Napa Valley Wine Tasting

King Cabernet in St. Helena

Wine-loving visitors to Napa Valley have always been able to consider themselves lucky.

From Calistoga down to Carneros, some of the world’s greatest wines are on offer every day of the year. Cabernet, as the saying goes, may be king, but the range of grape varieties produced in Napa Valley—both white and red—is astounding, as is the diversity of the wineries and tasting rooms where they can sampled. They all contribute to Napa Valley’s identity as a world-class wine region.

Naturally, wineries in St. Helena have played a key part in this. For seven decades and counting, Freemark Abbey has been a showcase for hospitality among the town’s many producers.

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Freemark Abbey Cabernet Bosché

Rustic Beginnings

What started out as a quaint and rustic “sampling room,” opened in 1947 by Abbey Ahern and his partners, Charles Freeman and Mark Foster, has evolved over the years into one of the valley’s best-conceived hospitality centers. Napa Valley wines bearing the Freemark label have been the driving factor, of course.

But in more recent decades, especially under the masterful winemaking protocols of longtime vintner Ted Edwards and his successor Kristy Melton, the tasting programs have solidified their reputation as some of the most innovative in Napa Valley.

Going back to the first years of Ted’s tenure in the early 1980s, Freemark Abbey was a regular stopping point for wine tasters headed in both directions on Highway 29. The winery’s accessible location right off of the highway had plenty to do with, as did the blossoming reputation of wineries in St. Helena and Napa Valley as great tourism destinations. A loyal following for Ted’s wines didn’t hurt, either.

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Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Winery Tasting Room

Unparalleled Wine Tasting

The awareness only increased in subsequent years, particularly during the heady, wine-crazed 1990s, when California wine really took off in popularity thanks to publications like Wine Advocate and The Wine Spectator.

All the while, Freemark Abbey had been quietly amassing a comprehensive wine library going back to the 1960s, perhaps the largest of its kind in the U.S. This patient and carefully curated program continues to the present day, the jewel in Freemark’s crown of Napa Cabernet wine tasting opportunities.

From the more casual, but thoroughly fascinating, Appellation Tasting, to the unparalleled Library Experience—a multi-vintage exploration that goes to the heart of this great estate as a custodian of Napa Valley history—the Freemark Abbey hospitality team enthusiastically accommodates all palates and levels of wine interest.

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Freemark Abbey Napa Valley wine tasting room