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Napa Valley wine news this week, summer rolls in

An excellent local rosé for $21, a second winery has just opened a tasting room in Napa, the Napa Valley Wine Train has announced the return of a wine country experience available only during harvest.

Photo by Oleksandr Gamaniuk / Unsplash

Bella Twins open Bonita Bonita tasting room

A second winery has just opened a tasting room north of First Street in Napa near Pearl Street.

Reality stars and former WWE wrestlers Nikki and Brie Garcia, who are known as the Bella Twins, have opened a new tasting room for their wine label Bonita Bonita near the new Michael Pozzan Winery on Franklin Street. The Garcia twins moved to Napa Valley during the pandemic. Bonita Bonita mimics a speakeasy. It’s on the ground level of an old house behind a bookcase with a door. Guests get a taste of bubbly, then sit down for a flight of four wines. Tastings cost $75 and require appointments, but patrons can also reserve to drink by the glass or bottle. Bonita Bonita Wine tasting room, 1207 Coombs St., Napa.

An excellent local rosé for $21

Should buyers pay more for comparable wines because they’re from Napa Valley?

Especially for unassuming rosé wines when you can buy excellent versions from southern France and Italy for less? Here’s a case where you don’t have to think much to buy local. Artist Tina Carpenter’s tasty 2023 Pink Girl rosé is now available for $21.50 a bottle if you buy a six pack, and they will deliver in Napa or you can pick it up. It has a bit more color and flavor than some of the pale wines from Provence, and a bit more oomph. A blend of about ¾ Malbec and ¼ Cab from Napa Valley, it’s made by the saignée method so is a little bit higher in alcohol than rosés from grapes picked to become rosés. Place six bottles in the cart for the special price. The sale was supposed to end today but she extended it for NapaLife readers.

Grape stomp at Grgich Hills Estate via Wine Train

The Napa Valley Wine Train has announced the return of a wine country experience available only during harvest.

After a multi-course lunch aboard the Wine Train, guests will arrive at Grgich Hills Estate to stomp on freshly picked grapes, just as founder and winemaker Miljenko “Mike” Grgich did as a child in Croatia. The package includes a roundtrip ticket, lunch, a private tasting at the winery, and coffee and tea with dessert as you head back to the station. This experience is available Sept. 2 through Oct. 25, Monday through Friday. Tickets start at $495.

Wine tasting from Calistoga via Dave Thompson

Dave Thompson of the Napa Wine Project, which profiles and critiques almost 1,200 wineries and labels in Napa Valley, reports that an alcohol sales sign was finally posted on the front door of the old Brannan Restaurant space in Calistoga.

For years, we’ve been hearing that Lawler Estates intended to turn it into a tasting room with a restaurant, and it looks like that’s moving along. It’s great news for Calistoga as the empty lot at that location is as bad as the derelict lot at First and Main in Napa. He also reports that the current Lawer tasting room is for sale but still pouring. Also, Thompson tells us that the Jericho Canyon tasting room just opened at 1329 Lincoln Ave. in Calistoga. It will be called Terra. Picayune Cellars formerly occupied the space. Jericho Canyon Winery is off Old Lawley Toll Road northeast of Calistoga on Mt. St. Helena. Owners Dale and Marla Bleecher bought this rugged 135-acre property in 1989. They took classes and built the business with years of hard work. Their children grew up on this ranch and after a number of years as assistant winemaker, their son Nick is the head winemaker. He has degrees in viticulture, oenology and economics from the University of California, Davis. They also sell wines under the Kintsugi labels after a vineyard that supplies them grapes.