A Napa Evening with Mark Herold and his Wines

Mark Herold 5When I had my first sip of wine from Mark Herold, I knew I had to have more. If you’ve gone winetasting, you know how hard it is to find that special winemaker who makes all different kinds of wines… and you like them all. Kevin and I first came across Mark Herold Wines while eating at our favorite Napa restaurant, ZuZu Tapas & Paella. We soon found out Mark makes the house wine, an Albariño. It was amazing.

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As we sat enjoying our tapas and wine, we kept hearing this over the top laugh coming from a table upstairs. The staff apologized for the loud laugh and explained that it was coming from Mark Herold himself — he was enjoying dinner with friends. Mark’s laugh drew us in and made us smile. He and his friends were still laughing and enjoying dinner late into the evening — well after we had finished ours. It was then that I knew I had to get to know this incredible winemaker.

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We made a point of stopping at the Mark Herold tasting room on our next trip to Napa to try more of his wines. They have a pour bucket for you so you don’t have to drink everything when tasting. Well, let’s just say I drank every drop! We loved Mark’s wines so much, we joined the wine club. (Thankfully we aren’t hippies and didn’t have to use the backdoor)

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The Mark Herold tasting room is unlike any other in Napa. It’s over the top just like its winemaker. There is a half naked Ken doll on the bar, and there is a giant swordfish on the wall. They use stem less wine glasses. This is very rare in the world of wine tasting, I’m not a fan of the stemless, but hey the wine is so good and I’ll drink it out of the bottle if I have to.

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This trip we had our spring and summer wine club shipments to pick up. We stopped in on our first night in Napa to taste and pick up our wine. As we walked in, the staff asked us if we were part of the industry party. We weren’t (we are wine club members, though) and the staff poured us something to enjoy, even though they were closed. Dean, the manager asked if Kevin and I were busy that evening and if we’d like to join everyone at a party at Mark’s house. Well, we were on vacation so, of course! We were chauffeured up the hill to Mark’s house to join the rest of the guests.

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We had an amazing evening enjoying all of Marks wines as well as homemade fried chicken, corn salad and a slaw. Everything was delicious. We met many many nice people including the former chocolatier from the French Laundry and potential new clients, as well as Mark and his fiancé themselves. We found out that Mark and his fiancé had just visited Seattle so we talked about the Seattle food scene and the conversation kept rolling. We sat on the balcony enjoying our wine, food and the amazing Napa sunset. What a memorable evening!

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Of course, we visited the tasting room again in our trip to pick up or wine and thank everyone for such and amazing evening. I also shared my Green Tomato Salsa with everyone in appreciation.

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A little about the wines: the Acha Blanca, which was my first introduction into the world of Mark Herold, is fermented in a concrete egg and is very crisp and refreshing. The Acha Red is a 100% Tempranillo which is a Spanish grape and it has an amazing nose and flavor, plus it will last for years to come (if I can last that long). Other wines are the Collide, which is a collision of many types of grapes that are usually not together and yet it works and is perfect. They also have three labels of Cabernet, which are out of this world. They are a higher price point, but so worth it.

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If you make it to Napa make sure to try Mark Herold! I tell all my friends to go there and not one has been disappointed yet.

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how good is that