An appointment is required for tastings at the winery started by the legendary Joseph Phelps—his son Bill now runs the operation—but it's well worth the effort. Phelps makes fine whites, but the blockbuster wines are reds, particularly the Cabernet Sauvignon and the flagship Bordeaux-style blend called Insignia. The luscious-yet-subtle Insignia sells for more than $200 a bottle. Luckily, all tastings include the current vintage. The 90-minute seminars include one on wine-and-cheese pairing and another focusing on blending. Participants in the latter mix the various varietals that go into the Insignia blend. A new tasting room debuts in 2015 following a major renovation project.
200 Taplin Rd., off Silverado Trail, St. Helena, California, 94574, United States