Range: 1 to 9 (9 is best, 5 is average)
Authentic old stone building, paintings from local artists. Cabernet, Cab Franc, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc, reservations requested.
This trip exposed me to two treasures of stone-based architecture and construction. Having just visited the newly renovated stone building occupied by Ma(i)sonry in Yountville, I now visit the historically preserved stone building at Ehler’s Estate in Saint Helena. While there are a number of similarities between the two buildings, the big differences are that the Ehler’s Estate building started off its life as part of a vineyard operation, and that the modifications made over the decades to accommodate the structural dynamics of the building are more evident here – I noticed reworked beams supporting the walls and ceilings, whereas the Ma(i)sonry building preserved only the stone walls and original roof. I first learned of Ehler’s Estate while shopping half-bottles at Whole Foods and found their 2004 vintage on the shelf. I decided I would buy a bottle and later headed up to the winery for a tasting. By now six years have since lapsed, so I decided to return. I had forgotten how enchanting the old stonework can be when you first walk into the tasting room. Much to my surprise, they now require a tasting appointment, so you should call ahead. (They can often accommodate an appointment on short notice mid-week.)
|The beautifully restored Ehler's Estate stone winery building|
|Inside the tasting room at Ehler's Estate winery|
Based on this experience, I would rate the winery as a 7 and the wines offered as a 6. This has been consistent as long as I have been visiting Ehler’s Estate.