or inexpensive under taking, and not something the inexperienced should try alone. Our next stop suggested by Lin at Venge Vineyards was one of these joint ventures that we were excited to try. Envy Wines was started by a well known Napa name, Nils Venge (a widely known, busy winemaker in the valley) and his friend Mark Carter. Carter is an innkeeper who owns Carter House; a group of four beautiful Victorians perched alongside Humboldt Bay in Old Town Eureka. Carter and Venge were introduced by a mutual friend back while Nils was making wine for Groth Vineyards where he received a perfect score of 100 from wine critic Robert Parker for Groth’s 1985 Reserve Cabernet. Nils became a regular at Carter House after starting his own Saddleback Cellars, and attending the first winemaker dinner hosted there. As the story goes Carter had an extensive wine list at his restaurant and began bugging Nils about making a wine he could call his own. Nils Venge would later help Carter make his first wine in 1998 and Carter Cellars was born. Their friendship would endure and they eventually teamed up to launch Envy Wines. Together they purchased the former Calistoga Cellars property off of Tubbs Lane in Calistoga. The property includes 11.2 acres of Cabernet and Merlot vines, a tasting room and wine making facility. After taking possession of the property last December, Envy is already off and running with the tasting room selling wine from their inaugural release. The tasting room is a small, stylish building that offers a bit of a homey feel to it with a table and chairs nested in the middle where you can relax if you choose. A dog (and his owners) was welcomed into the tasting room while we were there. A woman came in who was hosting a party at her home that evening and simply had to purchase a case of wine from Envy for her party. We too had to purchase a case of wine to ship home to the East Coast as well as a few bottles for consumption on the remainder of our trip. We sampled whites, a Rose, and several Reds. We loved all of them but I think a group favorite was Bee Bee’s blend. Another great stop and some new Envy customers will be back to purchase again.

Comments are closed.