OVERVIEW: Two duck themed wineries on the Silverado Trail with tons of red wines.
WHAT'S GOOD: Appointment only keeps the crowds away, but the friendly staff makes sure everyone has a good time. Accessible, not stuffy.
WHO WOULD LIKE IT: Red wine drinkers, though you don't need to be an expert to enjoy tasting at either winery.Paraduxx / Duckhorn / map
Quack, quack, what's that? A pair of ducks? Did you say Paraduxx? Ahhh, if that made you smile then you're in the right place. Both Paraduxx and Duckhorn Vineyards make serious wines without losing focus that wine is supposed to be fun. With a focus on reds, Duckhorn uses traditional methods while Paraduxx changes it up with new and unique blends.
Both are appointment only, but don't let that scare you. It's really about keeping the crowds at bay. Once seated, your wines are all brought out to you all at once with little cards describing each one. Taste at your leisure, there's no pressure. And yes, there's no bar! You'll taste seated at tables, their philosophy being that the only time you should be drinking standing up is when you're cooking. And today I'm not cooking, they are!
My Paraduxx adventure started with a Wine and Food pairing tasting. I know a little about this topic - very little - so I thought this might be a great way to study up. But as hard as I tried to pay attention, the wine was so delicious that the whole thing became a culinary blur.
I took some notes about making sure the wine is sweeter than the food and how sweetness doesn't mean sugar, and have no idea what this means! Look, you think you could do better? Try studying with wine and let's see how you do!
But even if I was their worst student, the two hour experience was fun and lively. Baked figs stuffed with sausage and wrapped in bacon, pork belly with cumin carrot puree, beef brisket nachos, everything paired with just the right wine, it was so much fun that the time just flew by. Highly recommended, skip lunch and do this!
As if that wasn't enough, up the road a bit is Duckhorn Vineyard. By now you know the drill. You're seated, and boom, glasses start arriving all at once filled with wine. And this isn't some Two Buck Duck, this is the good stuff! Here's a good one, and another one, and another. Stop, wait, too much wine... too much... wine!
When you reach that point where you don't think you can sip another fantastic wine, step outside to their beautiful gardens and take a stroll next to the vineyards. The setting is picture postcard perfect, you might never want to leave.
So take my advice and go visit both Paraduxx and Duckhorn for a fun afternoon of wine and food. If you don't have a great time here, don't blame me!
Local Wally, 2012
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