The wine industry in any region has become increasingly competitive.
No matter the area, there is only so much time and with the ever-growing number of wineries, getting people into your tasting room can be a daunting task. Make it in the Napa Valley, full of world renowned wineries, and it gets much tougher.
The secret is to carve your niche, creating something more than just wine to bring in the tourists. Such is the challenge in the Napa Valley.
Silver Trident (opened in March of 2015) in Yountville has done just that. The winery was closed for nine days following the wild fires surrounding the area, but is open for business, as is the thriving Yountville.
I can remember, and it wasn’t that long ago, that Yountville was a place you stayed and then went out to wine taste in the surrounding areas. That’s no longer the case as the town has 19 wineries in their Yountville Wine Walk.
So, what then separates one winery from another?
In the case of Silver Trident, it’s not just the wines – very good wines – but rather the experience you get when visiting the tasting room.
The staff bills the Silver Trident experience as visiting a private home of a small family winery in a Tuscan-style stone building. The visit is a promise of enjoying fine wine while all the while feeling a sense of comfort as if you are in your home.
You really feel like you are walking into a private residence, so much in fact, we paused for a minute to make sure we were going into the right place. Once inside, the feeling of warmth radiates and with good reason.
Silver Trident is furnished by Ralph Lauren Home, the only such home décor showroom in Northern California. And just like all the wines, the furnishings – the art, decorative accents, furniture, floor coverings, serving treys and wine goblets – all Ralph Lauren Home, are available for purchase.
While you are seated in one of the rooms for your tasting, you are given not just a tasting/pricing guide for the wine, but a pricing list for just about everything in the house.
How did Silver Trident come to have access to Ralph Lauren Home? The answer is simple.
Bob Binder, who started Silver Trident along with Walter Jost, was the co-founder of Oceania Cruises. His cruise ships feature the high-end furnishings of Ralph Lauren, so it was a natural to highlight in his new winery.
Binder has a quote that sums up Silver Trident.
“If you do the same things, the same way everyone else does,” he says, “you’ll end up being average. And average is synonymous with boring.”
As quality as the furnishings are, so is the wine.
The winemaker for Silver Trident is Kari Auringer, who brings a resume of working with the winemaking teams at such notable wineries as Scarecrow, Lindstrom, Hollywood and Vine, and Keever.
The name of the winery came from the trident, what Neptune used to create earthquakes, tidal waves, and oceans. Silver is a reference to the way the sea looks on a calm, moonlit night.
The wines all carry names and we were able to enjoy five on our visit. After starting with a glass of Apollo’s Folly Rose (Mendocino Pinot Noir) as we arrived, we were seated in the elegant dining room to enjoy four more wines, along with food pairings.
The Symphony No. 9 – a 2016 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc – was a pleasant beginning. The Benevolent Dictator (2015 Russian River Pinot Noir) was followed by Playing with Fire (2013 Napa Valley Red Blend). Both were excellent and set up the final two wines.
The Twenty Seven Fathoms (2014 Napa Valley Cab) led into what was the favorite selection of our group – the Friends and Family (2014 Reserve Napa Valley Cab).
The food pairings with each wine was sensational and added to the overall experience.
The next time you are in Yountville, make a point to visit Silver Trident. It’s a unique tasting experience and is far more relaxing and nothing like a traditional tasting room.
For more information go to http://www.silvertridentwinery.com
By Dennis Miller