Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Tasting Napa: A Visit To Round Pond Estate

Happy Wednesday, everyone! How's the week so far? Have to admit, it would be nice to forget all the errands, appointments and tasks of the day and instead meet up for a sun-drenched afternoon at Round Pond Estate. Nestled in the heart of Napa Valley in the Rutherford region, the family-owned Round Pond farm and winery specializes in blending old world traditions and state-of-the-art innovation. The result is wine and artisan foods that can only be produced with painstaking passion and meticulous care.

Our visit starts with a grand approach to the estate up a long, palm-lined drive. Once there, we meet up with Executive Chef Eric Maczko and walk -- with glass of rosé in hand -- to a grove of ancient olive trees to learn about the hands-on stone-milled process that produces Round Pond artisan olive oils.

After, we wander through the estate's lovely gardens for a lesson in biodynamic gardening and how to properly taste (using both the nose and the mouth). Enclosed by a fence made of recycled grape stakes and pine tee pee poles, the garden is home to all kinds of edible flowers, herbs, vegetables and a family of gorgeous chickens.

Then it's over to the winery crush pad and barrel room to talk about the wine making tradition at Round Pond, from the vine and harvest, all the way to the aging process in French oak barrels. Today I'm loving the light, crisp rosé, but the estate is known for producing some amazing Cabernet Sauvignons.

Finally, we're off to the terrace to taste it all - estate bottled olive oils, vinegars, wines and a long, luxurious lunch made with vegetables fresh from the garden.

To finish the feast, the most dreamiest piece of olive oil cake you've ever tasted, not too sweet, perfectly light and fluffy, and made even more yummy by a drizzle of Round Pond Meyer Lemon and Blood Orange syrup. (Seriously, this cake is insane, you can find the recipe here.)

As delicious as everything tastes, the best part is the incredible view across the vines and the valley. So let's pour another glass and stay awhile.

The next time you're in the Napa Valley, Round Pond is definitely worth a visit. In addition to this wonderful Il Pranzo lunch, they offer a variety of experiences from wine tastings, to an olive oil mill tour and tasting, and a garden-to-table brunch.

Wouldn't that be a wonderful way to spend a Wednesday? XO

Thanks once again to my lovely friend Dana for sharing some of her beautiful photos with me! 


  1. Jeanne,
    Dreamy escape. I am making that Meyer Lemon Olive Oil cake today!

    1. Patricia, let me know how it turns out! Hope you have a lovely time with your son. XOXO

  2. Jeanne this post totally made every one of my senses come alive....WOW! What a fun fun day, so up my alley, you know i want to retire there:) It is totally dreamy and looks like you had amazing weather to boot, Napa is the ultimate!

    1. Hi Tina, When you retire in Napa, I'll jet down and visit you, okay? The weather was just perfect! XOXO

  3. I was looking for something to do with my friend who lives in CALISTOGA (just down the road from Rutherford)for her birthday!Perhaps, this is it!THANK YOU FLOWER LADY!Thats what I call YOU......when I see tulips and peonies now; I think of YOU!You are my FLOWER LADY!

    1. La Contessa, you make me laugh. Get ready for roses - ours are about to bloom! How lovely to live in Calistoga, we stayed there a few years back and I just loved it. Round Pond would be a lovely treat for her birthday, I've done their lunch twice and it really is divine. XOXO

  4. I do love visiting the wine country of California and it's been ages. You've made me long to get back there.
    Their bottles and logo are really pretty aren't they? xx's

    1. Hi Marsha, That's one of the things I love about Round Pond, they get all the little details just right. The second generation of the MacDonnell family is now running the estate and Ryan MacDonnell takes care of of the look, feel and branding. Her taste is exquisite.

      Happy Wednesday! XOXO

  5. Wow! This place is a perfect for a magical escape from every day life ... I love everything ...
    Enjoy the magic of Napa Valley.

  6. Ahhh...I am DYING to go to Napa and this made me want to go even more!! Thanks for sharing these gorgeous photos! Have a beautiful day, my dear Jeanne! xoxo

  7. Wait, and this would be your "Wednesday" post? *shaking my head in wonder* Dear Jeanne, you are certainly knocking the ball out of the park these days both in text and seriously dreamy photos.

  8. This would be a heavenly way to spend a Wednesday and your tour has us wanting to plan our next getaway (that doesn't involve a rowing regatta!) Thank you for letting us escape for a while with your beautiful post today, Jeanne.
    C + C

  9. We are going to Napa for the first time in October, I cannot wait!!

  10. Jeanne what a gorgeous setting at Round Pond and I can only imagine how delicious the wines taste!

    The Windows of Buck House

  11. Jeanne,
    This was a feast for all the senses, as your descriptions were so crisp, that I could practically taste and smell what I was looking at. What a divine trip this must have been. It's a wet day in Rye today and I just shuttled my mom off to the airport, so really enjoyed this relaxing stop!

    Happy Thursday!
    xoxo Elizabeth



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