Kuleto Estate (St Helena)Also our staff pick of the month The journey to Kuleto is an adventure. First, I needed to book the visit in advance on VinoVisit.com, as reservations are required. Kuleto Estate is pretty hidden and remote. There is no cellphone reception there. I received an email with the driving directions and all needed info for my trip. The funniest part of the informational email is that I would have to use a radio to receive the gate code when I arrive. It felt like treasure hunting. I couldn’t wait to see what was in store. The way to the winery is the definition of off the beaten path. The road was curvy, but gorgeous as I drove alongside Lake Henessy. After a few miles, I arrived in front of the entry. I found the radio and used it to obtain the code to enter. The gates opened and I entered on a narrow road surrounded by trees. I had no idea what to expect at the end, but it felt like it should be special. The road was quite long and mysterious. Fortunately, there were many signs to show the way, and some mirrors to make sure no cars were coming from the opposite way. Once I passed the tree line, I started to see the landscape. It was magical. I finally arrived. After parking my car, I walked towards the patio, and was astonished by the surroundings. I took a moment and realized there was no one but the fauna and the flora around me. I could only hear the birds, the bees and the rustling of the flowers in the wind. The garden was overflowing with numerous varieties of blossoming flowers like lavender and roses. It smelled deliciously like summer.
I finally arrived. After parking my car, I walked towards the patio, and was astonished by the surroundings.Steve, the Hospitality Manager, came out of a rustic building to welcome me. We began with a tour of the property. He explained that Pat Kuleto, the Founder, designed this place in a really rustic way and took inspiration from Tuscan architecture. The different buildings looked authentic. They were only constructed 20 years ago, which was hard to believe. Mr Kuleto lives in a beautiful house, surrounded by plants and flowers, close to the winery. There is an enclosure with goats and doves which added to the ambiance, as I am an animal lover. Close to the house, Steve showed me an astounding view. It was a 180 degree view composed of hills, forests, vineyards and the lake. The morning light perfectly reflected the colors of nature. Steve pointed out some well-known wineries we could see from here, such as Chappellet Vineyard. We came back to the winery to admire the surroundings and taste. The tasting area is elevated on a small hill. The front patio has a large rustic wooden table for tastings. It is ornamented by plants and flowers, which create perfect shade from the heat. From here, there is a wonderful view of the hills and the vineyards, totally different from the first one. Being immersed in this landscape made me feel absolutely relaxed. I didn’t think about anything but nature and my glass of wine.
The front patio has a large rustic wooden table for tastings. It is ornamented by plants and flowers, which create perfect shade from the heat.As I walked around the property to find some other spots, I found the garden filled with several fountains, which created a pleasant background noise. There are many intimate places, such as benches close to the fountain, where you can sit to enjoy your wine. My favorite spot was the rounded wooden table at the end of the terrace. From here, the clear view of the countryside was far reaching. Then it was time for me to drive back and to accept the challenge of the curvy road once again. Visiting Kuleto Estate was a great experience, especially for my eyes. I really felt that this peaceful place had a soul, because of the rustic design and the omnipresence of nature around it.
Kuleto Estate Tour & Tasting (wines paired with artisan cheeses)
$40 Per Person
1:30 Hour Duration
Newton Vineyard (St Helena) :Newton Vineyard, nestled in the East facing side of Spring Mountain, is located west of St Helena. I was curious about this winery as I kept hearing people talking about its beautiful English garden. I wanted to see it with my own eyes. The road I had to drive to get to the winery was pretty adventurous as it was uphill and full of sharp curves. But every time I spend time driving uphill, I trust I won’t be disappointed when I arrive. Indeed, I wasn’t: the landscape was fantastic. The property is on the very top of the hill; surrounded by perfect lines of vineyards.
The road I had to drive to get to the winery was pretty adventurous as it was uphill and full of sharp curves.We started with a visit of the main tasting room. It was very bright, as the large windows all around the room let in large amounts of sunlight and allowed you to admire the vineyards. We proceeded to the balcony: the view was breathtaking. The vineyards were undulating on the hills. Peace and relaxation were present while admiring nature from this shaded balcony ornamented with orange flowers. I was then led to their famous English garden. The design of the property was inspired from the cultural origins of the original owners: English and Chinese. It was a perfect fusion of both styles. The gate to the vineyards was inspired by Asian art, while the garden was created in an English style. We walked up a tiny hill to arrive at the entry of the garden. It was incredible. The gardeners must never sleep to maintain the beauty so perfectly. There was a magnificent fountain in the center. The bushes all around were originally sculpted like corkscrews. But the most amazing part is that we were able to admire the surrounding landscape from this gorgeous garden. It felt surreal. We then followed a path surrounded by bushes sculpted like spades, and we went up to the tiny neighboring hill to explore the patio and admire another splendid landscape. There was a nice space to sit and sip your wine, covered with some umbrellas. Once my tasting was over, it was time to say goodbye to this beautiful view before going back to reality. To visit this unforgettable winery, you will have to book your tasting in advance. I have no doubts that your eyes will be grateful!
Newton Tour & Tasting (4 selected wines)
$40 Per Person
1:30 Hour DurationVisiting these two wineries was a wonderful experience I will never forget. It’s amazing how the properties can be so different while being so close geographically. Each owner was very creative with their own style, using the beauty of the nature in a different way. These wineries are a sample of all that wine country has to offer, and I can’t wait to continue my exploration. Louise Veron – firstname.lastname@example.org
Marketing and Social Media Coordinator at VinoVisit.com
Originally from Bordeaux (France), I moved to the Napa Valley to work for VinoVisit.com last February. I just finished my trilingual Master’s degree in Wine Tourism and International Marketing and graduated with honors. As a real food and wine lover, I’m enjoying exploring the area and relating my discoveries from a very French point of view.