Winery Visit: Robert Craig Winery

After reading time and time again about Robert Craig Winery, I decided to book a tasting visit. We visit the Napa Valley an average of four times per year and it’s always exciting to find a new winery to try. I made a hassle-free appointment online for 11:30 am on a Sunday.

The winery itself is a little bit tricky to find as it’s in a nondescript warehouse type office park. Siri kept getting confused with her directions leading to a lot of us driving around in circle. Be mindful of this and allow plenty of time to find the winery.

If you’re looking for a swanky vineyard view or opulent decor, this isn’t the place. If you are looking for a super friendly and casual tasting experience with easy to drink, entry level and lovely cabernet blend wines, you’ll dig it here.

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We were promptly greeted by Tia. She was hosting a group of four on a nice seated sofa area and kindly directed us to two seats at the bar. She was wonderful at juggling both of our groups and we never once felt neglected. Tia was professional and friendly, and is the type of employee tasting rooms should strive to have on their payroll. That’s why I think Robert Craig is the PERFECT place for first-timers to Napa, twenty-somethings just starting out exploring wine, or those who are constantly made to feel inferior or stupid by some of the more snotty wineries in the valley. We’re lucky because we’re older, very experienced in wine tastings, and know a lot about wine, but I’ve seen time and time again newbies being made to look like idiots by aloof tasting staff. You do NOT have to worry about that here. This place is super friendly!

We tasted a total of six wines, including one white. The tasting notes were brief and concise, and the pours were on the surprisingly small side but still appropriate. Perhaps a tiny splash more would’ve been helpful to properly evaluate the wines because we had about 2.5 sips with each pour — technically enough, but still smaller than normal. It would also be nice if we had been offered to revisit any of the wines we tried, which we weren’t.

To pair with our tastings, Tia brought out the most pitiful looking cheese and cracker plate you’ve ever seen. I know this isn’t supposed to be a gourmet lunch or a food and wine pairing, but the teeny amount of cheese was seriously laughable. We were taking itty bitty nibbles between sips of wine. I do appreciate this gesture, but it would’ve been better not to serve any palate cleansers at all. My first thought when she brought out the plate was “what, are we in the middle of a cheese shortage or something?”

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The wines were very good quality across the board but not many of them made my palate sing. I did find the retail prices to be a bit high, but we both very much enjoyed the Mt. Veeder cab at $90 per bottle. We purchased two bottles and our $60 worth of tasting fees were cheerfully waived with no fanfare. The per bottle prices ranged from $50 – $95.

Tia didn’t try to hard sell the wine club either, which I appreciated. She casually mentioned it a few times and then dropped it. I will say that if you are a wine club member or if you choose to join, you will earn a significant discount on the wines!

I was very pleased with this tasting and based on the hospitality, would consider revisiting Robert Craig Winery in the future.

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