Jessup Cellars has earned a loyal following for its ultra-premium wines and a word-of-mouth reputation for having one of the friendliest Yountville tasting rooms in all of Napa Valley.  On a recent visit, they certainly lived up to this reputation! 

I made a reservation for myself and friends to enjoy the Jessup Cellars Classic Wine Experience a guided tasting with a pairing plate.  I was the first to arrive and was warmly welcomed by a member of the Jessup Cellars team. I decided to browse around the front of the Yountville art gallery & tasting room prior to being seated.  A beautiful wine bar curved around one side of the room.  The team informed me they often use this bar to welcome guests who might not have a reservation!  If they have room in the gallery for a seated tasting, they always offer this option, but for times this isn’t an option, the bar is happy to welcome walk in guests. 

While most Napa wineries request you make reservations, it is wonderful to have a Yountville tasting room like Jessup Cellars that welcome and accommodate guests that happen to pop into town without a reservation.  Starting to see that how this “friendliest tasting room in Napa Valley” reputation came to be. 

As I continued to explore the front of the gallery, I spied great gift items to help commemorate your time in the Napa Valley including beautiful wine bottle candles, cutting boards, the coolest Bart Bridges Yountville hat, cozy blankets, gourmet dog treats, dog leashes and so much more.

A warm welcome for all guests 

When my friends arrived (3 human, 2 canine) I soon saw that Jessup’s reputation for friendliness extended beyond humans.  Our canine friends were greeted with a hearty hello, pats and treats.  The canine crew tails were wagging with joy as the human companions were escorted to a beautiful table set in the middle of the gallery.  Be sure to read about our experience with the Jessup Cellars Pup Tasting Menu! 

The art gallery adds a whole other layer to the wine tasting experience, but somehow, you still feel as if you are sitting in a friend’s home.  I suspect this tied to that friendly reputation, which our host quickly lived up to.  She warmly introduced us to Jessup Cellars and gave us an overview of our tasting experience. 

wine and food pairing plate

Wine Tasting with a Pairing Plate


Our tasting experience took us through five wines paired with some incredible cheeses. The Chardonnay from the Truchard Vineyard in Los Carneros paired beautifully with Somerdale White Stilton with Apricots, a full cream pasteurized cow cheese. With whispers of damp earth and tobacco on the nose, it introduces a symphony of flavors: raspberry pie sweetness, red licorice vibrancy, charred wood smokiness, and the brightness of cranberry and pomegranate. Subtle notes of violets and rhubarb add complexity, while tart cherries provide an energetic

burst. Hints of caramel and vanilla offer a harmonious balance, and the finish returns to the earlier tobacco and cedar notes, completing a sensory journey that is both rich and nuanced.

The Pinot Noir was paired with Pennyroyal Velvet Sister, a surface ripened goat and sheep cheese made with “evening milk” which is milked sourced aty night in Spring and Late Winter whjen milk is at its scarcest but richest in fat and flavor. . On the nose, the Pinot Noir welcomes you with the exuberant aroma of fruit punch, offering a medley of ripe red and black fruits. The candied strawberry notes add a sweet, luscious touch, while the subtlety of vanilla bean weaves in a warm, comforting element. Unexpectedly, there’s a playful twist of candied banana that makes this Pinot Noir truly unique.

The Merlot was paired with Fiscilini Old World Cheddar, a Raw Cow cheese from Modesto and Fatted Calf Red Wattle Salami. This beautiful Merlot has a deep, dark ruby color that practically stains the glass as you swirl. The aroma is bursting with ripe black cherry, blackberry, blueberry, and plum complemented by nuances of vanilla bean, dark chocolate, graphite, lavender, and violets. This wine is perfectly dry with big, ripe tannins, full-body, and a long finish. On the palate, ripe black fruits are balanced with notes of dark chocolate, vanilla, espresso, clove, and anise.

wine and food pairing plate

The Beemster Vlaskass Gouda, a pasteurized cows milk cheese, which-fun fact is naturally lactoise free due p to production methods. The Alexander Valley Cab had a deep ruby color in appearance with a mouthful of rich, fine-grained tannins that wrap around your palate. On the nose you will find notes of dark berries, cassis and currents with a hint of vanilla bean, mint and star anise. This wine is perfectly balanced with vibrant acidity and a full body structure that makes the longevity of this young cabernet very promising. The fruit on the palate is ripe and dark with chocolate, coffee and crushed rock minerality that ties everything together in this delicious wine.

The final pairing of the day was The Jasper Hill Whitney, a raw cow’s milk cheese. It was paired with Juel. This was quite a treat, as it is most often poured for Members of the Wine Club. It was a beautifully crafted blend. Well balanced with firm tannins, moderate acidity and a full-bodied mouthfeel. Fruit forward on the palate, the wine had flavors of black fruit, citrus blossoms, mulling spices, and cinnamon.

As we made our purchases and exchanged our goodbyes with our host, both human and canine visitors were clearly thrilled with the experience we had at Jessup Cellars. The dogs got one last treat for the road and as friends parted ways, we agree we should make it back to Jessup Cellars soon! We hope to see you there!


Jessup Cellars, Open Daily 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

6740 Washington Street, Yountville CA

(707) 944-5620