Yao Family Wines Tasting Room
Yesterday, we went to Napa Valley to check out the First Friday tasting at V. Sattui and as we exited, we noticed Yao Family Wines (across Highway 29). Being the Yao Ming and wine fans that we are, stopping in to the Yao Family Wines Tasting Room was a no brainer and we’re glad we did!
The “Yao Family Wines Hospitality Center” has been open 6 weeks now. Upon entering you are first greeted with a large, circular bar area, which is their main tasting area. To the right is a room that feels like a lounge, and beyond that is the Club Member Lounge, with a papasan and couches. To the left is the room we tasted in, which felt like it could’ve been the formal dining room in someone’s home. It had a large dining table with chairs, a fireplace, display case and a flat screen flashing images of Yao Ming. Today we had the whole room to ourselves. It’s a nice place for a group to sit down to have a tasting in what is basically a private room. There’s also a back room, with some chairs, and an outside patio with a table and chairs, if you prefer to enjoy your wine outside. The front bar section is set up, basically like an upper class wine bar. And we’re told they are trying to be both a tasting room and wine bar that will attract visitors and locals to just relax with their premium wines in hand in their luxurious, relaxing setting.
Walking around, you’ll see some interesting pieces of Yao Ming memorabilia and cool pictures. This is one of my faves:
Yao offers three tastings.
The Access, for $35, The Reserve, for $50, and The Library, for $80.
You can also enjoy their wines by the glass.
We decided to go with The Reserve tasting. Although it was $15 more than The Access, it included a charcuterie and cheese plate, which would’ve cost $20 to add on to The Access.
The Reserve tasting included:
Our tasting started with a bonus pour, a taste of their 2015 Napa Crest Sauvignon Blanc, which was excellent, with a refreshing fruitiness.
The 3 reds we tasted were all great, but the Reserve was the best and tasted like other expensive cabs I’ve had before. It definitely tasted like the cost.
The charcuterie and cheese plate included prosciutto, chorizo, Barely Buzzed cheese, blue cheese, pear chips, 2 mustards (the pomegranate one was outstanding), hazelnuts, and a chocolate truffle. It was served with breadstick crackers.
Sheila was our host. She was very warm and gracious. I appreciated that she told us that the tasting, including the charcuterie and cheese, was enough for two to share, because given the price it could be a bit intimidating to think about purchasing two and we’re not sure if you can write a check.
We’re not certain how much their wine clubs are, but given the cost of the wines that you get, and the frequency in which you get them we can guess that it is quite high. They offer a Silver Tier and a Gold Tier with Gold receiving 2x the wine and extra discounts and perks. They also get you into events, but as of yet they have not planned any events so it is hard to gauge exactly what you are going to get. When events are announced, we will revisit.
Good to know:
If you’re a really big fan, of Yao and wine, limited edition wine bottles autographed by Yao are available.
A little pricey, seeing as the starting average price for a tasting in the Napa Valley is around $20. But if you’re a Yao admirer, or even an admirer of premium wines, you should check it out.
That being said, it is unique, given the Yao connection, the wines are good, and the setting is nice.
The Yao Family Wines Tasting Room can be found at:
929 Main St.
St Helena, CA 94574