The Napa Soda Springs, Part #2

Another clever investigation into the History of Napa Soda Springs and the infamous Napa ‘Soda’


A view of the ruins of Napa Soda Springs, recent A view of the ruins of Napa Soda Springs, recent

Colonel J. P. Jackson

Colonel J. P. Jackson bought the Napa Soda Springs in April 1872 from Dr. Whitney for $120,000. This acquisition was just one of the many successes of a man whose life history parallels the progress of American expansion and industrialization. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Jackson would become a well connected lawyer, orator and business professional. At the age of sixteen, while presenting a purse of money to Louis Kossuth, the Hungarian patriot, Jackson impressed Bellamy Storer, a judge in Cincinnati, with his speech so much that he insisted that Jackson come and work with him at his law office. From this position, Colonel Jackson met the future President William Henry Harrison, whom he worked with for two years. In Cincinnati, Jackson came into contact with another future president, Rutherford B. Hayes, and also met his future…

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The Napa Soda Springs, Part #1

A fantastic piece about the special property across the way from our vineyard


Napa Soda Springs stereoscopic card - late 1800s Napa Soda Springs stereoscopic card – late 1800s

Throughout the counties of Sonoma, Lake and Napa, which had made up General Vallejo’s immense frontier, were sprinkled hot springs and sulphur springs and iron springs, bubbling their assumedly health-giving waters from deep beneath the surface of the earth. Among these many sites of spiritual and physical relaxation and rejuvenation was the Napa Soda Springs, frequented for centuries previously by Native Americans. The site has a long history of squabble and success and was the original destination for well-to-do San Franciscans before the lure of upscale wineries and hundred dollar bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Located shortly up the Soda Canyon in the Napa Valley, the location was easily accessible by carriage compared to the more difficult spring locations such as Mark West, the Geysers at Calistoga or Bartlett Springs in Lake County. Also, for fifteen dollars a week, the Napa Soda Springs…

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Our New Biodynamic CSA Box Program

Hi everyone, we are excited to announce that we are two quarters into our new CSA box program. There is still time left to sign up for our current term that will end 4/3. Or feel free to join our next term which will be from 4/10-6/26 , each delivery is ready for pick up on Thursdays and it is $30/box making the new term $360 per share. Each box is comprised of 6-10 items and includes a newsletter with recipes and notes from the farm.

We feature all sorts of heirloom crops throughout their respective seasons. Currently we are enjoying delicious giant Spinach leaves, purple Brussel Sprouts, Broccoli, Asian green Stir Fry mix, purple and green Pak Choi, variety of Kales, an array of Radishes, Rapini, a variety of herbs, garlic and our all time favorite home made sprouts (lentil, alfalfa, clover, mung beans, and more)

All of our produce is started by seed in soil blocks, no plastic needed. We use all organic components , Biodynamic compost and all of the Demeter certified Biodynamic preparations.

Feel free  to email us with any questions this is currently Napa’s only Biodynamic CSA box program.

To join our CSA program we ask for payment ahead of time.

Wine of the week: Sean Thackrey 2008 Andromeda Pinot Noir

Upon our sensational tour of Sean Thackrey’s winery we were won over by the 2008 Adromeda Devil’s Gulch Vineyard Marin County Pinot Noir and that is why we chose it as our wine of the week.

2008 AndromedaWe loved our visit and of course the wines but we were thrilled to see the ‘barn’ and getting to know the ‘mascots’ aka the two taxidermied African Grey parrots adorning one of the walls of the winery,  perhaps an acquisition from his earlier art collecting days or a gift from a girlfriend .

Excellent artwork by Wendy Macnaughton

Excellent artwork by Wendy Macnaughton

To capture a glimpse of Sean Thackrey and his artistry in the mortal world of winemaking check out Wendy Macnaughton’s artwork 

This was a wine that the winemaker pulled back and then re-released when it was drinking beautifully. Thankfully and graciously we acquired a bottle of this fabulous gem of a Pinot Noir.  

