This past April, Ian and I spent time in Calistoga (Sonoma County, San Francisco, and Carmel by-the-Sea, as well) and we had the time of our lives. We already knew a bit about wine, but we learned so, so much while we were in California wine country and had a lot of fun doing so. We joined a few wine clubs while we were there and since we have been back in Atlanta, we have received about 1-2 shipments (or more) from each club, so I wanted to give you all some of the details on what I think are the best California wine clubs to join. I’m sure everyone will have a different opinion, but here are my thoughts:
The Best California Wine Clubs
(that we have joined)
Far Niente is definitely the most expensive club that we are in, but I think it is well worth it. We are in one of their most affordable clubs offered, so we get shipments from their sister wineries, as well. Although I’m not a huge fan of receiving most of the wine from Bella Union, Nickel & Nickel, etc. (I’d prefer just Far Niente wine or at least the majority of it being Far Niente wines), we signed up for this option because it is cost effective and we receive a couple of really good Far Niente wines each year. Maybe eventually we will upgrade to a wine club option where we receive (mostly) Far Niente wines, but for now, this does the trick and we have been pleased, so far. Plus, if you have not visited Far Niente Winery, this is a must for your bucket list – it is beautiful! We did the Food and Wine Pairing and the experience was phenomenal.
My brother introduced us to their wine a very long time ago and ever since, we have been huge Groth wine fans, so of course, when we were in Napa Valley, we had to pay a visit to Groth Vineyards & Winery, in Oakville. Their wine club is very affordable (probably the most affordable club we are in), and the wine we receive in our shipments is some of the best of Napa Valley, in my opinion. We left California with 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2014 Groth Cabernet Reserve bottles and so far, we have tried the 07 and 09 – were both phenomenal. For the price and taste, just cannot get better. If you are looking to join some of the best California wine clubs, Groth should be a high priority on your list.
After finding out that Silver Oak does not have a wine club (so sad!), we chose the next best thing and signed up for the Duncan Family wine club with Twomey. This club offers 16 bottles each year, which includes new releases and wines produced in highly limited quantities. Being a member of the Duncan Family Club also comes with the added perk of having first access to events at not only Twomey but Silver Oak, as well. We have been so thrilled with our Twomey shipments and I am personally a fan of the ‘gifts’ they include as well, such the scarf and beanie we received in our October shipment.
Other California Wine Clubs
You all know that I think Schramsberg has the best sparkling wine in Napa Valley. Although we are not a part of their wine club (yet), this is definitely next on my list because it is very affordable and I love their wine.
I have always loved Cakebread, so I think that if we were looking to join another wine club, this would be it. They are known for their white wine, but I love their rose and even reds, as well.
Clubs We’re Canceling
So, I’m pretty sure we are going to cancel our Charter Oak wine club membership. When we first visited their winery, the wine was great, but I think it’s overpriced for what we pay. I would much rather buy a Groth Reserve bottle (which is actually cheaper) compared to one of their wines, so I think it’s a sign. We are expecting our next Charter Oak wine shipment on Monday, so we will probably make our finalized decision then. I will say that visiting their winery was a lot of fun and they made the experience very personalized.
I want to hear all of your thoughts – do you have an opinion on the best California wine clubs? Are you in any wine clubs yourself?