We first visited Frog’s leap on The Brit’s fiftieth birthday. I thought it was a strange name for a winery, but The Brit had it on a personal recommendation that the wine was wonderful and the setting incredible. The friend was right on both counts.
Let me go back and fill you in on this bit of information: every year on his birthday The Brit plays hooky from work and we go wine tasting. The tradition seems to be that he can drink anywhere he likes: it’s his birthday.
From the moment we pulled into the property I was overwhelmed by the beauty. It isn’t an ostentatious place; far from it. To me, it is the true soul of Napa. A big wide farm-house that is simple and elegant set among beautiful gardens and the vineyard. There are also two classic style red barns on the property. The whole thing takes me back to a mindset of simpler times; feeling grateful for being able to enjoy something so lovely. Everyone who visits says the same thing. When people see my photographs of the property, they can’t believe we live so close to anything this gorgeous and amazing. It’s like being on vacation all the time.
Like many wineries they have a winery dog/ambassador. Her name is Abbie and she is often at the tasting room to welcome all the visitors to the property. She can be seen hanging out on the porch or lying in the sun. It’s obviously a tough life being a winery dog. Check out her video: https://vimeo.com/93547320 You can also see how gorgeous the property is.
The people at Frog’s Leap are friendly and warm. I think out of all the wineries we have ever been, its at Frog’s leap where people are the most welcoming to new folks. On The Brit’s fiftieth birthday, without knowing us, they gave him a complimentary glass of one of their old vintage wines to celebrate. With every tasting they give you a complimentary cheese and fruit plate. This is one class act.
We were so impressed with them, their wine, and their place that we decided to join their wine club “The Fellowship of the Frog”. Honestly, I am so happy we did. They have awesome member’s parties and events. Their pick up parties are catered and food is paired with each type of wine in the release.
Another one of the little fun things about being members of their wine club is that you get little “gifts” in your wine pack. It is different each time, but always something that is made or grown on their estate. We have had fancy flavored salt, hot sauce, and persimmon jam. Every single item has been yummy!
One of the things to talk about is the Napa Valley’s move towards organic farming. Frog’s Leap were one of the first to adopt this practice and in fact they go further and “dry farm” their grapes. They don’t water at all. They make the grapes find their own moisture deep in the earth. This produces fewer, but more flavorful grapes. I really like that they are caring for our environment and our water supply. But here is the thing: They actually produce great wines this way; so it’s a win for everyone. They have a great article about how they try to think like a vine which you can read: Here.
Their Zinfandel is very unusual. I would say that it is smoother and more approachable than a traditional Napa Zin. Lots of flavor, without the boogy up your nose factor. There aren’t huge tannins even in the young wine so it can be consumed immediately. However, it would be better if it were given a chance to rest and age properly in a cellar. We still have our first bottles waiting.
The Brit comments: The Frog’s Leap Zin is far more reminiscent of an Italian wine than the jammy Napa expressions. It is priced very reasonably at $30. California Girl is incorrect in saying that we have our first bottles waiting, we enjoyed a bottle for our wedding anniversary last year. I cannot say for certain whether I prefer the Heritage Blend or the Zinfandel. Despite several serious research efforts, where I have compared the two, I cannot decide which is the better. I could say that they are different and both great in their own ways, but then I would miss out on the pleasure of sipping these on our visits.
Reservations are required if you want to taste there. The cost of the tasting is $25 for the seated tasting. I think it is a very good deal considering the care and attention that you receive. If you have a non-drinker with you, they offer a selection of flavored waters. Our niece opted for that choice before her 21 birthday and she really loved it.
I can’t recommend this place enough. Lovely wines, beautiful atmosphere, and wonderful warm staff. If you want to really impress someone with a relaxed, tucked away gem, Frog’s Leap should be at the top of your visit list.
The Brit comments: It is located just off Silverado trail and is close to a couple of our other favorites: Rutherford Hill and Conn Creek.