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“Very good wine for modest looking winery”

O'Brien Estate Winery
Ranked #3 of 190 things to do in Napa
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: We are by appointment only. Please go to our website to inquire about our experiences. We do not take phone reservations. The cost is $55.00 per person. We regretfully are not permitted to have anyone under 21 years of age nor allow any pets on the premises. Our award winning wines come from our 40 acres in the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley. From grape growing to bottling, the entire winemaking process is managed at the estate. The vineyards are planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. Our wines are sought after by collectors and have received many awards, including a recent 98 point score for our 2013 Unrestrained Reserve Bordeaux Blend.
Milwaukee
Level Contributor
316 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 189 helpful votes
“Very good wine for modest looking winery”
Reviewed November 25, 2012

We were somewhat surprised when we found the winery and found that it lacked a parking lot (had to park on a slope on the side of the vineyard) and that the building looked like a garage. We had visited several very fancy wineries and this was a total contrast. However, we were open minded and found the tasting fee to be a lot less than many others, which we were happy about. Our group of six ended up as a private group and we went first to a picnic table where we learned all about the winery, the owners, and the wine and then tasted several different varieties. We were then guided through the facility and tried some more wine. We thought the wine was very good and reasonably priced for the quality. In fact, this was the only winery where we purchased several bottles to bring home. Thanks to the bubble wrap bags they sell, I'm happy to report that it made it home in my suitcase with no problems. We are saving the bottles for a special occasion and will enjoy our good memories.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
223 reviews
140 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Good, but disappointing ending”
Reviewed November 13, 2012

We were excited for our first trip to Napa and came across O'Brien Estate. The experience started great with some tastings of excellent wines, an almost-private experience, a tour guide with solid knowledge, and a walk through the vineyards and wine-making process. We were impressed with the personal experience, especially when the owners came out to greet us at the end. However, when it came time to pay, we were aware of the "buy a bottle and waive the tasting fee" policy. We decided to buy a bottle each as the wine was great and a good souvenir to take home, but the type we were set on was sold out. Interestingly, the 2 wines that were sold out were the cheapest and the ones that made it most worth it to by the wine instead of the tasting fee. In retrospect, we should have just paid the tasting fee and left, but we were set on getting some wine and ended up paying an extra $20 for the sell outs. Overall it was a good experience, but that was a bit of a bitter end.

Visited November 2012
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2 Thank TheTravelAddiction
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee
Level Contributor
77 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Pretty disappointed.”
Reviewed November 11, 2012 via mobile

We were really looking forward to this stop. After reading the reviews on trip advisor we figured this would be a shoe in. I called, made the reservation and was told the tour would be an hour to hour and a half. Well, we just left and we were shoved into a tour 15 minutes before ours and the tour consisted of chatting with other people on the tour and walking four feet from the view of the vines (which was beautiful) to then the wine making room for 15 minutes where we learned pretty much nothing and then into the tasting room. The tour was 25 minutes and we saw Nothing. The only cool thing was having Bart the owner explain the story of the wines and the poems on the back. To me, this was a waste of our money and time. If you're going to charge me $20.00 with a crappy tour, at least give us enough wine to make it worth it. I'm sorry for the poor review but I'm quite disappointed.

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6 Thank MindykaySL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BartOBrien, Owner at O'Brien Estate Winery, responded to this review, November 13, 2012
Mindy,

I am so sorry we disappointed you! Unfortunately, one of our employees unexpected left early and we ended up being short staffed that afternoon. I wish you had expressed your disappointment to me - I would have made sure that you were totally happy before you left. If you call me at 707.252.8463 I will be happy to refund your tasting fee. We guarantee our wine and our experience unconditionally. Or if there is any chance you are still in town, come by for a complimentary private tour and give us another chance.

Best regards,

Bart O'Brien
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
29 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“We Loved It”
Reviewed November 7, 2012

An absolutely amazing stop, It has a personal feel to the tour and there is plenty of samplings the wine itself is amazing and we are now apart of the wine club after two deliveries of new varieties i am still not disapointed with any wine that has been sent. A must see.

Visited July 2012
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1 Thank FriendlyFoodie420
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Level Contributor
70 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Unique for Couples”
Reviewed October 27, 2012

If you’re in Napa for a special occasion as a couple, you’ll find this to be interesting because the wines are named and produced for the phases of a lasting relationship from the Fascination of first meeting through Passion and Seduction, and so on. This is an Estate operation, so the winery and tour are much less formal than what you get elsewhere. The winery is also pretty small (about 4-5 thousand cases a year) so the tour isn’t extensive. Most of it is a series of tastings, with stories about the history and philosophy. Meeting the owner was a treat, as he provided a context to the naming of the wines and the poetry on the back that couldn’t be conveyed as well or as personally by anyone else. All that said, if you tour wineries regularly and aren’t looking for something as unique as O’Brien Estate, then you can probably safely skip the tour without feeling like you’ve missed too much.

Visited October 2012
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1 Thank TheObjectiveCritic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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