Rich, vibrant flavors with supple, silky texture aptly describe the wines of Franciscan, a winery whose roots are deeply embedded in the soil of the Napa Valley's Oakville District. In fact, Franciscan has been welcoming visitors for nearly 40 years. Its friendly and knowledgeable team of wine educators has earned a fine reputation for offering unique seminars and interactive explorations designed to expand the palate and mind -- and most importantly, give visitors a fun, interactive tasting experience. The tasting room's daily calendar is full of more wine tasting experiences than one can RSVP for.

Franciscan's most recent offering, developed with the belief that group learning is particularly fun and rewarding, is a unique team-based winemaking competition. The Magnificat Team Blending Seminar invites all kinds of groups -- from business colleagues to old high school friends -- to put their winemaking skills to the test. Franciscan's wine educators divide the group into teams and give each the materials and instructions they need to blend, bottle, design, and then market their wine before a designated “critic.” A great deal of creativity and cooperation combined with competition and drama creates memories sure to last for years.

Beyond providing guests with a richer understanding for winemaking, Franciscan continues to craft exceptional Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and luscious blends. The Franciscan portfolio offers nearly a dozen small production and highly collectible wines. To name a few, the Winemaker's Reserve; the Oakville Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon; the Fountain Court white blend; and the Mount Veeder Elevation 1550, a mélange of berries and spice; all have case production totals of 500 or less. Cult wine collectors are always on the lookout for the famous powerhouse Cabs from Mount Veeder Winery which have been featured in Franciscan's Visitor Center since 1988.

Whether they're attending a creative new seminar, special event, or just casually dropping by, visitors to Franciscan can count on having a unique, fun, and rewarding experience.

WHAT TO BUY
'08 Magnificat: Dark cherry, Italian plum, boysenberry, cocoa; $50
'10 Cuvée Sauvage: Rich pear, apple, honeysuckle, citrus, honey; $40
'08 Mount Veeder Elevation 1550: Ripe dark berries, plum, and savory spice; $50
'11 Fountain Court: Lime zest, tropical melon, pineapple, lychee; $28

CONTACT
707.967.3993 (appts), 707.967.3830
info@franciscan.com
franciscan.com

TASTING
Tasting Room Open Daily 10–5
1178 Galleron Rd
St Helena, CA 94574

SPECIAL NOTES
Private tastings, tours, and barrel tastings by appointment, sustainable farming practices, weddings and receptions, corporate events

This story originally appeared on Touring & Tasting