The current Lieutenant Governor of California Gavin Newsom and philanthropist and classical music composer Gordon Getty founded PlumpJack Winery in 1995. Inspired by William Shakespeare’s fun-loving character Sir John “PlumpJack” Falstaff, who appears in three of his plays, the winery has the premise that wine is one of life’s great pleasures in life and should be enjoyed as often as possible.
PlumpJack Winery was the first Napa winery to use screw caps as a wine closure on premium wines! This is one example of their flair for adventure and open mindedness. Half of their production is screw cap, also known as the Stelvin closure, and the other half traditional cork. I like to buy both! The Stelvin closure is great for picnics. I also like to save one of each and then compare after some cellar time. So far, the bottles with screw caps have always held up to the bottles with a cork closure.
The Wine – The 2009 Syrah has a dark ruby color. The nose has vanilla, plum and smoky meat. The palate screams of black olives, and also has dark plum, licorice and some nice earthiness. The tannins are soft and almost sweet. This is a very nice Syrah.
My Experience Visiting the Winery – PlumpJack is perhaps the hippest tasting room I’ve visited. I’ve tasted here many times, and have always had a lot of fun in the process. It is very laid back, usually has fun people both pouring and tasting, and has this earthy vibe going on. I’ve met so many fun people here, people with whom we’ve continued the day and joined for dinner. It’s a really friendly place to taste, and the wines are superb!
The Journey – PlumpJack’s tasting room is located on Oakville Cross Road, not far from the Silverado Trail. It is, however, tucked away from this main road and is nestled among 42 acres of vineyards. Whenever friends or clients ask me to recommend Napa Valley wineries to visit, I ALWAYS encourage them to seek out PlumpJack!