Platypus Tours

January 15, 2019
Category: Napa Valley

Palmaz Vineyards and Italics Grapegrowers

The Napa Valley spans thirty miles from North to South, and is five miles across at it’s widest point. There are over 100 different soil variations, and those represent over half of the world’s soil orders. We may be a small region, but we sure are mighty when it comes to variety, topography, and geographical location. There is a reason why such wonderful wine is made within such a small area. 

Although most of the popular wineries are a bit of a drive from the Inn, you do not have to go far to experience some wonderful, informative, and fantastic winery experiences. After a short ten minute drive east of Downtown Napa, you will find yourself in the middle of Napa’s newest AVA, Coombsville. This district within the Napa Valley was established in 2011, and is known for their gently hilly terrain, and more moderate weather. The harvest usually lasts longer in Coombsville than any other region due to its proximity to the San Pablo Bay. This creates fruit that is bright, acidic, and crisp. The acidity found in the Cabernet Sauvignons from this region allow for a longer aging process, and you will find that these wines truly stand up to the test of time. Being that the region was only established five years ago, the wineries here are often seen as the underdog within the Napa Valley. For many years, the region was not taken seriously because of the cool weather that is often found during harvest. The pioneers in this region have had to prove and earn the worth of their land, but once they did, people really began to listen (and taste!).

The Inn on Randolph is located just five miles from two of our favorite wineries within Coombsville: Palmaz Vineyards and Italics Winegrowers. Both of these wineries produce some of the very best wines in the area, but what really sets them apart are the families and the people who represent them.

Palmaz Vineyards is located right on the slopes of Mount George. The winery experience takes you through their vast caves, which are multi-leveled and built straight into the mountain. The caves are definitely something to experience and marvel at. In a valley full of unique experiences, this cave is truly special. The winery was designed and built to allow for the most sophisticated use of the space and the winemaking style. The location allows for the wine to experience gravity-flow, making for the purest and most unaltered wine. It feels like you are standing in a planetarium for winemaking when you see the tank room. The tank room was designed by some of the top engineers in the world, and the dome allows for data to projected onto the walls of the dome. Although winemaking is an older tradition, Palmaz is a winery where technology and tradition make for a wonderful marriage of old and new. The wines reflect this quality, and you will be impressed by their intention, their thought, and their authenticity. The tour includes a tasting of their current flight paired with a small hors d’oeuvre, which really awakens your palate. There is nothing at Palmaz that does not appear with elegance and excellent.

Just a stone's throw away lies another one of our favorite Coombsville Wineries, Italics. Italics is the new kid on the block, just opening this past summer, but boy have they made an impression. The view from the top of the winery showcases Coombsville in a way that only Italics can do. The vines are planted along the slopes of the hills, and the tasting experience begins at the top of the highest hill. The caves are built into this hill, and the glass windows showcase the narrative of the vines. The people at Italics really want you to relax, learn, and experience the value behind their brand. They are not there to push sales or memorize a blurb and recite a performance for you. The hospitality team is there to get to know you and know what makes your experience the very best. They want you to leave their cave and their property feeling like you are a part of something bigger, something more personal and family-like than any other winery experience. During your tasting experience, you will sit among some wonderful people with fantastic stories, all while drinking some killer wines. The winemaking team does a phenomenal job keeping the integrity of the grape and using the latest technology to ensure highest quality of the wine. The wines from Italics represent the very scientific nature of winemaking, all while holding true to the artistry that represents Napa Valley. There is not a better combination in my mind. There a several different experiences one can choose from. Our recommendation is to go with the tour and lunch tasting. You will get to tour the entire property and experience what it is like to go from vine to bottle. You will then get to enjoy lunch surrounded by both. When I think of what makes wine special, I cannot help but think that it is the people and the food. Why not experience both at a winery that is committed to both it’s wine and it’s guests?

Whether this is your first time to the Napa Valley, or you have been here a dozen times, these two wineries are worth your visit. Coombsville is truly the hidden gem of the valley, and we are delighted to be able to point you in the direction of our newest AVA. The drive to both wineries will take you past neighborhoods, farms, and horse ranches. You will be able to see just why people began putting their roots down in this small farm town, and why the Inn on Randolph is so honored to be just a few miles from this magical sub-region.