From start to finish this wine had such a smooth texture, great color, and lush body. WIth earthy notes, pert acid,  a little tobacco and bergamot tea, it even paired well with sushi almost as unconventional as the winemaking practices of this coveted winemaker.

Hossfeld Vineyards ladies and Sean Thackrey

Hossfeld Vineyards ladies and Sean Thackrey

We are looking forward to our next bottle of wine crafted by Sean Thackrey .


Wine of the week: 1982 Acacia ‘Iund Vineyard’ Pinot Noir

This is a definite throw back wine that we chose as wine of the week. We were graciously poured this fabulous relic of Carneros history at the Acacia Vineyard. Accompanied by the grower himself , Mr. Iund,  it was fabulous to receive celeb-status treatment at the winery.

One of the oldest Acacia Pinot's that we have ever tasted. A 1982 Iund Vineyard designate. Suprisingly delightful

One of the oldest Acacia Pinot’s that we have ever tasted. A 1982 Iund vineyard designate. Suprisingly delightful

Well over 30 years old this wine didn’t taste like a mud-caked old leather vineyard boot sans steel toe. Upon opening the aromatics were on a more cooked cabbage note but after about 20 minutes its fruit did come through. It had great Earl Grey tea components and had held up well despite its age. We were thankful it wasn’t vinegar. The tasting room staff , the other tasters and Mr. Iund himself were tickled pink or rosé should I say at this opportunity to try such an old vintage and a vineyard designate with the actual grapegrower present.  Everyone enjoyed the good old grape growing stories of this early relationship between Acacia and the Iund vineyard.

tasting menu at Acacia Winery

We loved comparing the old label to the newer style labels that Acacia has adopted throughout the years. We hope to see more Napa Carneros Pinot Noirs and wines on their tasting menu in the future.


Winery of the week: Robert Mondavi Winery

Truthfully, we hardly visit any of the big name wineries in Napa especially with their affiliation with the corporate world. However, we were extremely and pleasantly surprised during our visit at the Robert Mondavi Winery. We thoroughly enjoyed  our behind the scenes tour with the new red wines winemaker, Nova Cadamatre

Archiving our moment here at Mondavi.
Archiving our moment here at Mondavi.

Robert Mondavi Winery is an integral part to the history of the Napa Valley that is why we picked it as our winery of the week for this week.

Red barrel storage at Mondavi
Never ending red barrel storage rooms at Robert Mondavi. Sensational!

One thing among the many that caught our attention and changed our tune of this Napa iconic winery was that the wines were phenomenal. A lot of care and attention is given to each wine no matter which category it falls under. Also, they do a lot to maintain their distinct presence and of course their lock down on some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in the Napa valley, namely the iconic To Kalon vineyards. This winery does seem timeless perhaps that is attributed to the finesse that encompasses the whole operation.  Although they try out new events, I am glad the corporation hasn’t ran this beauty into the ground and has maintained its integrity on the To Kalon series wines.

Veraison at the Mondavi Winery
Veraison at the Mondavi Winery

Offering multiple wine tasting options in a variety of locations, each tastefully decorated. Along the tour through the winery, artwork from the Mondavi’s personal collection adorns the walls . There are lovely tributes to Robert and Margrit Mondavi throughout the property. When we were visiting we happened to catch a few glimpses of veraison. Which always puts us in a great mood knowing that harvest is on the horizon.

The infamous To Kalon room, with lots of Oak Punch Ins.
The infamous To Kalon room, with lots of Oak Punch Ins.

Leaving their pleasantly surprised , we feel comfortable recommending that everyone visits Mondavi and checks this winery off their proverbial wine country tasting list.

Join us today for a fabulous bike tour exploring the Carneros region where Mondavi sources some of their best Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Stay off of the busy Highway and enjoy the country roads of Carneros.