We’re happy to report Napa and Keenan Winery are looking as gorgeous as ever this autumn 2017, despite the tragic fires earlier this year. If you’re wondering the best way to help Napa Valley and all the businesses that usually thrive here to recover, it is by coming over to visit us! We miss you and promise you a great time, with spectacular scenery, as always. To get ready for said visit, especially if it will be your first time in Napa Valley, keep reading. We’ve put together a little historical, geographical and cultural background on Napa Valley; Saint Helena, California and our very own Keenan Winery estate to pique your travel spirit.
History of Napa Valley Winemaking
Wine has been produced in the Napa Valley and Sonoma regions since the 19th century. Now, there are about four-hundred wineries with tasting rooms in Napa Valley, and at least six-hundred if you also include Sonoma. There are many more producers of wine in the area, but not everybody has an actual tasting room.
History of Saint Helena California
Learning about the history of St. Helena sheds some light on this unique Napa Valley destination, known both for its gorgeous countryside and charming small-town feel. Though not far from major urban areas, St. Helena remains strikingly pristine. Part of that can be explained geographically; in the days of stagecoaches and bad roads, the valley was relatively remote and hard to reach through the hills. But in modern times, preserving St. Helena’s character and countryside was a conscious act. In the 1960s, Napa County adopted one of the first major agricultural land protection policies in the United States, setting in motion a tradition of preservation.
History of Keenan Winery
Keenan Winery is located near the top of Spring Mountain District, high above the beautiful Napa Valley. The Keenan estate is set on the site of a defunct turn of the century winery renovated by Robert Keenan in 1974, when he purchased one-hundred eighty acres in the Spring Mountain District at an elevation of seventeen-hundred feet. The mountain estate is comprised of forty-eight acres of vineyard, and a historic stone winery.
Local Napa Valley Geography & Culture
The phrase “Napa Valley” conjures imagery of premium, sun-drenched relaxation. And all our bars, cafés, and restaurants offer a vibe of warmth and charm! To name and summarize just a few, start with Boon Fly Café, the cheerful, barnlike restaurant at Carneros Inn offers great breakfast, such as a quick hit of made-to-order cinnamon doughnuts or a proper brunch with a bacon Bloody Mary, breakfast flatbread, and eggs Benedict made with Model Bakery sourdough. Meanwhile, La Toque Restaurant, which offers a “core menu” to make your own three (eighty dollars) or four (ninety-eight dollars) menus, started as a tiny kitchen in Rutherford, and then moved to Napa Valley in 2008, where the C.E.O., Ken Frank, has earned a Michelin start for his thoughtful, seasonal North California cuisine. And Oenotri, which offers some of chef Tyler Rodde’s more than twenty varieties of house-made salami, then move into thin-crust pizza, fresh pasta, and seasonal entrees with produce from the restaurant’s culinary garden. Their wine list has local vintages along with an exceptional by-the-glass and bottle selection from all over Italy.
As Michael Keenan will tell you again and again, wine is merely a vehicle for great food! So, pour a glass and take in the beautiful geography of Napa Valley in your next visit. Napa Valley, rich with history and culture, is worth exploring on its own right as you make your way up to the Keenan Winery estate for your next visit to taste our current releases.