Ovid Winery | More Than Just A Stunning View?
If you’re quest for exquisite wines has brought you to Napa Valley – you’re in luck. There are so many great wines coming out of Napa that it can be distracting. But if you prefer to make your discoveries in a stylishly appointed tasting room benefiting from one of the most stunning views in Napa Valley, Ovid Winery makes quite the argument to ditch Highway 29.
The name Ovid is a reference to the Roman poet, whose most notable body of work, Metamorphosis, explored the theories of change and transformation. And transform this section of Napa Valley Ovid Winery certainly has, for the better…
Perched high up on Pritchard Hill, modern structure is stylish and open and leads out to a terrace with commanding, seemingly never ending views of Napa Valley, from Yountville to Calistoga.
Ovid Winery was established in 2000 with the intent to produce a luxurious, hand-crafted Bordeaux style red blend, the Ovid Napa Valley Proprietary Red. The Ovid Winery Proprietary Red is composed of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot.
The blend varies from vintage to vintage and the inaugural vintage was not bottled and released until 2005, to allow the vines to mature and develop the capability to produce a quality wine.
During our visit, we enjoyed a nice assortment of nuts and artisan cheeses paired with Ovid Winery’s flagship proprietary red wine along with two of the wineries special ‘one-off’ bottlings, aptly named Experiment.
The flagship 2011 Ovid Napa Valley ($225, 80% Cabernet, 15% Cabernet Franc, 7% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot) was perfumed and delicate with soft red fruit, cinnamon, mountain herbs and rose petal notes in an approachable, seamlessly textured package.
**2012 VINTAGE UPDATE** On May 11th, 2016 I revisited Ovid Winery to taste the 2012 Ovid Napa Valley Red Wine with Winemaker Austin Peterson. A few of my notes regarding the 2012 release… 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 7% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot. Fragrant aromas of black raspberry, pomegranate and crushed rock are underscored by coffee, licorice and hints of camphor. In the mouth, it was firm and spicy with a tight core of smoky dark red fruit – namely mulberry, pomegranate and black raspberry with great texture and depth. Finishes long with slightly grippy, powdery tannins. 96 Points.
I liked the left bank Bordeaux styled 2012 Experiment L2.2 ($150, 72.6% Cabernet and 27.4% Merlot) so much I purchased a few bottles to take home (a bit of a birthday splurge). It was the most ripe and structured of the wines we tasted. It bursts on the palate with incredibly pure black cherry and creme de cassis notes before melding into a lengthy, firm and spicy finish.
The drive up to Ovid Winery is not the for faint of heart, and frankly neither are the prices. But a huge investment was made here, not just in a fancy tasting room, but in a state of the art winemaking facility which features the first poured in place concrete fermentation tanks in Napa.
Oh and lest we not forget the cost to acquire and excavate Ovid Winery’s Pritchard Hill vineyard site or the fact that there’s only 500 cases produced of the flagship Ovid Proprietary red and a few hundred cases of the experimental wines. When you begin to add up all of these brushstrokes, it certainly paints a premium picture, and since when did fine artwork come cheap?
The Specifics | Ovid Winery
Location: 255 Long Ranch Road, St. Helena, Ca
Tasting Fee: $75 per person, waived for active mailing list customers
Included in the Tasting: A sample of current releases paired with an assortment of nuts and cheeses.
Wine Prices: $150-$225
Winemaker: Austin Peterson
Appointment Required? Yes, contact 707-963-3850 or e-mail email@example.com
Time to Allot: Approximately 90 minutes
Should You Go? If money is no object, Ovid Winery offers exquisite wines paired with panoramic vistas.
- The winery makes jams and jellies from their estate grown fruit.
- The vineyard is farmed organically and is CCOF-certified. The winery is eco-friendly and solar powered.
- One of Ovid Winery’s founders, Mark Nelson, sold his technology firm Ovid Technologies in 1988 for a whopping $200 million.
- Neighboring wineries include Chappellet, Brand, David Arthur Vineyards, Continuum and none other than Napa’s original cult wine, Bryant Family.