Silverado Vineyards: pure excellence in hospitality

By Pamela Personette

It’s always fun when a friend from out of town plans to visit me. It’s even more fun when she’s traveled 3,000 miles across the U.S. to see California wine country! I must admit, I enjoy “showing off” what California has to offer. This summer I had the chance to do just that!

After a leisurely lunch, we drove down the Silverado Trail without a plan. As we approached Silverado Vineyards, I decided to make the turn. I hadn’t been there before.

Just outside of the tasting room, a couple was leaving with wine boxes in hand. We asked them if they enjoyed their visit. They told us it was fantastic and told us to be sure to ask for Patty, the woman behind the counter who served them.

As we approached the steps of the winery, the breathtaking view stopped us in our tracks. We posed hoping for a great photo for a holiday card. It was a hot day and the coolness of the tasting room was a welcome relief. Beautiful artwork adorned the entrance. We also noticed a place where visitors can view the barrel room from a window. A sign invites the guest to open the window. It’s was a nice switch from the often seen “do not touch” or “do not enter” sign.

As we opened the window, we felt the coolness of the barrel room below.

The view from the tasting room itself was spectacular. There was a beautiful fireplace and a place to sit down and relax. There was also a lovely terrace with patio tables and chairs.

We were greeted and given our first taste.

As a new staff member appeared, we assumed this must be “Patty,” the person our fellow tasters recommended we see. She was indeed the one and only! We told her how our new friends told us to see her and she was thrilled. She poured the wine for us and the three of us began to chat. Patty took a genuine interest in us. She let us taste at our leisure, talking about the wine and about our day. The relaxed atmosphere put us at ease. My friend, who admitted her wine knowledge is limited, never felt intimidated. Patty never talked “at” us. She understood our wine tasting needs and she tailored her presentation to meet them.

The wines were delicious and we bought our favorites; one to enjoy with dinner that evening and the others to share with friends and family back home. What a nice remembrance of our visit!

At the end of our tasting, Patty invited us to see the artwork in another room, not usually open to the public. She escorted us to the room, which was being prepared for a private event. She gave us a few minutes to enjoy the paintings. She then gave us a brief history of the winery owners and the paintings themselves. It was fun to be “behind the scenes” at the winery.

When we left the room, Patty walked us to the door and thanked us for coming to Silverado Vineyards. Our purchased wine in hand, we stopped once more at the place of our photo op to have one last look at the view—a memory that will keep my friend going throughout the cold and dreary East Coast winter.

As we walked happily to the car, another group of customers approached. “Ask for Patty!” we said.

Silverado Vineyards is located at 6121 Silverado Trail. The tasting room is open from 10:00AM to 4:30PM. Special tours are available on a seasonal basis and by appointment.