When Claire Weinkauf approached five St. Helena wineries with her idea for a wine-tasting passport, she was greeted with unflinching cooperation. Instead of bristling at their competition, the winemakers at each site decided to join forces to entice patrons with their aromatic, sippable wares. Because the Napa Valley area is so rich with vineyards and natural attractions, Passport St. Helena condenses the wine-tasting experience into an easy jaunt along five blocks of downtown St. Helena.
The five wineries along the passport route each offer something a little different. The Clif Family Winery crafts special climber blends sourced from local mountain vineyards, while the St. Helena Wine Center cultivates rare flavors from regional and international vineyards. Long Meadow Ranch Winery combines quality flavors with an eco-friendly outlookthe winery’s solar panels supply its electric needs and biodiesel fuels power its farm equipment and robot grape pickers. Merryvale was the first winery built in the Valley following the repeal of Prohibition, enchanting guests with landscaped gardens and a historical cask room with giant barrels stacked from floor to ceiling. Tamber Bey Vineyards brews cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and chardonnay with grapes all plucked from its pair of estate vineyards. As enophiles move through the wineries, they’re equally enticed by wine samples as they are by the product and activity discounts the passport also provides.