Winters is where wine tasting begins


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It was four years ago when a random conversation between Buckhorn owner John Pickerel and Express editor Debra DeAngelo resulted in an epiphany: Highway 128, which begins in Winters, is the new and improved way to explore the Napa Valley and beyond.

The idea quickly caught on, with Pisani’s Service Station putting in classic gas pumps and selling Highway 128 T-shirts and both Berryessa Gap and Turkovich wineries jumped in to endorse the idea that there is another way to go wine-tasting. Turkovich Winery was instrumental in establishing the “Wine to Waves” movement, featuring wineries from Napa through Mendocino Counties, all along the highway that strings them all together, and Berryessa Gap Winery even has Highway 128 items and souvenirs for sale.

Up in the other direction, the Capay Valley wineries have been establishing their Roots to Wine effort, in which the local Winters wineries have been and are key players, and providing another way for visitors to this area to spend an enjoyable day tasting wine without the congestion along Highway 29 through the heart of the Napa Valley. Unlike Highway 29, which stretches up through that valley, Highway 128 runs across the valley and several counties, providing an entirely different travel and wine experience.

With Winters poised to be the home of the new PG&E training center as well as two hotels, there will be plenty of new faces in town and many of them will be looking for something to do. With world class wineries at Winters’ fingertips, visitors may be surprised to discover what is just down the road and over the hill — in whichever direction they head.

This month, the Express launched its monthly “Wine Express” page, which includes feature stories on wineries along both Highway 128 and the Capay Valley, as well as a map and events calendar. The project is a joint effort between DeAngelo and the new Express advertising manager, Marcy Bradshaw-Angier. DeAngelo will handle the stories, while Bradshaw-Angier handles the advertising and outreach.

Some of the old familiars will be featured, like Nichelini Family Winery — the oldest family winery in Napa County and only a 40-minute drive from Winters, as well as wineries making some impressive improvements, like Taber Ranch Winery in Capay, which is building a new tasting room just in time for the July 29 Roots To Wine event, the Twilight Picnic planned from 6-10 p.m. Festivities will include wine, food trucks and live music for a mere $10 admission.

So, wine lovers — want to know which direction to go and what to do when you’re looking for a wine adventure? Look no further than this page, which will appear monthly.

Anyone wishing to be included in this monthly feature can contact Marcy Bradshaw-Angier,, for advertising. For suggested stories, email





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