Brian Arden Wines, a Hidden Winery Gems and Food & Wine Pairing Experience
Brian Arden winery, named after father-son team Arden “Burt” Harlan and Brian Harlan opened in spring of 2015. Located on the southern-most line of Calistoga, the 2.35-acre property showcases a 3500 square foot asymmetrical glass and wood beamed hospitality center. Architected by Carlo Di Fede, the building encasement also includes an operating winery, tank room and barrel storage facility utilized to produce Brian Arden wines as well as a few boutique winery crush clients. The building design portrays a modern-barn concept and gleams with an abundance of windows that offer generous views of the surrounding Palasides Mountain range. The airy interior is adorned with high ceilings and has sectioned areas to gather, including an all-purpose general tasting room, a private tasting suite and a separate family room with cozy seating, a fireplace, Tuscan style eating table and a full, open kitchen. The kitchen is operating in full swing offering small bites for purchase like cheese and charcuterie, fresh ricotta or roulettes on toast, or more whimsical options like caramel corn and chocolate. Guests may also reserve a choreographed culinary experience, like the Chef’s Bites Tasting, a four-course menu paired with a selection of Brian Arden wines.
The culinary program is headed up by in-house winery Executive Chef Benjamin Weakley. Chef Weakley is no stranger to the wine country food and wine scene with notable tenure at Larkmead and most recently, Two Birds, One Stone. Inspired by Mother Nature, his approach to cooking highlights fresh, local ingredients and focuses on “keeping it simple” as to not overshadow the wines. The Chef Bites experience is served to order for intimate groups of 2-8 at the Tuscany table in the open air kitchen. The four-course menus change frequently based on seasonal harvests and contain plentiful portions that might require reconsidering an early dinner reservation. While the kitchen can modify menus to appease most dietary requests, standard options usually start with a salad or soup, a fish or pasta, and a meat course, all elegantly presented with colorful sauces, edible flowers, herbs and when applicable, a dash of Australian river salt, one of Chef Weakley’s favorite ingredients. Each course is served with a hand-selected pairing of Brian Arden wines which may include their acclaimed Sauvignon Blanc, inspired by a love story between Brian and his wifeAmanda, their crisp “New World” Reserve Chardonnay and a varied selection of current or library vintage Bordeaux varietals. With only 260 Cabernet Sauvignon vines newly planted on the Estate property, most of the wines are harvested from partner vineyards in Napa Valley or the family’s Old Vine Zinfandel from their Bulton Ranch vineyard in Lake County.
The experience at Brian Arden Winery is fresh and new and represents a winery success story many dream about. It started with a great idea, became fueled by a passion for making wine, and brought to reality with focused execution and the strong commitment and dedication from loving family.
The Harlan’s have created a unique experience in Napa Wine Country that combines simple elegance, enticing food and approachable wines that are best enjoyed creating fond memories with friends and family.
Tasting Room is open to the public for parties of 6 or less or by appointment for parties of 6 or more.
Thursday – Tues 11:00-4:30 pm
Reservations required for all private hosted and Chef Bite experiences.
Brian Arden Wines
331 Silverado Trail Calistoga, CA
Laura Larson, Contributing Writer
Laura Larson is a contributing writer specializing in winery and lifestyle experiences and is the feature editor for NVL’s Hidden Gems series. Laura is the Founder of Virtual Vines, a DTC sales and marketing consultancy focused on helping wineries build closer connections with customers through relationship marketing. Laura is an active member of the Napa Winery Community. She is an appointed Board Member of the Napa Valley Hospitality Forum, a consortium of over 85 wineries focused on inter-winery collaboration. She is a member of the DTC Wine Symposium Steering Committee as a content contributor and workshop moderator and over the past few years, served as a panel expert and judge for the SF Luxury Marketing Council Winery Bootcamp and Rising Star Awards. Laura also writes blogs and a feature column for Wine Industry Advisor, The V FILES ™; a Winery DTC best practices report scored by Mystery Shoppers. As an accredited sommelier, Laura’s passion for wine led her to explore some of the most prestigious wine regions all over the world and to the ultimate launch of her own wine label “601 Cellars “in Spring 2018.