On our first day in Napa, for our third stop of the day with Jo and family, we headed to Judd’s Hill for tasting and lunch (thankfully, cause we were hungry!). We enjoyed a tour of the facility and then settled in for lunch and wine with owners Judd and his wife Holly. I’d heard of Judd before visiting because of Judd’s Enormous Wine Show, but I didn’t make the connection (I’m a bit slow at times) between that Judd and Judd’s Hill until we arrived and I put it all together. If you haven’t check out the Enormous Wine Show, you should…it’s entirely entertaining and hilarious.
Judd’s Hill is a small, entirely family owned operation. Judd’s father Art originally built and operated White Hall Lane in Napa, but eventually sold as the brand grew bigger than he had anticipated. The family then purchased Judd’s Hill, aiming to keep it a small family winery, and produced the first vintage in 1989. At this time, Judd’s Hill makes about 3000 cases of wine a year, plus provides services for a number of custom crush clients. We enjoyed Judd’s Hill so much that we accepted Judd’s offer to return the next day for a BBQ they were hosting…more on that in another post!
2008 Judd’s Hill Sauvignon Blanc: $22. This was bottled just the morning we were there, but it was showing really well. Lemon, crisp, melon, dry, tropical notes, grassy, meyer lemon. Very nice. We tried to buy two bottles, but Judd (who is hysterical by the way) said the days’ bottling sale was buy zero get two free. So two bottles came with us anyway….!
2007 Estate Pinot Noir: $34. 100% Pinot Noir. Neutral oak. Floral, roses, earth, cherries, raspberries, fairly dark, very young, nice structure and acidity. We bought one.
2005 Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel: $30. Sweet blackberries, pepper, ome cream, spice, black cherry, pomegrant, black fruit, raisins.
2005 Napa Cabernet: $45. Dark, earth, leather, herbal, black currants, pepper, black fruit, spice, tannic. Judd handed Matt one of these on our way out the. Seriously, too kind!
2005 Lodi Petite Sirah: $30. Blue fruit, red berries, dark berries, vanilla cream, nice tart fruit, cranberry, red fruit, black cherry, blueberry, chocolate, slight hint of mint. We bought one bottle.
We picked up a few more bottles on our return visit the following day, I’ll tell you about those in a future post. Judd and Holly are some of the nicest, most welcoming people I’ve met in a while. Their hospitality can’t be beat and their enthusiasm for their wines and what they do was infecctious. Plus, they are making some damn good wines! I highly suggest you stop by Judd’s Hill on your next Napa trip….if you are really lucky, (as we were) Judd will bust out his eukalyle and serenade you with a tune or two!