William Hill Estate Winery
This was an incredible experience. My first winery tour, so I’m not an expert, but everything from the start to end was both fun, and full of wine – which were two of the things I was most looking forward to.
The estate was beautiful, it was a perfect day to be outside on an Adirondack chair under an umbrella. The staff were effusively friendly and helpful, and their contribution is really what made the day relaxing and enjoyable.
We hadn’t planned well, because we were in wine country (Napa) and it was just before lunch, and we realized that all the really awesome wine tours started first thing in the morning and we would have had to sign up for them long in advance.
Not to be completely disappointed, we sat down for lunch and Katie started doing a bunch of research on the area in the hopes of finding something that wasn’t already booked to the hilt.
There were a few options, and the offering from William Hill sounded the best to us. A self guided tour and tasting all for one (quite reasonable) price. Never one to overspend (unless necessary) we booked in for the next convenient time (all done online) and were off to find the winery.
I’m so thankful for a good GPS – I was completely lost in the Napa area, I think they are allergic to roads running in straight lines, or toward single destinations. Everything curved all over the place, and it felt like we did a lot of backtracking to get anywhere. I’m sure it’s a product of all those vineyards scattered across the countryside, but it sure makes travel difficult.
We arrived with plenty of time to spare, and they took us early without question. The package we purchased included the self guided tour, which basically meant they gave us an ipod and showed us how to use the tour app, then sent us on our way with our fist taste of wine. A white, that is bottled on premises, but is grown elsewhere. It was amazing, and so was the view.
The tour took us out in to the fields, up hills, down hills, in the hot sun, with only wine to quench our increasing levels of thirst. I admit, we didn’t make it to the final location on the tour. I seem to remember the conversation went something like (me) “But that is all the way over there, do we really have to walk all the way over there?” (Katie) panting in silence. (me) “Yeah I’m just not going there, here, I’ll play the thing here, it can’t make that much difference to walk another 100 meters”.
Back at the main building and completely exhausted we were interrogated about what kinds of wine we like. I know next to nothing about wine, I’ve never taken the time to absorb that information. So I kind of muttered vaguely about not liking anything too dry, and preferring red if I was just sitting sipping it. They had a variety of reds that grew on the property, and a selection of whites that were under their label but not done at this vineyard.
We ended up with a selection of reds, and a single white, since I wanted to specifically try what they grew on site.
We kept the tags, so we’d remember what they were, which is good because off the top of my head I can’t remember at all. Pino something or others, and the Cabernet? Katie will probably fill those in, maybe in a comment or something.
Anyway, they were all fantastic. I liked the white the best, if I remember correctly, they all had quite distinct flavours that I would insult by trying to describe here in detail. The tasting notes were incredibly helpful – and the water! omg, we were so hot, I think we went through a pitcher of water each.
I am now totally in love with vineyards and wine tastings and this will not be my last trip to their fair grounds. I would recommend stopping at William Hill if you haven’t, and if we are in the area again would give them another round of business. Maybe with more wine and less walking next time.