Matt and I have been wine club members at Paraduxx for a really long time, so it goes without saying that we are big fans of their wines. Over the years we have seen some ups and downs in terms of quality and pricing, but overall their wine tasting experience is pretty consistent.
This is one of our all-time favorite wineries to visit while in the Napa Valley. The tasting is a little pricey at $35 per person (free for club members) but I feel it’s worth it. This is a special experience, not one of those “grab and go” standing bar tastings. Make an appointment and enjoy a leisurely wine tasting on the less crowded Silverado Trail.
If the weather’s nice, grab one of the tables outside in a plush cushioned chair. We have a favorite table and we are seated there nearly every time (I don’t know how the hosts always seem to know, but this is just one of the examples of the hyper-personalized, great service you’ll get here). On uncrowded days, you feel as though you are a guest in someone’s personal backyard. After a rainy season, you can hear the rushing water in Rector Creek right across the grassy yard!
A wine host will personally bring a tray of delicious zinfandel blend wines to your table along with a small selection of tasty cheeses and crackers. Informational cards accompany each glass of wine so you can read more about what you’re tasting. I really, really love tastings like this because you have personal interaction but nobody is hovering over you and watching you taste. Your host will bring the wine, chat for a bit, then leave you alone. Of course you’ll be checked on just like at a restaurant, so don’t worry if you have questions. The staff is always friendly, professional and well educated on all of the wines being poured.
There’s a cute gift shop too, with some swanky Paraduxx-themed goodies and great wines to take home as a souvenir. The atmosphere is casual yet cool and it’s a very comfortable and welcoming wine tasting salon. This is the place we love to bring visitors because it impresses the hell out of them, and it makes us feel special because a big deal is always made about the fact that we have been long-time wine club members. It’s the little things that go such a long way in building brand loyalty!
There are a few minor negative points to the winery: first, it’s dog and kid friendly. I love dogs so they don’t bother me; I just mention that dogs are allowed in case anyone has allergies or a fear of dogs so you can ask in advance to be seated away from the pups.
I like kids too, but recently almost every visit I’ve had to Paraduxx has been marred by loud kids, screaming babies or children running around the property. I’m not some old curmudgeon, but I do not believe kids belong in a winery in the Napa Valley. Wine tasting is an adult activity, and it’s very selfish to haul your booger eaters along to ruin what should be a peaceful, relaxing adult setting. While I do place most of the blame on the parents, I think the winery is partially at fault. Maybe rope off a special section for families or just have a “no kids” policy like so many other higher end wineries in the area are adopting. It’s simple.
Another negative is that the quality of the wines can be inconsistent, but prices keep going up. When I saw the price list of the new releases, I let out an audible gasp! These wines are good, but I don’t think they are quite worth the high prices the winery is currently charging. I know these are the more “premium” wines, but I’ve been drinking the label for over a decade (back when the Howell Mountain Postmark was around $50) and the new price tag is a bit much.
I still love Paraduxx, though! It’s a great winery to visit.