Porthos owner Hal Oates has been Andrew Harper’s Napa Wine Concierge for almost 15 years. Since the region’s leading wineries are now reopening for tours and tastings after the hiatus caused by the pandemic, we asked him to outline his three top private winery experiences. Our Travel Office can work with Porthos to make reservations.
Nine Suns is the most awe-inspiring new winery to emerge on the Napa scene in the past decade. The wines are excellent, and the building is a modern-day masterpiece. The Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired architecture is stylish, sleek and surprisingly inconspicuous given the winery’s size and mountaintop location.
Our tour commenced with a refreshing glass of Sauvignon Blanc at the center of the vineyards high atop Pritchard Hill. Our destination was a former helicopter pad that has been repurposed as an outdoor tasting lounge with dramatic views of Napa Valley below and, on a clear day, the distant San Francisco skyline. Inside, the highlight was the distinctive wine cellar constructed in the shape of a guitar, reflecting the proprietor’s passion for rock and roll.