Play Winemaker for a Day at Raymond Vineyards

People toasting with glasses of red wineIf wine is your No. 1 passion and you’ve always dreamed of playing “vintner,” you’re going to love Raymond Vineyards in Napa Valley. How can you make this dream a delicious reality? Here, we’ll take you through the first step. Or should we say sip? 

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How to Play Winemaker for a Day at Raymond Vineyards

There are two ways you can earn your stripes as a “winemaker.” The first way is to plan a trip to Napa Valley and sign up for Raymond Vineyards’ Winemaker for a Day experience. After a bit of instruction, you’ll be able to create your own Napa Valley Bordeaux-style red blend. You’ll go through each step: blending, designing your label, and filling the bottle. You’ll also cork and capsule it. And the best part? You can take it home to share or save it for a special occasion. The Winemaker for a Day experience is by appointment only and $125 per person.

The second way is the perfect option while you wait for your next trip to Napa to come to fruition. Join in on the fun with one of Raymond Vineyards’ Virtual Tasting Packs. Raymond Vineyards currently has three offerings that allow you to sample a few of their wines that are as distinctive as the tasting rooms in which they’re regularly served. (More on those tasting rooms below.) Once your tasting pack arrives, contact the Raymond customer service team for a private virtual tasting. 

Once you’re familiar with the flavors and tasting notes, pour a glass for your friends and share your new knowledge! 

What else can you experience at the vineyard? Let’s take a look. You can bet it’s a treat for all the senses.

Raymond Vineyard Wine Collections

One of the worst things to see as a wine lover is, “sold out.” The easiest way to avoid that pit in your stomach is to buy the wines you like when you see them! (And that goes for any incredible winery you may visit in Napa Valley.) 

The wine collections at Raymond Vineyards include several different tiers including their District Collection, Estate Collection, Small Lot Collection, LVE Wines, their Generations series, and more. Just a few of the notes you’ll recognize in their complex wines include baked black cherries, boysenberries, candied violets, licorice, creme de cassis, and mocha. And those are just the reds. The whites play with grapefruit, mango, and lemon tart, just to name a few. 

Which one will be your favorite? 

Don’t Miss These Raymond Vineyards Experiences

When you do have the chance to visit Napa, be sure to grab a seat in one of Raymond Vineyards’ tasting rooms. With each luxurious sip, you’ll be able to drink in the mission and history of the winery as well as gain insight into the flavors and techniques that make each bottle so special.

The Crystal Cellar is breathtaking. You’ll feel as if you stepped into one of the candlelit cellars of France. While you’ll be enamored by the mirrored tasting bar, the collection of crystal decanters from Baccarat, and a Baccarat crystal chandelier, you’ll still fall in love with Raymond’s signature Cabernet Sauvignon. Tastings (poured from crystal decanters) are $35 per person.

The Red Room is plush. And red. Very, very red. From the velvety couches and chairs to the red wallpaper and even the red ceiling, you’ll feel like you’ve been invited to an underground club you’ll never want to leave. Tastings are $65 per person.

The Main Tasting Salon is a more traditional (yet still vibrant and whimsical) tasting room. It’s the gateway to the vineyards’ unique Theater of Nature. Enjoy a tasting for $25 per person and then explore what else they have to offer!. 

Curious about their other tasting opportunities and events? Visit the Raymond Vineyards website!

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Raymond Vineyards Then and Now

The Raymond family has a history as rich and complex as their wine. One of the many interesting points is that their story intertwines with the Beringers, a household name when it comes to wine. Roy Raymond worked for the Beringers from 1933 and a few years later, a member of the Raymond family married a member of the Berringer family. Roy continued to work as a winemaker for Beringer until 1970. Four years later, The Raymond Vineyard released its first commercial wine. 

Decades later, Raymond Vineyards was acquired by Boisset Family Estates, a move that elevated the small operation to become one of the top 25 producers in the United States. Jean-Charles Boisset, who is president of Boisset Family Estates, breathed new life into an already successful winery with a loyal following. 

Today, both the Raymond and Boisset values are reflected in each bottle of wine that is produced. From the soil to the grapes, to the wine and the experiences offered to visitors, the focus is on producing something that’s delicious and memorable as well as sustainable in a multitude of ways. 

Raymond Vineyards’ Commitment to the Environment 

Raymond Vineyards harvests grapes from three locations spanning 300 acres, and each vineyard features varietals that grow the best in those regions. 

  • The St. Helena vineyards produce Cabernet Sauvignon
  • The Rutherford vineyard produces Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot
  • The Jameson Canyon Vineyard produces Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot

What’s more, the St. Helena and Rutherford vineyards are certified organic and biodynamic! This is a testament to the founder’s commitment to “passing along a clean environment and revitalized, healthy soil.” Raymond vineyards are also certified by Napa Green, Fish Friendly Farming, and the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance.

Sip and Stay at Churchill Manor Bed and Breakfast

A look at the luxurious Rutherford Room at Churchill Manor

Plan the ultimate Napa Valley getaway with a stay at Churchill Manor. Once you’ve tasted and sipped at Jessup Cellars and all of the best wineries in the area, you’ll be ready to relax in complete serenity. Book your stay in the Rutherford Suite and enjoy second-floor views, a wood-burning fireplace, a plush king-size bed, and a decadent breakfast each morning of your stay.