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Ackerman Heritage House opened to the public in the spring of 2017 and boasts one of the greatest renovation stories in Napa’s history.

Jonathan Cristaldi
April 05, 2018

If you're heading to Napa and looking for an exclusive, next-level destination to taste some exquisite wine, look no further than Ackerman Heritage House. Set inside a stunning 19th-century Queen Anne Victorian mansion, restored over the course of five years by owner of Ackerman Family Vineyards Lauren Ackerman, it's one of the best, elevated tasting experiences in Napa.

As of this spring, it will be one year since the original stained-glass paneled double-doors were thrown open, which means the tasting experiences are fluid, the kinks ironed out. Best of all, it’s walkable from downtown Napa’s trendiest restaurants, wine bars, and new hotels.

According to a newspaper report that Ackerman found when researching the house, it was built in just 90 days by Luther Turton, one of the most profound architects of the late 1890s and early 1900s. Turon built some 125 houses in Napa alone, including the Wine Spectator house on First Street.

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By appointment only, here’s what to expect: Upon arrival, you'll be greeted with a Lloyd Cellars Chardonnay—the small-production label of Rob Lloyd, also the winemaker for Ackerman—and taken on half-hour tour. You’ll be regaled with tales of the previous inhabitants of the Heritage House, and other incredible elements like the 17 original stained glass windows, period-correct antiques, the stunning library with original and first-edition books—even one signed by Mark Twain. Everything in the house can boast of an impressive story, so ask questions.  

The tour culminates in an educational tasting experience of Ackerman wines, including their powerful and decadent flagship Cabernet Sauvignon, along with a selection of beautifully crafted wines from Lloyd Cellars. Mondavi fans take note: there’s an original painting of Robert hanging in the Aviary. Ask about it. And take extra care to look both ways when crossing the street after your tasting, because those are cars whisking by—not horse-drawn carriages, which is what you’d expect to see after taking such a surreal step back in time.

Be sure to inquire about the dinner party experiences, because then you get to hang out in this amazing space while enjoying a multi-course meal paired with brilliant wines, all while losing yourself in some Napa fantasia of yesteryear.

Open: Daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.—by appointment
Location: 608 Randolph Street in downtown Napa, California
Contact: wineconcierge@ackermanfamilyvineyards.com or 855-238-9463

Tastings

Aviary Tasting: After a 30-minute tour, typically five wines of Ackerman and Lloyd Cellars are poured in the restored carriage house, tasting fee waived with case purchase. $65 per person.

Ackerman Family Vineyards Library Vertical Tasting: After a 30-minute tour, typically five wines poured, tasting fee waived with case purchase or by becoming a collector. $95 per person.

Food and Wine Experience with Chef Kelly: Chef Kelly Macdonald, a former chef of the Napa Valley Wine Train, prepares a 3-course meal served on gorgeous antique China, paired with the wines of Ackerman and Lloyd Cellars. Suggested for parties of 4+ guests. $195 per person, plus tax and gratuity.

Cooking Class with Janet Fletcher. Up to 14 guests—inquire for more details. $175 per person.

Afternoon Tea: One sunday each month, 12:00pm and 2:30pm seatings. $55 per person plus tax and gratuity.

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