Generation Wine

07 December, 2017


Time reserved for hanging out and making new friends is of great value to millennials, considered the more social generation compared with their parents. New tasting rooms are touting a living-room feel so that people can lounge uninterrupted. Here are a few of the popular ones with one-of-a-kind experiences and exquisite ambiance.

Jamieson Ranch Vineyards: People come for sipping and, as a bonus, get to pet a miniature rescue horse inside the tasting room during specified hours. Community outreach coordinator Brandy Lipsey shares her “minis” with guests, explaining how rescue horses are beneficial to special needs children.

Cru @The Annex: Tastings are paired with complementary popcorn. Guests can bring outside food to enjoy with a glass of Cru vino. The interior is hipster with essence of Napa: rattan chairs, deep couches, blanket throws, hanging-basket lights, a panel of flat-screen TVs showing digital artwork and a custom LED art map of the Napa Valley Vine Trail. Guests can grab a complimentary padlock, inscribe their names, and turn it into a love lock on the outdoor patio fence.

W: The rock ’n’ roll tasting room boasts its own recording studio. Patrons imbibe at the bar, in a booth, or on the couch as songs from Jimi Hendrix fill the air on a spinning LP. Two walls are completely wallpapered with Rolling Stone magazine articles. At the weekends live music keeps things hopping until midnight.

Stewart Cellars: The stone tasting hall comprised of three buildings features many spots for intimate conversation. Toast your friends on Adirondack chairs in its park-like patio. Savour your Pinot on a comfy couch inside the Nomad Heritage Library adorned with antique books and assorted global treasures.

Enjoy a freshly pressed juice at its Gather Café, which features healthy, grab-and-go goodies including gluten-free fare.

Long Meadow Ranch: Guests on the property of its Farmstead restaurant can also go wine and olive oil tasting or wander around the garden. Long Meadow’s calendar of events includes a summer music series along with a culinary track where visiting chefs demonstrate their craft.

Hall Wines: Adventurers can embark on an art and architecture tour or privately Instagram their way through giant modern art sculptures. At sister winery Hall Rutherford millennials can bolt into the Chandelier Room where they can imbibe under a fixture lit by 1,500 Swarovski crystals.


Sustainability, story and technology are also of key interest to this generation, who grew up recycling and tinkering with computers. The following wineries are smacking all three notes.

Trefethen Winery: It bottles only estate-grown grapes and selects the best of breed organic and biodynamic practices, says Hailey Trefethen, the third-generation Trefethen and sustainability spokesperson for her family winery. The 200ha winery keeps owl and hawk boxes on site so that the birds can eat the nasty critters that might wreak havoc on the vines. Want some fascinating facts? The Halo Cabernet-based wine is named after Hailey and her brother Loren. The Dragontooth label pays homage to her grandmother’s family crest and features a raging dragon. You can view small slides of the winery’s history through a retro View-Master toy on the tasting room tables.

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