O’Brien Estate Winery… A Love Story

Bart O’Brien recites the poetry written on the back of each bottle.

Are you a romantic at heart? If so, be sure to visit the O’Brien Estate Winery. While hot air balloons sail overhead, you can sip a glass of Unrestrained Reserve and picnic on the lawn. Need more inspiration? On the back label of the bottle you will find romantic poetry penned by winery owners Bart and Barb O’Brien.

The winery began as a love story. More than 25 years ago, Bart and Barb visited Napa Valley. It was their third date. They fell in love with each other, as well as with the dream of living in Napa Valley. One year later, they married. In 2000, they bought a winery and vineyards adjacent to the Hanna vineyard made famous with the top-rated Chateau Montelena Chardonnay in the 1976 Judgement of Paris.

In 2010, the O’Briens sent their wines to Robert Parker of the Wine Advocate to be tasted on his trip to Napa Valley. “Impossible to resist,” Parker said of the 2008 Unrestrained Reserve, a blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Parker rated this wine 93+ points.

Parker liked the 2007 Unrestrained Reserve even more, rating it 94+ points. “Terrific intensity, purity and texture,” he wrote. “Inky purple, with hints of plum, Asian spice, black currants, jammy blackberries, the wine has fabulous richness, full-bodied power.” He also gave the 2008 Merlot Reserve and both the 2007 and 2008 Seduction Bordeaux Blend a rating of 94 points. Made from grapes grown on its 33 acres without use of pesticides or herbicides, all O’Brien Estate wines are created on-site using original Bordeaux winemaking practices and French oak barrels. Poetry is printed on the back of the Romantic wine labels. With names like Passion of the Soul and Seduction, these wines may stir your soul.

Open seven days a week, Monday through Saturday 10am to 5pm, and Sunday from 11am to 5pm. Please call or email in advance for an appointment. (707) 252-8463 / davidc@obrienestate.com. 1200 Orchard Avenue, Napa. •obrienestate.com (Dog friendly!)

 Story by Sarah Amador-Rusnak