by Fred McMillin
for December 25, 1998


Winery of the Week

Merry, Merry Christmas

On Christmas day, our Winery of the Week is the one that gave us the best presents in 1998...that is, the most Best Buys. From over 30 tastings, 16 finalists emerged. The envelope, please.

The Rest of the Story

Historic Rhine House
Historic Rhine House, Napa Valley
Symbol of Napa Ridge.

And your Christmas Best Buy winner is Napa Ridge, established in 1986 by Beringer. Wine whiz David Schlottman makes eight different varietal wines using seven different coastal districts ranging from Santa Barbara County in the south to Mendocino County in the north. My panel's favorite this year was the '96 Cabernet Sauvignon at $10. They are looking for wines that taste very good today, and this one don't have to soften it up in the cellar for four or five years. Other favorites were the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.


Have you ever stood on the Napa Ridge and looked down over the Napa Valley? The answer is "no" addition to the valley, there's a Napa city, county, river, creek, slough and junction, but there's no ridge. Napa Ridge is simply a brand name.

Note: For much more about Napa Ridge, see the Jan. 30, 1998 WineDay titled, " Where is Napa Ridge?"

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.



WineDay Annex

More articles by
Fred McMillin


Welcome to WineDay, the electronic Gourmet Guide's daily update. Monday through Thursday, WineDay presents a wine profile. Then on Fridays we present the Winery of the Week to take you through the weekend.


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